DelmonYoung2The Detroit Tiger fell below the .500 mark on May 16 after an 11-7 loss to the Minnesota Twins, and hadn’t been able to crack the break-even point since. Not until Friday night anyway – 47 games later.

We certainly didn’t expect to be “celebrating” the .500 mark in July. Not when the organization announced the signing of prized free agent Prince Fielder, and certainly not after a quick 9-3 start to the year. But that’s exactly what we’re doing now. There’s still a lot of baseball left, and still a lot of issues to fix, but it appears as though the team is back on the winning track.

The Tigers were six games below .500 after a series opening loss to the Cincinnati Reds on June 8. Since that game, they’ve won 16 of 26 games – winning five series, losing two, and splitting one. That’s the type of ball we expected this team to play most of the year. Let’s hope it lasts into the second half of the season.

As far as the game goes, Drew Smyly was brilliant on the mound for the Tigers. He went six strong innings allowing only two runs on six hits while striking out a whopping ten batters and walking none. It probably wouldn’t take a lot of argument to call this game his best in a big league uniform. It was certainly his best outing since early May.

Offensively, the hero of the game was Delmon Young, who blasted a two-run home run in the sixth inning to turn a 2-2 tie into the 4-2 score that would ultimately decide the game. It was a team effort, though, at the plate with eight of the nine hitter reaching base at least once. You would like the team to score more than four runs against Jonathan Sanchez and the Royals, but I’m not really willing to complain over wins.

The good news: the Tigers won, and the Tigers have been winning, and (hopefully) the Tigers will continue to win.

Matt Snyder is the editor of The Tigers Den. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.