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Tiger All-Star
Tiger All-Star

Aries Location : Ohio

PostSubject: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:45 am

RECORD 1st Half: WINS: 52, LOSES: 42

*** All Times Eastern. ***

All games except those listed as ESPN, FS-D PLUS  , and FOX will be shown on FSN-DET (FS-D HD)

Click Score for box score.

2013 Detroit Tigers MLB Schedule LINK


Date, Opponent, Time/Result, Broadcast/Pitcher
Mon, 4/1 at Twins WIN 4-2 (WP: Verlander (1-0), SV: Coke (1))
Tue, 4/2 OFF DAY
Wed, 4/3 at Twins LOSE 2-3 (LP: Coke)
Thu, 4/4 at Twins LOSE 2-8 (LP: Porcello (0-1))
Fri, 4/5 Yankees WIN 8-3 (WP: Fister (1-0), SV: Smyly (1))
Sat, 4/6 Yankees WIN 8-4 (WP: Scherzer (1-0))
Sun, 4/7 Yankees LOSE 0-7 (LP: Verlander (1-1)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 4/8 OFF DAY
Tue, 4/9 Blue Jays WIN 7-3 (WP: Sanchez (1-0))
Wed, 4/10 Blue Jays LOSE 6-8 (LP: Villarreal)
Thu, 4/11 Blue Jays WIN 11-1 (WP: Fister (2-0)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 4/12 at Athletics LOSE 3-4 F/12 INN (LP: Villarreal)
Sat, 4/13 at Athletics WIN 7-3 (WP: Verlander (2-1))
Sun, 4/14 at Athletics WIN 10-1 (WP: Sanchez (2-0)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 4/15 OFF DAY
Tue, 4/16 at Mariners WIN 6-2 (WP: Fister (3-0))
Wed, 4/17 at Mariners WIN 2-1 F/14 INN (WP: Smyly, SV: Benoit (1))
Thu, 4/18 at Mariners LOSE 0-2 (LP: Verlander (2-2)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 4/19 at Angels LOSE 1-8 (LP: Sanchez (2-1))
Sat, 4/20 at Angels LOSE 0-10 (LP: Porcello (0-2))
Sun, 4/21 at Angels LOSE 3-4 (LP: Coke)
Mon, 4/22 OFF DAY
Tue, 4/23 Royals POSTPONED: RAIN
Wed, 4/24 Royals WIN 7-5 (WP: Scherzer (2-0), SV: Valverde (1))
Thu, 4/25 Royals LOSE 3-8 F/10INN (LP: Coke)
Fri, 4/26 Braves WIN 10-0 (WP: Sanchez (3-1))
Sat, 4/27 Braves WIN 7-4 (WP: Porcello (1-2), SV: Valverde (2))
Sun, 4/28 Braves WIN 8-3 (WP: Fister (4-0)) SWEEP
Mon, 4/29 Twins WIN 4-3 (WP: Scherzer (3-0), SV: Benoit (2))
Tue, 4/30 Twins WIN 6-1 (WP: Verlander (3-2))
Wed, 5/1 Twins LOSE 2-6 (LP: Sanchez (3-2)) SERIES WIN
Thu, 5/2 at Astros WIN 7-3 F/14 INN (WP: Putkonen (1))
Fri, 5/3 at Astros WIN 4-3 (WP: Smyly, SV: Valverde (3))
Sat, 5/4 at Astros WIN 17-2 (WP: Scherzer (4-0))
Sun, 5/5 at Astros WIN 9-0 (WP: Verlander (4-2)) SWEEP
Mon, 5/6 OFF DAY
Tue, 5/7 at Nationals POSTPONED: RAIN
Wed, 5/8 at Nationals LOSE 1-3 (LP: Sanchez (3-3))
Thu, 5/9 at Nationals LOSE 4-5 (LP: Fister (4-1))
Fri, 5/10 Indians
WIN 10- 4 (WP: Scherzer (5-0))
Sat, 5/11 Indians
LOSE 6-7 (LP: Verlander (4-3))
Sun, 5/12 Indians LOSE 3-4 F/10 (LP: Downs (0-1)
Mon, 5/13 Astros WIN 7-2 (WP: Sanchez (4-3))
Tue, 5/14 Astros WIN 6-2 (WP: Fister (5-1))
Wed, 5/15 Astros LOSE 5-7 (LP: Alburquerque) SERIES WIN
Thu, 5/16 at Rangers LOSE 4-10 (LP: Verlander (4-4))
Fri, 5/17 at Rangers WIN 2-1 (WP: Porcello (2-2), SV: Valverde (4))
Sat, 5/18 at Rangers LOSE 2-7 (LP: Sanchez (4-4))
Sun, 5/19 at Rangers LOSE 8-11 (LP: Ortega (0-1))
Mon, 5/20 OFF DAY
Tue, 5/21 at Indians WIN 5-1 (WP: Scherzer (6-0))
Wed, 5/22 at Indians WIN 11-7 (WP: Verlander (5-4)) SWEEP
Thu, 5/23 Twins WIN 7-6 (WP: Benoit, SV: Valverde (5))
Fri, 5/24 Twins WIN 6-0 (WP: Sanchez (5-4))
Sat, 5/25 Twins LOSE 2-3 (LP: Fister (5-2))
Sun, 5/26 Twins WIN 6-2 (WP: Scherzer (7-0)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 5/27 Pirates WIN 6-5 (WP: Verlander (6-4), SV: Valverde (6))
Tue, 5/28 Pirates LOSE 0-1 F/11 INN (LP: Ortega)
Wed, 5/29 at Pirates LOSE 3-5 (LP: Sanchez (5-5))
Thu, 5/30 at Pirates LOSE 0-1 (LP: Putkonen)
Fri, 5/31 at Orioles LOSE 5-7 (LP: Valverde (0-1))
Sat, 6/1 at Orioles WIN 10-3 (WP: Verlander (7-4))
Sun, 6/2 at Orioles LOSE 2-4 (LP: Porcello (2-3))
Mon, 6/3 OFF DAY
Tue, 6/4 Rays WIN 10-1 (WP: Sanchez (6-5))
Wed, 6/5 Rays LOSE 0-3 (LP: Fister (5-3))
Thu, 6/6 Rays WIN 5-2 (WP: Scherzer (8-0), SV: Valverde (7)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 6/7 Indians WIN 7-5 (WP: Verlander (8-4))
Sat, 6/8 Indians WIN 6-4 (WP: Porcello (3-3), SV: Valverde (8))
Sun, 6/9 Indians WIN 4-1 (WP: Alvarez (1-0), SV: Benoit (3)) SWEEP
Mon, 6/10 at Royals LOSE 2-3 (LP: Fister (5-4))
Tue, 6/11 at Royals WIN 3-2 (WP: Scherzer (9-0), SV: Valverde (9))
Wed, 6/12 at Royals LOSE 2-3 F/10 INNINGS (LP: Coke (0-4))
Thu, 6/13 OFF DAY

Fri, 6/14 at Twins WIN 4-0 (WP: Porcello (4-3))
Sat, 6/15 at Twins LOSE 3-6 (LP: Downs (0-2))
Sun, 6/16 at Twins WIN 5-2 (WP: Fister (6-4), SV: Benoit (4)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 6/17 Orioles WIN 5-1 (WP: Scherzer (10-0), SV: Smyly (2))
Tue, 6/18 Orioles
LOSE 2-5 (LP: Verlander (8-5))
Wed, 6/19 Orioles
LOSE 3-13 (LP: Porcello (4-4))
Thu, 6/20 Red Sox WIN 4-3 (WP: Smyly (3-0))
Fri, 6/21 Red Sox
LOSE 6-10 (LP: Fister (6-5))
Sat, 6/22 Red Sox
WIN 10-3 (WP: Scherzer (11-0))
Sun, 6/23 Red Sox
WIN 7-5 (WP: Benoit (2-0)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 6/24 OFF DAY
Tue, 6/25 Angels LOSE 8-14 (LP: Porcello (4-5))
Wed, 6/26 Angels LOSE 4-7 (LP: Alvarez (1-1))
Thu, 6/27 Angels LOSE 1-3 F/10 INNINGS (LP: Coke))
Fri, 6/28 at Rays WIN 6-3 (WP: Scherzer (12-0), SV: Benoit (5))
Sat, 6/29 at Rays LOSE 3-4 F/10 INN (LP: Rondon))
Sun, 6/30 at Rays LOSE 1-3 (LP: Porcello (4-6))
Mon, 7/1 at Blue Jays LOSE 3-8 (LP: Alvarez (1-2))
Tue, 7/2 at Blue Jays WIN 7-6 (WP: Alburquerque (1-1), SV: Benoit (6))
Wed, 7/3 at Blue Jays WIN 6-2 (WP: Scherzer (13-0))
Thu, 7/4 at Blue Jays WIN 11-1 (WP: Verlander (9-5)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 7/5 at Indians WIN 7-0 (WP: Porcello (5-6))
Sat, 7/6 at Indians WIN 9-4 (WP: Sanchez (7-5))
Sun, 7/7 at Indians LOSE 6-9 (LP: Alburquerque (1-2))
Mon, 7/8 at Indians WIN 4-2 F/10 INNINGS (WP: Smyly (4-0), SV: Beniot (7)) SERIES WIN

Tue, 7/9 White Sox LOSE 4-11 (LP: Verlander (9-6))
Wed, 7/10 White Sox WIN 8-5 (WP: Porcello (6-6), SV: Benoit (8))
Thu, 7/11 White Sox LOSE 3-6 (LP: Sanchez (7-6))

Fri, 7/12 Rangers WIN 7-2 (WP: Fister (7-5))
Sat, 7/13 Rangers LOSE 1-7 (LP: Scherzer (13-1))
Sun, 7/14 Rangers WIN 5-0 (WP: Verlander (10-6)) SERIES WIN

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson

Last edited by TigersForever on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:41 am; edited 158 times in total
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Tiger All-Star
Tiger All-Star

Aries Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:04 am

Detroit Tigers 2013 Schedule  


*** All Times Eastern. ***

All games except those listed as ESPN, FS-D PLUS  , and FOX will be shown on FSN-DET (FS-D HD)

Click Score for box score.

