What happened to the Detroit Tigers on Monday? A day off on Monday seemed like a suitable reward after a sweep of the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, giving the Tigers five wins in their last six games.
That run of success also moved Detroit to within 1 1/2 games of first place in the AL Central. And with a three-game series against the Indians in Cleveland this weekend, the Tigers faced the possibility of taking the division lead for themselves at the beginning of May.
So much for that. That off-day appeared to have killed every bit of momentum the Tigers had. The team was swept at home by the Seattle Mariners, one of the worst teams in the American League. Tigers pitching had no answer for Justin Smoak and Miguel Olivo, and their offense went limp against Felix Hernandez, Erik Bedard and Michael Pineda.
With that, the Tigers have dropped to 12-13 and 4 1/2 games out of first place heading into this weekend's series with the Indians. If there's good news, it's that Detroit is still in second place, tied with the Kansas City Royals. Both teams are 2 1/2 games ahead of the White Sox (10-16) and Minnesota Twins (9-15).
The Royals and Twins play each other this weekend, so a series with by either team will have some influence on the standings. The White Sox, meanwhile, host the Baltimore Orioles for a four-game set.
The Detroit Tigers picked just the right time to get hot. Winning five of their last six games (including a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox), combined with three-game losing streaks by both the Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals has closed the gap considerably in the AL Central.
Elsewhere in the AL, both the New York Yankees (14-8) and Texas Rangers (15-10) hold slim first-place leads in their respective divisions. The Yankees are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays (14-11) in the AL East, and host the Toronto Blue Jays (12-13) this weekend. The Jays trail the Yanks by 3 1/2 games. Out west, one game separates the Rangers from the Los Angeles Angels (14-11). The Oakland Athletics (12-13) are three games back, and host the Rangers fpr a four-game series beginning Friday.
For a full look at the American League standings and a look at what is going on in the National League, check out Yahoo.com.