2013 Detroit Tigers MLB Schedule LINK


Date, Opponent, Time/Result, Broadcast/Pitcher
Mon, 7/15
Tue, 7/16 84th All-Star Game, AL at NL, at Citi Field
Wed, 7/17
Thu, 7/18
Fri, 7/19 at Royals LOSE 0-1 (LP: Sanchez (7-7))
Sat, 7/20 at Royals LOSE 6-5 (LP: Verlander (10-7))
Sun, 7/21 at Royals WIN 4-1 (WP: Fister (8-5), SV: Benoit (9))
Mon, 7/22 at White Sox WIN 7-3 (WP: Scherzer (14-1))
Tue, 7/23 at White Sox WIN 6-2 (WP: Porcello (7-6))
Wed, 7/24 at White Sox WIN 6-2 (WP: Sanchez (8-7))
Thu, 7/25 at White Sox LOSE 4-7 (LP: Verlander (10-8)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 7/26 Phillies WIN 2-1 (WP: Fister (9-5), SV: Beniot (10))
Sat, 7/27 Phillies WIN 10-0 (WP: Scherzer (15-1))
Sun, 7/28 Phillies WIN 12-4 (WP: Porcello (8-6)) SWEEP
Mon, 7/29 OFF DAY
Tue, 7/30 Nationals
WIN 5-1 (WP: Sanchez (9-7))
Wed, 7/31 Nationals WIN 11-1 (WP: Verlander (11-8)) SWEEP
Thu, 8/1 OFF DAY
Fri, 8/2 White Sox
WIN 2-1 (WP: Fister (10-5), SV: Benoit (11))
Sat, 8/3 White Sox WIN 3-0 (WP: Scherzer (16-1), SV: Beniot (12))
Sun, 8/4 White Sox WIN 3-2 F/12 INNINGS (WP: Rondon (1-1)) SWEEP
Mon, 8/5 at Indians WIN 4-2 (WP: Alburquerque (2-2), SV: Benoit (13))
Tue, 8/6 at Indians WIN 5-1 (WP: Verlander (12-8))
Wed, 8/7 at Indians WIN 6-5 F/14 INNINGS (WP: Bonderman (2-3), SV: Benoit (14))
Thu, 8/8 at Indians WIN 10-3 (WP: Scherzer (17-1)) SWEEP
Fri, 8/9 at Yankees LOSE 3-4 F/10 INNINGS (LP: Alburquerque (2-3))
Sat, 8/10 at Yankees WIN 9-3 (WP: Sanchez (10-7))
Sun, 8/11 at Yankees LOSE 4-5 (LP: Veras (0-5))
Mon, 8/12 at White Sox LOSE 2-6 (LP: Fister (10-6))
Tue, 8/13 at White Sox LOSE 3-4 F/11 INNINGS (LP: Bonderman (2-4))
Wed, 8/14 at White Sox WIN 6-4 (WP: Porcello (9-6), SV: Benoit (15))
Thu, 8/15 Royals WIN 4-1 (WP: Sanchez (11-7), SV: Benoit(16))
Fri, 8/16 Royals LOSE 1-2 (LP: Verlander (12-9))
Fri, 8/16 Royals
LOSE 0-3 (LP: Alvarez (1-3))
Sat, 8/17 Royals WIN 6-5 (WP: Benoit (3-0))
Sun, 8/18 Royals WIN 6-3 (WP: Scherzer (18-1)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 8/19 OFF DAY
Tue, 8/20 Twins
LOSE 3-6 (LP: Porcello (9-7))
Wed, 8/21 Twins WIN 7-1 (WP: Smyly (5-0), SV: Veras (20))
Thu, 8/22 Twins LOSE 6-7 (LP: Rondon (1-2))
Fri, 8/23 at Mets WIN 6-1 (WP: Fister (11-6))
Sat, 8/24 at Mets WIN 3-0 (WP: Scherzer (19-1), SV: Benoit (17))
Sun, 8/25 at Mets WIN 11-3 (WP: Porcello (10-7)) SWEEP
Mon, 8/26 Athletics LOSE 6-8 (LP: Alvarez (1-4))
Tue, 8/27 Athletics LOSE 3-6 F/6 INNINGS RAIN (LP: Verlander (12-10))
Wed, 8/28 Athletics LOSE 4-14 (LP: Fister (11-7))
Thu, 8/29 Athletics WIN 7-6 (WP: Benoit (4-0))
Fri, 8/30 Indians WIN 7-2 F/7 INNINGS RAIN (WP: Porcello (11-7), SV: Rondon (1))
Sat, 8/31 Indians WIN 10-5 (WP: Sanchez (12-7))
Sun, 9/1 Indians LOSE 0-4 (LP: Benoit (4-1)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 9/2 at Red Sox WIN 3-0 (WP: Fister (12-7), SV: Veras (21))
Tue, 9/3 at Red Sox LOSE 1-2 (LP: Scherzer (19-2))
Wed, 9/4 at Red Sox LOSE 4-20 (LP: Porcello (11-8))
Thu, 9/5 OFF DAY
Fri, 9/6 at Royals WIN 16-2 (WP: Sanchez (13-7))
Sat, 9/7 at Royals LOSE 3-4 (LP: Verlander (12-11))
Sun, 9/8 at Royals LOSE 2-5 (LP: Fister (12-8))
Mon, 9/9 at White Sox LOSE 1-5 (LP: Scherzer (19-3))
Tue, 9/10 at White Sox WIN 9-1 (WP: Porcello (12-8))
Wed, 9/11 at White Sox WIN 1-0 (WP: Sanchez (14-7), SV: Benoit (18)) SERIES WIN
Thu, 9/12 OFF DAY
Fri, 9/13 Royals
WIN 6-3 (WP: Verlander (13-11, SV: Benoit (19))
Sat, 9/14 Royals LOSE 0-1 (LP: Fister (12-9))
Sun, 9/15 Royals WIN 3-2 (WP: Smyly (6-0), SV: Benoit (20)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 9/16 Mariners WIN 4-2 (WP: Porcello (13-8), SV: Benoit (21))
Tue, 9/17 Mariners WIN 6-2 (WP: Alburquerque (3-3))
Wed, 9/18 Mariners LOSE 0-8 (LP: Verlander (13-12))
Thu, 9/19 Mariners WIN 5-4 (WP: Fister (13-9), SV: Benoit (22)) SERIES WIN
Fri, 9/20 White Sox WIN 12-5 (WP: Scherzer (20-3))
Sat, 9/21 White Sox WIN 7-6 F/12 INNINGS (WP: Alburquerque (4-3))
Sun, 9/22 White Sox LOSE 3-6 (LP: Sanchez (14-8)) SERIES WIN
Mon, 9/23 at Twins LOSE 3-4 F/11 INNINGS (LP: Putkonen (1-2))
Tue, 9/24 at Twins WIN 4-2 (WP: Fister (14-9), SV: Benoit (23))
Wed, 9/25 at Twins WIN 1-0 (WP: Scherzer (21-3), SV: Benoit (24)) SERIES WIN
Thu, 9/26 OFF DAY
Fri, 9/27 at Marlins LOSE 2-3 (LP: Alvarez (1-5))
Sat, 9/28 at Marlins LOSE 2-1 F/10 INNINGS (LP: Reed (0-1))
Sun, 9/29 at Marlins LOSE 0-1 (LP: Putkonen (1-3)) SWEPT

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson

Last edited by TigersForever on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:39 am; edited 65 times in total
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Tiger All-Star
Tiger All-Star

Aries Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:05 am

Fri, Oct 4@ OaklandW 3-21-0Scherzer (1-0) Colon (0-1) Benoit (1) 48,401
Sat, Oct 5@ OaklandL 1-01-1Balfour (1-0) Alburquerque (0-1) 48,292
Mon, Oct 7vs OaklandL 6-31-2Parker (1-0) Sanchez (0-1) Balfour (1) 43,973
Tue, Oct 8vs OaklandW 8-62-2Scherzer (2-0) Doolittle (0-1) 43,958
Thu, Oct 10
@ Oakland
W 3-0
Verlander (1-0)
Gray (0-1)
Benoit (2)
Sat, Oct 12@ BostonW 1-01-0Sanchez (1-0) Lester (0-1) Benoit (1) 38,210
Sun, Oct 13@ BostonL 6-51-1Uehara (1-0) Porcello (0-1) 38,029
Tue, Oct 15vs BostonL 1-01-2Lackey (1-0) Verlander (0-1) Uehara (1) 42,327
Wed, Oct 16vs BostonW 7-32-2Fister (1-0) Peavy (0-1) 42,765
Thu, Oct 17vs BostonL 4-32-3
Lester (1-1) Sanchez (1-1) Uehara (2) 42,669
Sat, Oct 19@ BostonL 5-22-4Tazawa (1-0) Scherzer (0-1) Uehara (3) 38,823

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson

Last edited by TigersForever on Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:54 am; edited 4 times in total
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:26 pm


“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)
Toledo Mud Hens (AAA)

Location : Too Far From Copa

PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:34 pm

Verlander gets long-awaited Opening Day victory

By Jason Beck / | 4/1/2013 10:03 PM ET


MINNEAPOLIS -- Justin Verlander couldn't help but laugh. He's not used to doing that on Opening Day.

He's not used to a game like this on most days, though.

"Interesting way to get my first Opening Day win, that's for sure," Verlander said with a smile after the Tigers' 4-2 win over the Twins on Monday at frigid Target Field.

Of all the games in which the Tigers were going to unleash the bullpen-by-committee, this seemed like the least likely. Verlander is usually his own bullpen committee, if not his own closer on some days.

Remember, he pitched eight scoreless innings on a beautiful afternoon at Comerica Park to open the 2012 season and ended up with his third straight no-decision after then-closer Jose Valverde blew the save.

Verlander seemed well on his way to a similar gem on Monday thanks to the way he was changing speeds and dropping curveballs on an aggressive Twins lineup. But with 91 pitches through five innings on a day when the temperatures were in the low 30s, he wasn't going to get stretched past 100 pitches.

"He wanted to stay in, obviously, but that's what I get paid for," manager Jim Leyland said. "And he knows in his heart that's the right thing to do early in the season. I wasn't going to take any chances."

As Al Alburquerque was staring down Chris Parmelee with a full count and the bases loaded in the seventh, with the tying run on third base, Verlander seemed poised for the same fate as last year, watching a lead slip away. Alburquerque had other thoughts.

"I was confident," Alburquerque said. "I'm saying, 'I know I can strike out that guy,' because after the second hitter, my slider, I see good spin, and I said, 'I got it. I go.'"

Alburquerque was confident enough that he was willing to throw a slider out of the strike zone on a full count, knowing he'd be walking in a run if Parmelee didn't swing.

"I know he's going to swing," he said. "I threw a couple [of sliders] for a strike, and he said, 'Oh, he throws it for a strike.' If I throw one for a ball, I know he's going to swing, because it looks the same."

Alburquerque did not lack for confidence, nor did Joaquin Benoit after him in a four-out hold, nor Phil Coke after that for the final two outs and the first save of the year. On a day when it looked full well as though Verlander would grab the spotlight and not let go, he watched from the clubhouse while the bullpen-by-committee took over.

"There's no question in my mind," Leyland said, "that was the best move to make for the Tigers organization, for Justin Verlander, for the team. First of the game of the season, to me, was a no-brainer."

Verlander understood, because of the conditions.

"I argued a little bit, tried to get back in there," he said, "but I understand."

Leyland replaced Verlander for the sixth inning hoping that Drew Smyly would be the bridge to the ninth with a three-run lead. Leyland stuck with Smyly after he escaped his first bases-loaded jam with a lone run allowed in the sixth on a wild pitch. The escape really came from Prince Fielder, who scooped Jhonny Peralta's throw out of the dirt at first base for the out.

"Probably the play of the game," Leyland said of the defensive play of Fielder, who doubled in a run with an opposite-field grounder just inside third base in the opening inning before scoring an insurance run on a wild pitch in the eighth.

Once Smyly loaded the bases again in the seventh, this time on back-to-back singles and a one-out walk, Leyland had to make other arrangements. He had to break out the committee sooner than he hoped.

"We did just what we told everybody we were going to be doing," Leyland said. "We mixed and matched. Alburquerque got the big strikeout. He hung the slider to [Ryan] Doumit [for an RBI single], but he got the big strikeout then. That's why we went with him, because we feel he's got the big strikeout pitch."

Alburquerque actually got back-to-back strikeouts to strand the tying run on third in a 3-2 game. He fired back-to-back fastballs past Trevor Plouffe after he swung and missed at a slider, and it gave him the confidence to go from there.

"I tried to get my confidence, and today I got it after the second hitter," Alburquerque said. "I said, 'I can get it. It's my job. I need to pitch good in my role.'"

Said Plouffe: "He pitched me different than he had before, so he won that battle."

Benoit worked more than three outs in just three regular-season appearances in 2011, and seven times last year. Once Andy Dirks' running catch down the left-field line on Joe Mauer stranded Aaron Hicks on first, Leyland had a decision to make for the ninth with the right-handed-hitting Josh Willingham due up.

Fielder's rolling slide into the plate on Josh Roenicke's wild pitch provided the insurance tally for Benoit to start off the ninth. One pitch and one Willingham popup later, Coke dashed in from the bullpen to finish the job.

"It's special to be asked to do it," Coke said. "And yes, if asked, I'm going to do my best. But as Skip said, it's closer-by-committee."

This was the bullpen-by-committee in a game few might have expected it. It worked about as well as they could have planned.

"We're going to be maneuvering. That's what we're going to have to do, and today it worked out pretty good," Leyland said. "But the Verlander thing, that was a no-brainer for me."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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Tiger All-Star
Tiger All-Star

Aries Location : Ohio

PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:37 pm

Victory slips away as Tigers fall on walk-off double
Cabrera tallies two RBI singles; Sanchez throws five shutout innings

By Jason Beck / | 4/3/2013 10:00 PM ET


MINNEAPOLIS -- The setup looked like a copy of Opening Day: Tigers starter throws five scoreless innings but nears pitch count, middle relief bends but doesn't break, strikeout specialist strands tying run in scoring position in the seventh and Joaquin Benoit carries the lead into the ninth for Phil Coke to close out.

Then, with two fastballs and two hits, the ending got sideways. Or, like Eduardo Escobar's two-run double to left, it got carried away. And after Wednesday's 3-2 loss to the Twins at Target Field, the Tigers' bullpen by committee faced the scrutiny manager Jim Leyland predicted he would have the first time Detroit blew a save.

Coke, however, was putting the blame on himself. He's the same guy who was being praised for his two saves in place of Jose Valverde during last October's American League Championship Series. This was the flip side.

He wasn't crestfallen, and he wasn't livid. In that sense, Coke looked and sounded like a closer after a blown save, even if he's just on the committee. He sat in front of his locker, took questions calmly, then reflected.

"I'm annoyed," Coke said. "I'm annoyed with myself, because I'm better than that."

Coke isn't annoyed with the results. He's annoyed with his execution on the final two pitches -- one a fastball that Brian Dozier fought off to line to right field and put tying run at third base with one out, the next a first-pitch fastball over the plate to Escobar.

"Instead of making the adjustment and correcting the mistake from the pitch before, I did the same stupid thing," Coke said. "I'm annoyed with myself, because that can't happen."

The one key difference up until that point was the lack of an insurance run late. Instead of a two-run lead like the one Benoit and Coke carried Monday, a pair of two-out RBI singles from Miguel Cabrera comprised all of Detroit's offense. Both came off starter Kevin Correia, who thwarted other chances to leave with seven quality innings on six hits, none of them for extra bases.

"Any time it's one or two runs, it's just a matter of a base hit and a double, or a triple and a sacrifice fly, and it's a tie game," Leyland said. "So it can happen fast, which it did."

The way starter Anibal Sanchez pitched, it was going to happen off the bullpen. He wasn't efficient, but he was effective, getting three called third strikes among his five strikeouts, two of them with a runner in scoring position.

Like Justin Verlander on Monday, Sanchez's pitch limit was firm at 100. After 95 pitches over five innings, he was out.

Again, the Twins came close to tying it well before the ninth. Darin Downs, who set down the middle of Minnesota's order in the sixth, paid for walking the leadoff man in the seventh when pinch-hitter Wilkin Ramirez doubled him home with two outs off Brayan Villarreal.

Like Al Alburquerque on Monday, Villarreal stranded the tying run with a strikeout, getting Aaron Hicks to chase a 95 mph fastball out of the zone.

Again, Benoit overcame a walk in the eighth and came back out to start the ninth. Unlike Monday, though, he walked the leadoff man, missing on three straight pitches after a 1-2 count to Trevor Plouffe.

Instead of needing two outs with the tying run on deck like Monday, Coke entered needing three outs with the tying run on base. After Chris Parmelee flew out on his first pitch, it took just two pitches to turn.

Like Leyland said, it happened fast.

Coke's history of struggles against right-handed hitters is well-known, including a .396 average (40-for-101) to them last year. This, however, was the bottom of the Twins order. At no point was right-handed specialist Octavio Dotel warming up.

"Once we got Parmelee out, we put ourselves in a pretty good situation," Leyland said. "The next two hitters, Cokey got fastballs up and out over the plate both of them."

Coke didn't try to finesse them. He wanted to jam Dozier on a 1-2 pitch and missed.

"The ball was supposed to be inside to Dozier and it was high-middle, giving him a chance to get the bat on the ball," Coke said.

Coke didn't have much of a chance to debate whether to go for the strikeout on Escobar or to try to get a ground ball. It just happened too fast.

"I got it right down the middle on the first pitch," Escobar said. "I thought I did my job because I hit it in the air and hit it far enough, but I didn't even think it was going to go that far and bring the other run in."

It might be as close as Escobar has come to a home run in 155 career plate appearances in the big leagues. He has just 15 home runs in 614 career Minor League games.

"I kept running," center fielder Austin Jackson said, "and it seemed like it just kept carrying."

The ball fell between him and left fielder Andy Dirks, bouncing at the fence.

"You're both going after it hard," Jackson said. "I think once you start to get closer, you see each other out of the corner of your eye. A lot of people yelling, it's tough for him to hear me or me to hear him. It's just a tough play right there."

It's not a play Coke is going to debate. He'll take it.

"I mean, if a guy still takes a good swing on a fastball and does the same thing and I finish my pitch, then he just beats me," Coke said. "I'm irritated with the result, but I didn't locate. That's on me. I lost the game for us today, and I'm not happy about it."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:14 pm

Tigers drop series as offense stymied vs. Twins

By Jason Beck / | 4/4/2013 6:31 PM ET


MINNEAPOLIS -- This was not a day for the Tigers' closer by committee. This time, the Tigers had the matchups they wanted on the other side and lost.

Instead, it was a day for the Twins to win mixing and matching their relievers.

Yes, the Twins scored more late runs Thursday, this time a five-run eighth inning off Brayan Villarreal. But all it did was turn a close game into an 8-2 Tigers loss in the rubber match of the three-game series at Target Field. In reality, the game turned an inning before that.

The Tigers were a hit away from getting that late lead to hand to their bullpen. They had the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position with Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez coming up. The Twins took the bat out of Miguel Cabrera's hands by walking him. And when Josh Roenicke and Casey Fien pitched Minnesota out of its seventh-inning jam, the Tigers had to have at least a brief flashback to the struggles with runners in scoring position that bothered them in the World Series.

It's a long way from that kind of pressure, even though they scored eight runs for the three-game series, half of them on Opening Day. If they don't get a few more opportunities like that before the pressure picks up, then they'll worry.

"I'll take my chances with that scenario every time," manager Jim Leyland said. "Second, third, nobody out with those guys coming up, I'll take my chances with that every time all year long. That's something I don't worry about."

Compared to Wednesday, when the two innings in which the Tigers scored runs were their only innings with runners in scoring position, they had better opportunities Thursday after two early unearned runs off Mike Pelfrey. None were as good as the seventh-inning opportunity.

Omar Infante's leadoff walk and Austin Jackson's ensuing double put runners at second and third with nobody out against right-hander Josh Roenicke, who quickly recovered to throw three fastballs past former Twin Torii Hunter.

Up came Cabrera, 2-for-2 with a double last year off Roenicke before striking out against him earlier this series. In this case, manager Ron Gardenhire elected to walk Cabrera and take his chances matching up lefty Tyler Robertson with Fielder.

Fielder hit .289 against left-handers last year, a big reason behind his career-best .313 season. He jumped on a second-pitch hanging slider for a tiebreaking three-run home run off Robertson last July at Comerica Park.

This time, Robertson pitched him in reverse.

"Joe [Mauer] told me he thought I could throw a couple fastballs as long as I threw them away," Robertson said. "He's a good fastball hitter, and I was able to throw him two pretty good ones, and I think it surprised him. It sped him up a little bit and I was able to get him out with my slider."

This time, Robertson buried it, and Fielder struggled to stop his bat. Replay showed that Fielder might have checked his swing in time, but the call was immediate.

"It looked like one of those really close ones," Leyland said. "I mean, you always think no when it's on your side and yes when it's on the other side. But he banged it right away. There's not much you can do about it."

It removed the game-tying sacrifice fly opportunity, but it didn't end the threat. Switch-hitting Victor Martinez stepped in, having already singled twice on the day for his first two hits of the series. Gardenhire went with former Tiger Casey Fien, who got ahead of him with changeups on the outside corner before jamming him with a high fastball.

Martinez slammed his bat as the pop fly fluttered to second base.

"He was down, away, and then he went up out of the strike zone up a little bit, and that's what happens sometimes," Leyland said. "You get it up far enough and sometimes the guy will pop it up. If you don't get it up far enough, sometimes the guy hits it out of the park. Today he got it up high enough."

Detroit went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position Thursday, stranding 10 runners. Both of its runs came in part from Twins errors behind Pelfrey.

Jackson singled, stole second, took third on Mauer's errant throw into the outfield and scored on a Hunter groundout in the opening inning. Two innings later, Pedro Florimon's wild throw landed Hunter on second with one out for Cabrera, who lined his third RBI single of the series into left field for a 2-0 lead.

Two home runs off Rick Porcello erased it. Both times, Porcello fell behind batters as he struggled with the curveball that had been his biggest improvement in Spring Trianing.

"With most of our guys, they've had a little trouble being able to get a good feel, especially the offspeed," catcher Alex Avila said. "Rick did struggle with that, especially with his curveball. His curveball's a very good pitch, and that's one of the reasons why he had a really good Spring Training and why I think he'll have a good year."

Josh Willingham's two-run homer in the bottom of the inning tied it. Trevor Plouffe's fourth-inning solo homer turned out to be the deciding tally.

"That's what good hitters do when you fall behind and you miss with fastballs over the plate," Porcello said. "That was just a product of two poorly pitched at-bats on my part."

The eighth-inning rally left the Twins with 10 runs in 10 innings against the Tigers bullpen for the series. That said, the Tigers scored eight runs in 27 innings for the series, only one of them off the relief corps.

Leyland will take his chances with those matchups. They didn't work out Thursday.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:48 pm

Pair of Prince homers power Tigers in home opener
After Fister allows dinger, Fielder puts Detroit ahead, then pads lead

By Jason Beck / | 4/5/2013 6:51 PM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers spent three games in Minnesota looking for a big hit. They came home Friday to find two of them in a familiar place from a familiar face.

This is what the Tigers' collection of power bats can do, turn a season-opening hitting slump into a blip. They couldn't find that big hit over three chilly afternoons in Minnesota, Prince Fielder included. It wasn't that much warmer in Detroit, but it felt borderline balmy by the time Fielder's second home run of the afternoon carried the Tigers on their way to an 8-3 win over the Yankees before the largest home opener crowd in Comerica Park history.

"Hitting is contagious in general," said Alex Avila, who added a tape-measure solo homer in between Fielder's fifth- and seventh-inning drives.

It didn't spark a scoring binge, the go-ahead three-run homer Fielder drove just over the right-field railing and off a fan's head. The only hits in between his home runs were Avila's no-doubt drive in the sixth and an ensuing single from Austin Jackson. Yet by changing the scoreboard, it changed the feeling.

The Tigers didn't need a barrage of hits to turn this game, just like they didn't need many in three games at Minnesota. One did the trick.

Asked how much one game like that can carry over, Fielder shrugged.

"A lot, I hope," Fielder said. "That's the plan."

Those hits aren't necessarily contagious for Fielder, though it marked his 25th career multi-homer game and third in just over a season with the Tigers. He said he tries not to linger on at-bats, one side or the other. If he did, he might have had a tougher afternoon.

Not only did Twins pitching hold the Tigers to three doubles for their only extra-base hits in their season-opening series, but Detroit had yet to drive in multiple runs with a hit. Fielder was one of the Tigers who had a chance Thursday before Twins lefty Tyler Robertson struck him out on a close checked swing with the bases loaded in the seventh inning of a one-run game.

From there, the Twins pulled away, making a close contest unrecognizable by the end.

"Fortunately in baseball, you can make it up the next day," Fielder said. "That's the beauty of it. It's obviously not the best feeling at the time, but you can do it tomorrow."

If anything was a spark for Fielder on Friday, it might have been the out that preceded the home runs. He hit a screaming drive to right field in the fourth inning that sent former Tiger Brennan Boesch crashing into the right-field fence to make the catch as Fielder froze along the first-base line.

Fielder claims he didn't feel he was getting his swing locked in at that point. His teammates might have had other ideas.

"You try to forget each at-bat whether you do good or bad, just because you have another at-bat," Fielder said. "I just knew that at-bat, I hit it hard. In some way, you have to find some positive out of it, even though you're out."

He didn't get another shot against Yankees starter Ivan Nova. The right-hander was out when he hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch at the bottom of his left hand, extending the fifth inning with two runners on and the Tigers down one after Kevin Youkilis' two-run homer in the top of the inning.

Like the Twins before, the Yankees tried to set up the lefty-lefty scenario by going to southpaw Boone Logan, who had held Fielder to a single in six career at-bats over the last two seasons, including last year's American League Championship Series.

Unlike Robertson on Thursday, Logan missed with a slider, and he did not catch Fielder off guard with a fastball after that.

"I threw him a first pitch with a slider, and I was trying to go down and away with a heater," Logan said. "The pitch was way out of the zone, but it looks like he was sitting hard and he was able to get to it."

Manager Jim Leyland has seen that before. After Fielder struck out Thursday, he said he'd take his chances getting those situations all year, even lefty against lefty. It worked in his favor Friday.

"Particularly with power hitters, you never know when they're going to explode," Leyland said. "They can explode at any time. But Prince Fielder's an outstanding hitter. He's a better pure hitter than I thought he was."

Fielder's 31st home run as a Tiger was the 11th go-ahead homer in the bunch.

"I wouldn't say we were down, but it was right after Youkilis hit that home run and it's like, 'OK, we have to grind it out,'" Avila said. "Boom, he hits that home run and all of a sudden we're up again. That kind of gets you going."

Avila's no-doubt drive to right field padded the lead before Cabrera walked leading off the seventh. Fielder got a hanging slider from Kelley and skied it deep to right.

"It's like we were in a competition to see who could hit it the farthest," Avila said. "It's like I'm losing every time."

More importantly for Avila, the Tigers were not. The rally made a winner out of Doug Fister, who battled through the command problems that plagued him in Spring Training to last five innings. All three runs came in the fifth, one on a wild pitch before Youkilis hit his two-run homer.

Drew Smyly took the bullpen-by-committee scenario out of play by pitching the last four innings, earning the first four-inning save by a Tiger since Esteban Yan in 2004.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 06, 2013 9:38 pm

Tigers' hit parade continues against Yankees
Top of the order key as Detroit chases Hughes in fifth, collects 17 knocks

By Jason Beck / | 4/6/2013 9:48 PM ET


DETROIT -- In case you forgot last fall, this is what a fully functioning lineup looks like when hitters get going. Actually, this might be better.

Austin Jackson starts it all. Torii Hunter was the missing piece.

"Austin gets on base, and you've got to commend him. He's the table-setter for us," Hunter said. "And those guys at the table, Prince Fielder and [Miguel] Cabrera, those guys want to eat. So I've got to kind of be the server."

With back-to-back wins against the Yankees, it's looking like a feast. Not even former Tigers nemesis Phil Hughes could push them back from the table in Saturday's 8-4 win.

After scoring a total of eight runs in a season-opening three-game series at Minnesota, including two runs in back-to-back losses, the Tigers have now scored eight runs in back-to-back games, something they hadn't done against the Yankees since 2004.

Detroit's offense has found its panacea with New York's pitching staff, with a chance at a three-game sweep if the Tigers can hit CC Sabathia, their first opposing left-handed starter of the season. They have found a catalyst in Jackson, who led off the season with a base hit and seemingly hasn't cooled down since.

Jackson has reached base to lead off the opening inning in each of the Tigers' first five games, including Saturday when Yankees shortstop Jayson Nix booted a ground ball for an error. Four times, the Tigers have brought him around and driven him in, three times on an out.

"Hopefully it can kind of put some pressure on them early in the ballgame," Jackson said. "I'm really trying to focus on getting good pitches, having good at-bats and getting on there for the guys behind me. It just puts a lot pressure on the opposing teams."

On Saturday, it had to feel like a replay for Yankees pitching. Jackson led off four of the Tigers' eight innings, and reached base in three of them. All three times, the hitters that followed drove him in.

Add Jackson's four times on base with a three-hit game from Hunter and a four-hit performance from Cabrera, and the top third of Detroit's order accounted for seven of the eight runs.

"It's a long season, we just have to keep this going," Cabrera said. "We have to stay focused and do our jobs so we can win as many games as we can."

Jackson had a .377 on-base percentage last year, including .393 in his first at-bat of the game, so it isn't a major jump for him. Out of the 56 times he reached base to start off a game last year, he scored 33 runs. Add in other innings he led off, and the on-base percentage rose to .409, with 60 runs out of 107 times on base.

That success, though, came without a consistent hitter batting second in the lineup to bridge the gap between Jackson and Cabrera. Hunter, like he did batting between Mike Trout and Albert Pujols with the Angels, seems to be thriving in it.

"When I see Austin over there and I've got these guys hitting behind me, I've never been that guy to have hitters like Cabrera, Prince and last year Pujols hitting behind me," Hunter said. "And that's a lot of fun. I've always hit behind the [Justin] Morneaus and [Joe] Mauers and Vladimir Guerreros, and I was their protection. Who wants Torii as their protection?"

Hunter's game, in turn, has adjusted.

"I don't swing as hard," he said. "I just try to stay inside the ball, shoot it to the right side sometimes, not all the time. I'm more mature at the plate."

The error by Nix, filling in for injured shortstops Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez, put Jackson on base before Cabrera's single sent him from first to third ahead of Fielder's sacrifice fly.

Vernon Wells' homer off Max Scherzer leading off the next inning promptly tied the game, setting up a pitching duel for the next few innings despite command problems for both starters. Hughes stranded Hunter and Cabrera in scoring position on Brett Gardner's sliding catch to rob Victor Martinez in the third, then struck out Ramon Santiago to leave Jhonny Peralta on second in the fourth.

Once Jackson singled leading off the fifth, however, Hughes never recovered. Hunter added another opposite-field hit, but powered it all the way to the right-field fence for an RBI double, before Cabrera singled him home and chased Hughes.

"I think it puts more pressure on the other team when those guys are out there and you've got the big guys coming up," manager Jim Leyland said. "That's pretty stressful."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi tried to stop the bleeding by giving lefty Boone Logan a rematch with Fielder, who homered off him to break open Friday's 8-3 win. This time, Fielder's single moved Cabrera along for a Martinez sac fly and an Andy Dirks single.

Once Peralta greeted Phelps with an RBI single, the Tigers had a 5-1 lead. Three Yankees runs in the sixth nearly brought them back, fueled by two walks each from Scherzer (1-0) and reliever Al Alburquerque ahead of Lyle Overbay's two-run single. Alburquerque stranded the potential tying run on third with a Nix groundout, then Darin Downs held down the Yankees' offense for a pair of innings.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi complained to home-plate umpire Jerry Layne that Alburquerque was balking on his move out of the stretch, but didn't get the call.

"I think Alburquerque balks every time," Girardi said. "One time his foot goes up twice. One time it goes up once. If a guy's trying to steal a base and he goes up twice one time and goes up once one time, if you're going to squeeze, you don't know when to go as the runner. I think it's a balk."

Back-to-back singles from Jackson and Hunter leading off the sixth set up two insurance runs in the sixth, including a Dirks RBI single.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Apr 07, 2013 7:25 pm

Verlander, hot-hitting Tigers cooled off by CC, Yanks
Righty has one bad inning; Detroit held to four singles by New York lefty

By Jason Beck / | 4/7/2013 6:52 PM ET


DETROIT -- Mariano Rivera has had a history of dominant saves against the Tigers. Sunday wasn't one of them, if only because it wasn't close enough to be a save.

If Sunday ends up being Rivera's last appearance on the mound at Comerica Park, it'll be an anticlimactic closing to his brilliant career in one of the many venues he has dazzled. As he sent down Torii Hunter swinging to close out the ninth with runners at the corners, he was finishing off a 7-0 Tigers loss that thwarted what would have been their first regular-season series sweep of the Yankees at Comerica Park since 2000, the year the ballpark opened.

Rivera has allowed six runs, five earned, in 58 2/3 innings against Detroit for his career, and only one run since 2000. Even if the Tigers could have matched that career damage, they still would have needed another run.

For a team that put up eight runs in each of the first two games of the series, and 17 hits on Saturday, it was an abrupt reminder that these are still the Yankees, such as they are.

Or as manager Jim Leyland said, it was a "blah" game.

"We just didn't do much with CC [Sabathia] today, obviously," Leyland said. "That's why it's a great game. That's why it's a strange game. You get all those hits yesterday and you come back out today and that's why I always emphasize how pitching normally dictates everything. And CC pretty much dictated the pace today."

The Tigers had Justin Verlander on the mound, Miguel Cabrera and Austin Jackson on a tear, and a bullpen relatively well-rested. They not only had a chance at the sweep; they were an outburst away from three straight eight-run games against the Yankees for the first time since 1945.

The Yankees had Sabathia facing questions about his velocity coming out of Spring Training, and an injury-depleted lineup that featured Jayson Nix making another start at shortstop as the third option there with Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez both injured.

The Yankees won out, and it wasn't close. Thanks to seven shutout innings from Sabathia, a two-run homer from Nix was enough to put the Bronx Bombers in command. Once the Yankees added two runs each off Phil Coke and Octavio Dotel, it was a runaway.

The Tigers' drubbing of Sabathia to finish off an American League Championship Series sweep last October might never be forgotten, but Sabathia beat the Tigers three times in the regular season, striking out 20 batters over 21 2/3 innings.

He didn't have to humble hitters with velocity. This version of Sabathia simply mixed.

"He loved his fastball, but over the years, he's gotten smarter as a pitcher," said Hunter, who accounted for one of Detroit's four singles off Sabathia. "He's just hitting his spots, using his fastball to set up pitches. And I think CC's actually better as a pitcher. He's a pitcher now, and not a thrower."

Detroit's other three hits off Sabathia came from two reserves making their first starts as Tigers. Matt Tuiasosopo singled twice and walked, and he was the only Tiger in scoring position against Sabathia, while Brayan Pena sent Nix deep enough at short for a ground ball to get an infield single for his first hit as a Tiger. Sabathia succeeded by holding Cabrera, Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez 0-for-9 combined.

"That's an unbelievable lineup," Sabathia said. "We definitely worked harder than the final number indicates. I'm sure if I face them again, they're going to be tough. That's a good lineup."

Verlander, too, was mixing his pitches over 7 1/3 innings, but paid dearly for two of them against the bottom of the order in the second inning.

Francisco Cervelli had never faced Verlander, but he teed off on a 91-mph fastball and drove it deep into the gap in left-center field for a double, scoring Ichiro Suzuki. Tuiasosopo, making his first Tigers start in left field, seemingly took a wrong first step on the ball, but seemed too far away to run it down even with a good read.

Verlander retired Lyle Overbay, but fell behind on Nix, 1-for-11 with five strikeouts off Verlander for his career to that point. With a 2-1 count, Pena -- catching Verlander for the first time in a regular-season game -- called for a changeup.

"I blame myself on that one," Pena said. "I should have gone with something else."

Leyland, for his part, emphasizes that the pitcher has final responsibility for what is thrown, since he has the right to shake off a sign.

"I think he probably questioned his own selection, and obviously the execution of the pitch; probably both of those weren't real good," Leyland said.

Nix jumped on the pitch and sent it out to left for his first home run of the year.

"It was over the middle," Nix said. "My approach allowed me to stay on it and put a good swing on it. He's hard to predict anyway. He doesn't really get into patterns. He's got four good pitches he can throw for a strike at any time, and he doesn't really get into patterns."

Nix barely missed a second home run, pulling a drive foul into the left-field corner leading off the seventh. He settled for a single before he singled and scored off Dotel in the ninth inning to complete a three-hit game.

Verlander (1-1) left one batter into the eighth, having allowed three runs on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings with two walks and four strikeouts.

Rivera allowed a couple of bloop hits, but completed his inning with the same result he has posted so many times before. Instead of completing a save, he finished off the Tigers' first regular-season shutout loss since last July 17, 13-0, to the Angels.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
Mark Fidrych
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Apr 09, 2013 6:39 pm

Miggy's blast backs impressive Anibal in win

By Jason Beck / | 4/9/2013 6:15 PM ET


DETROIT -- Brandon Morrow led the American League in strikeouts per nine innings in 2011, and he fanned eight Cleveland Indians over six innings in his last start. He had nine two-strike counts out of 21 batters against the Tigers on Tuesday, but no strikeouts.

Morrow had eight guys reach base with two outs in an inning. His day ended with two outs in the fourth inning when Miguel Cabrera cleared them.

That, as much as anything, might tell the story about the offense in the Tigers' 7-3 win over the Blue Jays at Comerica Park. On a day the Tigers welcomed school field trips to Comerica Park for their Math Day promotion, they leveraged the numbers.

The Tigers had plenty of other statistics, too, from Cabrera's second four-hit performance in three games to Prince Fielder's four times on base to Torii Hunter's three hits to reach 2,000 for his career. But they had very few bad at-bats.

The Tigers missed out on chances to add on, leaving the bases loaded against Morrow in the third inning and failing to convert a bases-loaded, no-out opportunity against Esmil Rogers in the seventh. Yet on a day when Anibal Sanchez struck out eight Jays over seven innings of two-run ball, they did plenty.

"This lineup, it's amazing," Sanchez said. "That's why I took the decision to come back here. I know that we have a pretty good team. I know that right now we have Victor [Martinez] out, but if you put out that lineup, I think everybody has to play harder. They have to play hard with us."

Morrow threw 52 of his 83 pitches for strikes, but lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits. He had plenty of quality pitches to get ahead of hitters, but nothing to finish them off.

"I kept throwing my slider in the dirt," Morrow said. "I tried to make an adjustment that last at-bat to Hunter and left it up a little bit. They just weren't biting on the stuff when I was ahead in the count. They got back into some counts, I left some pitches over the plate when I was ahead, and that was kind of the whole game."

The Tigers, in turn, made him pay. Four of the five runs they scored off Morrow came after he had two outs and nobody on.

Cabrera was actually the catalyst in the first rally, singling to continue the first inning for Fielder to drive him in with a double to the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field. Alex Avila, seeing his first pitch at the plate since he became a father on Sunday, lofted it beyond the fence in right field leading off the second inning for a 2-0 lead.

Cabrera nearly had another RBI on his third-inning single, getting an 0-2 fastball down and in and grounding it through the right side before Rajai Davis threw out Hunter trying to score. A pair of two-out walks, including Avila after an 0-2 count, loaded the bases before Morrow escaped with a Jhonny Peralta groundout.

Still, with this lineup, Morrow was tempting fate. The fourth inning was one time too many.

Hunter's early tear was already well known, especially his ability to hit to the opposite field with Austin Jackson on base. Once Jackson hit a ground ball through the middle to extend the inning, Hunter took a fastball and fouled off another before Morrow thought he had him set up.

"He got us down early by keeping a little cutter low and away, and we couldn't really do much with it," Hunter said. "And then with two strikes, he'd elevate and we were able to do something with it."

With a 3-1 count on Cabrera, Morrow had two choices: Load the bases for Fielder, or challenge Cabrera -- who already had two hits -- with a strike. Cabrera got to the slider and sent it down the right-field line. It was his first home run of the year, and the first example of the year of him hitting to right field with authority.

"To me, he's the best opposite-field home run hitter, probably in the history of the game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I've never seen anything like it, to be honest with you. I truly believe that. I think he's got the best opposite-field power of anybody I've ever seen."

Cabrera became the first player with 100 home runs in Comerica Park, once known among the toughest home-run parks for hitters. Hunter became the 14th active Major League player to 2,000 hits when he singled off Rogers in the sixth, again working his way out of an 0-2 count.

In fact, the Tigers didn't have a strikeout until their final out of the day, when Edgar Gonzalez fanned Peralta to end the eighth inning. If not for that, they would've had their first game with at least 15 hits and no strikeouts for the first time since 1982, and just their second since 1958, according to research on

Sanchez (1-0) retired his last seven batters he faced after Melky Cabrera singled in Jose Reyes in the fifth to draw Toronto to within 5-2. He was helped by Don Kelly's catch to take a home run away from J.P. Arencibia leading off the second inning.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:16 pm

Tigers unable to keep Blue Jays grounded
After club builds five-run lead, Porcello, Villarreal help give it all back

By Jason Beck / | 4/10/2013 9:38 PM ET


DETROIT -- No, Wednesday was not a good day for relievers at Comerica Park.

Darin Downs, who nearly lost his life to a fractured skull off a line drive four years ago, barely dodged a liner up the middle. Octavio Dotel took a comebacker in the groin, made the out, then hunched over in pain. Darren Oliver took a liner off his arm.

By the time the Tigers' rain-delayed, walk-lengthened 8-6 loss to the Jays was finished, it was Brayan Villarreal who was hurting. He wasn't hit, literally or figuratively. That's the problem.

It wasn't a comebacker, but a comeback.

"We had a 6-1 lead," manager Jim Leyland said, "and we let it get away."

For Villarreal's part, it wasn't a big hit, but three consecutive seventh-inning walks. The only contact was a pair of foul balls from Edwin Encarnacion to go to a 1-2 count before Villarreal missed low on three consecutive fastballs to load the bases.

The only other swing out of Villarreal's 19 pitches was a miss from the next hitter, Mark DeRosa, to bring up another 1-2 count. Again, Villarreal missed on three consecutive fastballs, again low and out of the strike zone.

"I couldn't control my fastball or my slider," Villarreal explained as reporters huddled around his locker. "I think it's something with my mechanics that I have to work on."

The next pitch the Jays put in play was the 0-1 pitch from Dotel that J.P. Arencibia lined to the fence in left-center field to clear the bases and put Toronto up for good.

Perhaps it was karma after back-to-back bases-loaded walks to Victor Martinez and Andy Dirks, neither of whom swung the bat, pushed the Tigers to a 6-1 lead in the fifth inning. But Villarreal's struggles weren't cosmic.

"It looked to me like he just threw a couple great pitches to start hitters and then just was spiking the ball in the dirt, just totally missing," Leyland said. "And I don't really know how to explain that, whether he got just hyped up and tried to throw a little bit harder, make a little better pitch. I don't know, but obviously his rhythm and stuff was not good or you don't throw that many balls."

When Villarreal has his mechanics down, he has shown himself to be one of the nastier relievers in Detroit's bullpen. His 2012 numbers show it, even with a miserable start and perplexing finish. From May through August last season, he allowed 32 hits over 43 2/3 innings, with 17 walks, 58 strikeouts and opponents batting just .204 off him.

His struggles in September kept him off the postseason roster, but his success in the summer helped keep Detroit's bullpen intact. Team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski this offseason cited one talent evaluator telling him Villarreal has the best stuff of any young reliever in the league he had seen. An American League scout suggested recently that Villarreal should be a closing option.

If the Tigers are going to make a bullpen by committee work this year for any stretch, he's going to have to get big outs. Through two outings this year, he has struggled to find them. Villarreal has now allowed eight runs on four hits and five walks this season, retiring just four batters.

Villarreal believes it's a mechanical issue involving his shoulder.

"It's something that I have to look at with my pitching coach on the video and start working on," he said.

The problem is that with a bullpen by committee, the Tigers can't easily hide a reliever while he works through some issues. Even sidelining a pitcher for a couple days to throw a side session and work on mechanics has ramifications for the rest of the group and the matchups Leyland faces to get through the ninth. The way Villarreal has struggled, though, he might have little choice.

"If people are here, they have to pitch," Leyland said. "I mean, you don't just bring guys up here to sit them and say, 'He's on the big league team, but we're not going to pitch him.' I thought you have a guy that throws 95, 96, 97 mph with a good slider, and you've got four right-handed hitters coming up.

"I don't want to sound like I'm defending my decision, because I'm not. I would make the same decision again. He's got to pitch. We've got to see if he can do it. It's that simple."

That's what Leyland is doing with much of his relief corps. The questions have focused on Joaquin Benoit and Phil Coke in the ninth inning. But with those two, especially Benoit, preferred for the ninth, it means others have to cover the seventh and eighth innings. On Tuesday, the eighth inning fell to Drew Smyly and Al Alburquerque. On Saturday, Alburquerque and Downs carried Detroit's lead for three innings to Benoit.

Complicating matters Wednesday was the sudden demise of starter Rick Porcello, who carried the 6-1 lead into the sixth inning before giving up three straight hits and a run.

"That's the biggest thing. I have to be able to record an out there, at least, and make it easier on our bullpen coming in," Porcello said.

All of the Tigers' relievers have had at least one outing so far when they've given up damage. And all but Villarreal have had an outing when they've looked dominant. Downs' first hiccup came Wednesday, when pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa greeted him with a double to drive in the two runners Downs inherited from Porcello.

"We've got to find out what guys can do," Leyland said. "That's as simple as it is. We'll see how it plays out."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:19 pm

Cabrera, Fielder lead Tigers' offense in rubber game
Miggy gets first triple since 2010, Prince reaches all four times at bat

By Jason Beck / | 4/11/2013 4:08 PM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers couldn't hold onto a five-run lead Wednesday, so they doubled it on Thursday. They didn't slug their way past the Blue Jays, they sprinted by them.

By the late innings of the chilly, rainy 11-1 rubber-game win at Comerica Park, the only suspense left was whether the weather would allow them to get in nine innings, which it did. The disappointment of Wednesday's loss was a distant memory.

The lead was insurmountable. The way they put it together was rather incredible.

"Speed," Miguel Cabrera said with a smile, then a laugh.

On a day with a 35-degree first-pitch temperature -- the coldest for a Tigers home game since 1996, according to STATS -- and a steady, often wind-blown rain, the Tigers warmed up by staying in motion. They bounced back from Wednesday's disappointment by running the bases time and again.

The sight of Cabrera standing on third in the opening inning, unchallenged, after taking off from second arguably set the theme for the day. It's not that rare -- he actually stole third last year and did it one other time as a Tiger. This one, though, was uncontested.

Josh Johnson didn't even deliver a pitch to the plate. Catcher J.P. Arencibia couldn't throw to third, because nobody was covering.

"I'm not a fast runner, so I need to be a little bit smart," Cabrera said. "If I have a chance to do something, I have to make sure I'm going to be safe, 100 percent. Because [if it's] 90 percent, I'm going to be out. I have to be sure."

Once Victor Martinez sent a ground ball through the left side shortly after that, Cabrera had manufactured a run. He had reached base on a two-out walk and moved to second when Johnson lost Prince Fielder out of an 0-2 count.

If Cabrera had stayed on second, suffice to say, his chances of scoring on Martinez's hit would have been a lot less than 90 percent.

"Cabrera is really a very good baserunner," manager Jim Leyland said, "and so is Prince Fielder. They're not obviously the fastest guys, but they're pretty instinctive on the bases."

Said Cabrera: "It worked out good. If I'm out at third base, it's going to be a big mistake."

When he was safe, it was a surprise. When he ended up on third base with a triple an inning later, it was a rarity.

Not since July 6, 2010, when Cabrera hit a drive to the depths of Comerica Park off Baltimore's Jason Berken, had he hit a triple. He had been good for two triples a season annual through 2008. When his second-inning drive to the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field eluded Rajai Davis' sliding attempt at the warning track, Cabrera was headed to third standing up.

As many feats as he had accomplished in his potential Hall of Fame career, he had never tripled and stolen a base in the same game. Somehow, he did it in some of the most miserable conditions on a ball field.

"That's impressive," said Austin Jackson, the American League's leader in triples in each of the last two seasons. "That's just another thing that makes you look up and say 'Wow, this guy, he can do it all.'"

The only other extra-base hit for the Tigers was Fielder's double in a four-run fifth. Among the rest of their 14 hits was a bunt single from Omar Infante that refused to roll foul down the first-base line and three Jackson singles.

It was the first time since 1976 the Tigers put up 11 runs and 16 hits in a game with just two extra-base hits, neither of them home runs, according to Johnson, Cabrera's former Marlins teammate, absorbed six runs on seven hits while recording just four outs.

"They took it to us all series really," Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It seems like everybody in that lineup is hitting about .350."

They pulled it off with an assault of aggressive baserunning, not just from Cabrera. Torii Hunter went from first to home on both of Detroit's extra-base hits. Alex Avila went from first to second on Infante's second-inning sacrifice fly, which allowed him to score on Jackson's bloop single a few pitches later.

"We played the game well today, man," Hunter said. "For the conditions we had, we ran the bases well, we had timely hitting, played good defense, pitching was great today. For these kind of conditions, wet, cold, rainy, I was pretty impressed. That was fun."

For those conditions, too, Doug Fister pitched masterfully.

The 6-1 lead after two innings was the same margin the Tigers enjoyed after five on Wednesday before the Jays jumped on Rick Porcello and the Tigers bullpen. Fister took middle relief out of the mix with the longest outing by a Tigers starter this season.

Fister (2-0), who struggled through Spring Training before delivering five innings of three-run ball in Detroit's home opener, looked unaffected by the weather in eight innings of one-run ball. His five strikeouts included an array of breaking balls most Tigers pitchers have struggled to throw in the cold.

The only extra-base hit among the eight he allowed was Jose Bautista's wind-blown double that just eluded Hunter's diving attempt.

"A lot of it is mindset, staying with what works on a normal day, whether it's 92 degrees or 35 degrees," Fister said. "Let's stick with what we're trained to do. You find a little fine-tune adjustment through throwing it. It's different in the bullpen. It's different in the game."

There was a lot different about Thursday.

"That's a good win after a tough one like yesterday," Leyland said. "To come out like we did under those conditions, it's pretty impressive. I'm proud of them."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“When you're a winner you're always happy, but if you're happy as a loser you'll always be a loser.”
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:02 am

Tigers open West Coast swing with loss in extras

By Willie Bans / Special to | 4/13/2013 2:15 AM ET


OAKLAND -- The West Coast may be drier and sunnier, but it is no more friendly

The Tigers learned that the hard way Friday night as they watched the Oakland A's come back from a three-run deficit to win, 4-3, as Josh Donaldson hit a home run in the 12th inning to extend the Oakland winning streak to nine games. It was Donaldson's first career walk-off hit.

"We got no complaints about that," manager Jim Leyland said. "The guy hit the ball over the fence. It wasn't like we walked somebody. The guy hit it over the fence. You gotta tip your hat to them."

Tigers reliever Brayan Villarreal started the 12th inning for the Tigers (5-5), and with one out on a 1-0 fastball, surrendered the line-drive shot, close to the right-field foul pole and 330-foot mark. Villarreal (0-2) took the loss, while A's reliever Chris Resop (1-0), who recorded one out, notched the win.

"I was looking for a fastball," Donaldson said. "He throws pretty hard. I didn't want to be overaggressive. ... I didn't know it was out because I never hit one over there."

Detroit just missed out on its own solo home run a half-inning earlier. Ramon Santiago faced reliever Jerry Blevins with two outs and on the first pitch knocked a slider to deep left-center, hitting near the top of the out-of-town scoreboard for a triple. Blevins exited, Austin Jackson worked the righty reliever Resop to a full count but flied out to center.

"It just happens," Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer said of Santiago's near-homer. "Baseball. That's why you play 162. I was watching the game. We were hitting some balls hard at people. [Santiago] hits it four inches away from a home run. That's just the way it goes sometimes. We played hard tonight. That's what you hang your hat on."

Though Scherzer said he didn't have the best command of his breaking pitches, he rebounded after a shaky first start striking out 11 while throwing 100 pitches (65 strikes) in six innings. He allowing five hits and one walk. Despite not getting a decision, he lowered his ERA from 7.20 to 4.91. Tigers pitchers totaled 17 strikeouts.

"I just didn't have good command of all my stuff tonight," Scherzer said. "When need be, I did execute in full counts and with runners on base. I was able to use my changeup."

When the going got tough, Scherzer just struck out the A's (9-2). With the Tigers leading 3-1 in the sixth, Jed Lowrie led off with a double to left. Josh Reddick, in his first game back from a sprained right wrist, singled on a grounder between the right infield gap to score Lowrie and made it 3-2. Scherzer then struck out three of some of the A's best bats in a row -- Yoenis Cespedes (fastball), Brandon Moss (changeup) and John Jaso (changeup) -- to end the threat.

Lefty reliever Drew Smyly started the seventh, struck out the first batter, then yielded a double to right-center by Donaldson. Smyly got pinch-hitter Andy Parrino to ground out, then on a 1-2 count surrendered Coco Crisp's broken bat single just over shortstop Jhonny Peralta to tie the game, 3-3.

Crisp, the A's center fielder, left the game in the 10th inning with a strained left groin.

Prince Fielder went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and fell a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, but his teammates didn't have as much success against starting pitcher Bartolo Colon and the A's bullpen.

Colon worked efficiently and almost got away unscathed were it not for Fielder, especially his big blast in the third. Jackson and Andy Dirks singled before Fielder smashed a two-out home run over the left-center field wall on a 1-2 belt-high fastball for his third homer of the year.

With Fielder's homer accounting for the runs against him, Colon walked none in his seven innings, striking out five and scattering eight hits in 85 pitches (60 strikes).

The series opener was a rematch of last year's American League Division Series, which Detroit won in five games, and it was the first game of the Tigers' nine-game West Coast road trip.

Willie Bans is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:53 pm

Ballpark can't contain homer-happy Tigers
Verlander solid in six innings; Torii, Prince, Peralta go deep

By Willie Bans / Special to | 4/13/2013 9:40 PM ET


OAKLAND -- Tailgating since 8:30 a.m., a lot of A's fans showed up at Coliseum to watch the pitcher who was the reason the fleece blanket given away Saturday said "American League West Division Champions," and not potentially "AL Champions."

On the mound, Justin Verlander tried not to think about the past or the A's nine-game winning streak.

But Verlander said the 35,067 fans who sold out the game "reminded me with their boos."

After defeating the A's twice in the AL Division Series last season, including a shutout in the fifth and deciding game at the Coliseum, Verlander and his team's three home runs helped the Tigers defeat the A's, 7-3, on Saturday in the place where he is the stubborn nemesis, the adversary who throws strikes even in the face of high-pitch-count adversity.

Verlander, 8-5 with a 2.32 ERA in 14 career starts against Oakland, was victorious yet again.

"He did what he normally does," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He did throw a lot of behind-in-the-count offspeed pitches, which he can do. That's the mark of a good pitcher. I wouldn't say he had his best stuff."

Facing a starting lineup without three of its top hitters -- Coco Crisp and Yoenis Cespedes (both sustained injuries Friday), and Jed Lowrie (day off) -- Verlander (2-1) permitted just one run, three hits and three walks while striking out six. Despite helping Detroit improve to 6-5 on the season, he felt he could have done better.

"Obviously I would have liked to go longer than six [innings]," Verlander said. "Not executing on some pitches caused me to throw more than I had to."

Verlander got into some long counts and threw 111 pitches (75 strikes), but he faced three batters in three of his frames and never faced more than five in an inning.

Detroit used the long ball for its first five runs: a 468-foot moon shot by Torii Hunter in the third to tie it at 1, a go-ahead solo shot by Prince Fielder in the fourth and a three-run homer three batters later from Jhonny Peralta.

Fielder reached base in all four of his plate appearances, including two walks, and extended his hitting streak to eight games with 17 RBIs in the stretch.

"He's locked in pretty good," manager Jim Leyland said. "Probably as good as I've seen him."

A day after getting only two pinch-hit at-bats, Hunter fouled off four pitches and drove an 0-2 slider to the higher left-field stands in the third for his first homer of the year -- and first as a Tiger.

"That was awesome," Fielder said of Hunter's blast. "Great swing."

The Tigers really got to A's starter Brett Anderson (1-2) in the fourth, when it took him 26 pitches to stumble out of the inning. It included Fielder's fourth home run this season, which flew over the center-field wall on a 1-1 fastball for a 2-1 lead. On a 2-2 count to Peralta, Anderson threw a ball and lost his balance on his follow through. On the next pitch, Peralta drove a fastball to the left-field stands for a three-run homer and 5-1 lead.

"We got a couple of balls up," Leyland said. "[Anderson is] one of the better pitchers in the game."

The A's lone run off Verlander came with two outs in the second. Derek Norris hit a laser to third and deflected off of Miguel Cabrera's glove into left for an RBI single, giving Oakland a 1-0 lead.

Verlander did not allow a walk until one out in the fourth, when he yielded two in a row. But two strikeouts ended the inning, in which he labored with 31 pitches.

Detroit chased Anderson with two outs in the sixth, when Brayan Pena, filling in for catcher Alex Avila, doubled to right-center. Omar Infante was stealing on the pitch and scored to make it a 6-1 lead. Reliever Pat Neshek entered, and the next batter, Austin Jackson, drove a double to left and plated Pena for a 7-1 lead.

Anderson's line: eight hits, three walks, seven runs allowed and two strikeouts.

Al Alburquerque began the seventh on the mound for the Tigers and allowed a two-out, two-run double to Chris Young that cut the lead to 7-3. Phil Coke entered and got Josh Reddick to ground out.

Melvin was ejected in the eighth inning by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher for arguing balls and strikes after Brandon Moss struck out looking.

Sunday's rubber match will be the last time the Tigers play the A's in Oakland in the regular season.

Willie Bans is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:10 pm

Tigers ride offensive surge to series win over A's

By Willie Bans / Special to | 4/14/2013 8:33 PM ET


OAKLAND - Austin Jackson serves it up, and the Detroit Tigers happily feast.

The leadoff hitter's four hits were part of a 10-1 win Sunday in which the Tigers wasted no time to swing the bats to seal the series, a rematch of last year's American League Championship Series.

Behind another solid start by Anibal Sanchez (2-1) and using a fine offensive showing highlighted by Jackson's big day and Torii Hunter's three hits, the Tigers scored two runs in the first inning, two in the second and four in the fourth to win the rubber game of the three-game series against the A's, part of their nine-game West Coast trip. Jackson has reached base safely in every game this season, and Sunday was his seventh multihit game.

"He's setting the table for the big guys to eat," Hunter said of Jackson.

The Tigers' first four batters in the lineup --- Jackson (.386 batting average), Hunter (.407), Miguel Cabrera (.320) and Prince Fielder (.429) --- are on fire.

"Right now they're not giving away at-bats, and that's important," manager Jim Leyland said. "They're grinding out those at-bats pretty good. But so are the other guys."

All but one batter in the lineup had a hit in the 14-hit effort. Detroit has won three consecutive series and outscored Oakland 17-4 in its victories Saturday and Sunday.

By the end of the fourth inning Sunday, the first six batters in the Tigers lineup each had at least one RBI and they had already chased Oakland starter Jarrod Parker (0-2). Sanchez helped Detroit's limited bullpen by tossing seven innings and yielding only three hits, including two hits through the first six innings. No relief pitcher was required, as starting pitcher Rick Porcello worked the final two frames after his previously scheduled start Tuesday was skipped because of Monday's day off.

Sanchez's ERA in three starts this year: a club-best 1.42.

"He's a guy who doesn't fall into patterns," catcher Alex Avila said. "He isn't afraid to throw anything at any time."

Sanchez's lone blemish was the fourth inning, when he loaded the bases with one out. Derek Norris plated a runner with a sacrifice fly, but Sanchez got Eric Sogard to strike out looking to end the threat. The Tigers struck out 38 A's hitters in the series.

After Sanchez allowed a leadoff single in the fourth, he didn't permit another hit until Norris' one-out double in the seventh.

"I think what's underrated is his stuff," Leyland said of Sanchez. "I think his stuff is a lot better than he gets credit for."

Added Norris: "He's just a good pitcher. He knows how to pitch. He has a plan and he sticks to it. He does a good job of keeping us off-balance and keeping his pitch count down."

Hunter followed Jackson's leadoff single by driving a pitch to center field for an RBI double. The hot-hitting Fielder was intentionally walked with two outs. Victor Martinez followed with a single off the right-center wall. Hunter barely beat out the relay throw with his slide to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The second inning started with another leadoff single, this one by Avila, who didn't play Saturday because of minor injuries. With one out, Jackson hammered a 3-1 fastball to left-center for a two-run homer, his first of the season, to make it 4-0.

With Jackson on first in the fourth inning, Hunter sent one deep to left-center, and center fielder Chris Young dropped it while backing into the warning track. The next batter, Cabrera, emptied the bases with a single to left for a 6-0 lead. Fielder followed with an RBI double to left for a 7-0 cushion.

Fielder's double was the final blow to a rough start to the game and season for Parker. He allowed a career-high eight runs, nine hits and two walks in just 3 1/3 innings. He has a 10.80 ERA in 11 2/3 innings this year.

"There's no break in that lineup," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "One through nine are all solid hitters."

The Tigers have two more three-game series left, first against Seattle starting Tuesday. It's their lone West Coast trip of the season. And should opposing teams focus only on the Tigers top four hitters? Hunter is fine with that.

"You forget about the bottom-feeders, the catfish," he said.

Willie Bans is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:56 pm

Fister cruises in Seattle against former club
Cabrera powers offense with impressive homer, four RBIs

By Jason Beck / | 4/17/2013 3:20 AM ET


SEATTLE -- Doug Fister had to move out of town 1 1/2 years ago, but he's still making himself at home at Safeco Field. Now, though, he doesn't have to worry about how to pitch to Miguel Cabrera.

"He's such a special guy, that he can do things most people can't," Fister said after Cabrera's two-run home run put the Tigers up for good in Tuesday's 6-2 win over the Mariners.

There are enough hitters in this league who can pick up their starting pitchers with a home run to put them back in front after giving up the lead. Far fewer can do it on a pitch well off the plate, hitting it to near-straightaway center field on a swing that seemed effortless.

"I try to always do my best, man," Cabrera said. "I never take something for granted. I always try to fight out there to get hits to help my team to win games. That's why I always like to battle and I always like to wait for a mistake."

That wasn't exactly a mistake pitch from Aaron Harang, who had a 2-2 count with two outs and a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning.

"We went back and looked at it," Harang said afterward, "and it was 4 or 5 inches off the plate. It should have been a ball. So it proves why he's as good as he is."

It's a good pitch for most hitters. It's a mistake pitch for Cabrera.

"[Justin] Verlander told me it was a good pitch," Cabrera explained, "but I tell him I like that pitch, because it's down and away. If it's down and inside, that's a good pitch for me, but down and away, that's where I like it to be. I can extend my arms. I've got more extension to the ball right there."

The Tigers pretty much beat Harang on two-strike counts, from Austin Jackson working out of an 0-2 hole for a leadoff triple to Cabrera's first-inning RBI single on an 0-2 offering to the Cabrera homer. They added on with two-strike damage as well, including Jackson working out of an 0-2 hole for the first of back-to-back bases-loaded walks in the eighth.

None of those, however, will haunt Harang like Cabrera's second home run of the year. Cabrera was just 2-for-15 lifetime off him going into the game. Cabrera got him for two hits and three RBIs in three at-bats Tuesday.

"It's one of those things," Harang said. "Great hitter. He did a good job and he ended up basically single-handedly beating us."

Once Cabrera gave Fister his lead back, however, it was up to Fister to hold it. The way he recovered from three consecutive fourth-inning hits, retiring nine consecutive batters, he didn't give the M's much of a chance.

By the time Detroit's bullpen came into play, the insurance runs created more room for mistakes for Al Alburquerque and Joaquin Benoit, who had none on their way to perfect eighth and ninth innings.

"That's the kind of team that we are," Fister said. "Those guys, as soon as I gave up a couple runs, they're right back at it and give us the lead again. Picking one another up, I think that's the biggest thing that we've done from the start and I think that's a big focus for us."

By doing so, they won their third game in a row on a nine-game, 10-day West Coast trip, and earned a valuable series-opening victory heading into a Wednesday night matchup with Mariners ace Felix Hernandez.

Fister, meanwhile, continued to put his Spring Training struggles out of mind. The one Tigers starter who seemed hittable coming out of camp moved to 3-0 on the season with his second consecutive dominant outing.

Five days after Fister tossed eight innings of one-run ball to beat Toronto, and a year after he pitched seven shutout innings here in a no-decision in his return, Fister allowed two runs on seven hits over his seven innings with a walk and five strikeouts. The lanky right-hander, traded to Detroit at the 2011 Trade Deadline, has tossed 14 innings with two runs on eight hits at Safeco Field in a Detroit uniform.

The latest gem, too, came on the same night that Cleveland's Ubaldo Jimenez -- the pitcher most closely tied to the Tigers going into that 2011 deadline -- walked seven batters in less than two innings.

The entire trade scenario, and the idea of pitching well to prove a point to Seattle, appears to be a moot point for Fister. He doesn't pitch well to beat the Mariners, he insists. He just wants to win.

"I don't look at it at all," Fister said. "I look at it as I have a job to do, no matter what team it is. That's the focus. I'm a Tiger and that's through and through right now.
I don't look at how things have turned out for either side. I feel honored to be a part of this club. We've got some great teammates and that's my main, my only focus."

On Tuesday, he had at least one teammate with another glimpse of greatness.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:38 pm

Tigers prevail in 14th on night of 40 strikeouts
Scherzer fans 12 over eight innings in duel with Mariners ace

By Jason Beck / | 4/18/2013 4:29 AM ET


SEATTLE -- A game that threatened records for punchouts Wednesday night ended with Tigers backup catcher Brayan Pena absorbing a potential knockout.

After 40 strikeouts over 14 innings, including 21 from Tigers hitters to tie a franchise record, and 12 each from Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer over eight innings, everything came down to one major contact between Pena and Justin Smoak, who was the potential tying run. Pena took a forearm to the head, but held onto the ball to show it to home plate umpire Bob Davidson while recollecting his thoughts.

As a result, the Tigers took a 2-1 win out of a game in which exactly half of their 42 outs came by strikeout. By avoiding one in his last at-bat, Pena recorded the game-winning RBI before arguably deserving the save.

"It was just one of those games that you really do whatever it takes to get the win," Pena said. "Everybody battled, both teams, but definitely our team, we played great baseball. We never laid back because we know how hard it is when you're the visitor. For us to come out with this 'W' is huge for us."

Detroit became the first team in modern Major League history to win back-to-back games striking out 16 or more times, according to research on

"I'm not much for those kind of records. I don't care," manager Jim Leyland said. "All I know is we're 2-0 the last two nights, and that's all that matters. That's a nice conversation piece for everybody else, but we got two wins."

This was by far the trickier of the two. If they can't beat Hernandez, still 9-0 against Detroit since 2007, they showed they can match him.

Not since Mark Prior and Javier Vazquez in 2003 had two Major League pitchers both racked up 12 strikeouts in the same game, according to ESPN Stats and Info. Not since the great Randy Johnson dueled Mark Langston in 1992 had two opposing starters put up 12 or more strikeouts with an earned run or less, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

The similarities between Hernandez and Scherzer kept going beyond the strikeouts, from eight innings of one-run ball to nearly identical pitch counts: 105 pitches and 75 strikes for Scherzer, 106 pitches and 76 strikes for Hernandez. They set the tone for the night.

"I knew going in Felix was going to bring his game," Scherzer said. "He always seems to find a way to pitch his best games against the best lineups, so I just knew going in tonight I was going to have to bring my 'A' game if we were going to have a shot to win."

Scherzer rolled through the Mariners lineup in order in the first three innings, striking out five. After Franklin Gutierrez singled leading off the fourth, Scherzer left him on first with back-to-back strikeouts of Kendrys Morales and Michael Morse.

Once Scherzer struck out Morales again end the sixth, Scherzer had fanned 10 of Seattle's first 21 batters. When Hernandez followed with two more in the seventh, 21 of the game's first 39 outs were strikeouts. Only one out had come on a fly ball to the outfield.

"He allowed me to stay in a rhythm," Scherzer said of his counterpart, "because he was working quick innings. Every inning felt like 1-2-3, no knock on our guys. For me, I was able to stay in a rhythm. I felt like that's why I was able to stay consistent with my pitches. That's the nature of the pitching duel tonight."

Three pitches into the bottom of the seventh, the Mariners got the tying run that essentially canceled the two starters out with a Morse double into the left-field corner, followed by a Raul Ibanez bouncer down the first-base line two pitches later.

From there, it was on. While Leyland played matchups with his bullpen, using two relievers in both the ninth and 10th innings before Al Alburquerque pitched an easy 11th, M's closer Tom Wilhelmsen fanned three more Tigers in two innings.

Five strikeouts in a six-batter span of the 12th and 13th innings -- two from Oliver Perez, three from former Tigers left-hander Charlie Furbush -- put the Tigers at 21, tying a record last accomplished against Toronto on Aug. 8, 1991, in a game that was fittingly scoreless until the 14th.

The only Tigers starter not to strike out Wednesday was Victor Martinez. He was a strike away from it in the 14th when his single through the middle started the deciding rally.

Furbush couldn't get a call on a full count to Matt Tuiasosopo, whose walk moved pinch-runner Don Kelly into scoring position. Kelly slid in ahead of catcher Jesus Montero's throw on Jhonny Peralta's sacrifice bunt, loading the bases with nobody out.

The M's needed strikeouts to escape, and they couldn't get it. Robert Andino's diving stop at short with a drawn-in infield denied Pena a go-ahead hit but couldn't prevent the run.

"I was trying to redeem myself," Pena said, "because last at-bat I struck out with a runner on second. I'm not trying to do too much, trying to put the ball in play and trying to look to the middle."

He had another play in mind -- a slide from then-Ranger Mike Napoli under a tag at the plate a couple years ago while with Kansas City -- when Dustin Ackley doubled into the right-field corner in the bottom of the 14th off Joaquin Benoit.

It took a fundamental relay just to get the ball there. Prince Fielder, backing up Omar Infante on Torii Hunter's throw, got it to him.

"My main goal in that situation was to hold onto the baseball and absorb the hit," Pena said. "It was one of those plays that was a do or die. I knew he was coming after me, and credit Prince Fielder. He made a good throw and Torii made sure he got the baseball as fast as possible."

The way the game unfolded, 4 hours and 27 minutes old, there was little question to send him.

"I knew off the bat I was trying to score," Smoak said. "They had to make a perfect relay throw to get me. He was up the line there and I really had nowhere to go. I had to do what I had to do. I just lowered my shoulder and hoped for the best."

Pena was fine. Moments later, he couldn't have felt much better.

"I was a little dizzy for a few seconds," he admitted, "but I got my breath back and I understood where I was. That was the most important thing. I knew I was fine."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:27 pm

Verlander tires in seventh as Tigers drop finale
Right-hander strikes out season-high 12 but takes second loss

By Jason Beck / | 4/18/2013 6:33 PM ET


SEATTLE -- For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Tigers and M's took a pitching duel into the late innings at Safeco Field. On Thursday, though, there was no draw to the duel. It was the Cy Young winner taking a loss.

Though Justin Verlander outlasted his Mariners counterpart, Hisashi Iwakuma, he couldn't outpitch the Tigers' scoring drought.

"He definitely pitched well enough to win," catcher Alex Avila said of his ace after Thursday's 2-0 shutout to the Mariners. "We just couldn't bring any runs across."

It wasn't nearly as back-and-forth of a duel as the strikeout display Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer put on Wednesday night. In some ways, it fit a David and Goliath analogy better, pitting the overpowering Verlander against a sleep-deprived Mariners lineup that has struggled to plate runs against a lot of pitchers.

The Tigers, meanwhile, had their chances against Hisashi Iwakuma, the veteran Japanese right-hander who was allowing a hit about every other inning to go with a 16-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

This was the game that clearly seemed in their favor going into the series, giving them a tiebreaker if they split the first two games. When they outlasted Hernandez to pull out a win in the 14th inning Wednesday night, Thursday became their chance at their first sweep in Seattle since 2006.

Instead, Iwakuma added the Tigers to the list of offenses he has tamed, joining them with the A's, White Sox and Rangers. It wasn't about a Japanese pitcher whose deceptiveness the Tigers couldn't pick up the first time around; they saw him in long relief last year. It wasn't about a lethargic lineup coming off extra innings, but they had enough hard-hit outs to suggest solid contact.

He didn't even rack up strikeouts this time, getting just a pair of third strikes on Andy Dirks. But when Austin Jackson centered a line drive that sent Endy Chavez into the gap leading off the game, followed two batters later by a fly out to the left-field warning track from Miguel Cabrera, it was the right setup for a long afternoon.

They're not quite sure how he did it, but he did it. Their damage off of him consisted of three singles, their only runner in scoring position reaching on a leadoff walk and a groundout in the fifth.

"He spots the ball," manager Jim Leyland said. "His hits per innings pitched are fantastic. He's good. He just locates the ball. He can get a little extra when he wants to. He locates it very well, changes speed, throws this into that count, that into this count. He was very impressive."

He was not Verlander, who had two separate stretches when it looked like Seattle would be fortunate to get a hard-hit ball against him. He struck out four of the first six batters he faced, with a Kendrys Morales double and Michael Morse groundout mixed in. After giving up four hits the second time through, he fanned five out of six batters from the fifth inning into the seventh.

When he fanned Kelly Shoppach leading off the seventh, he joined Scherzer as the first Tigers starters to put up double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games since 1984. When he sent a 94 mph fastball past Dustin Ackley for his 11th strikeout, he seemed poised for one of those special games.

He was a strike away from fanning the side in order, with Robert Andino struggling to foul off fastballs, when he hung a 2-2 curveball that set up his demise. He didn't like his curve all day, but he wanted a different speed.

"I just kind of felt like after the fastball i threw, when he took it right out of Alex's glove, I wanted something with a little more separation," he said. "My slider at the time was 87-88. I felt like something with a little more separation from my fastball would've been more beneficial. I hung it, though, too. I can't blame it entirely on pitch selection."

Andino's grounder through the left side led M's manager Eric Wedge to pinch-hit with Kyle Seager, 1-for-6 with an infield single in Wednesday's marathon.

"Any opportunity, albeit slight, you're going to try to take advantage of it," Wedge said. "Until we get everything going, any opportunity you can try to create for yourself you're going to try to do."

Seager went up looking to jump a fastball. He got it, and Verlander was kicking himself later.

"It was a bad pitch," Verlander said. "Obviously, I'm not taking away credit from him. He came up and jumped a first-pitch fastball. But I didn't execute it either. It was belt-high on the outer half. For what he was trying to do right there, it was a perfect pitch. Not for what I was trying to do."

Avila put it another way.

"Fastball away. He hit it, went with it well," he said. "He took what we gave him."

Dirks struggled to corral it in the left-field corner as third-base coach Jeff Datz waved Andino home. It was Datz who made the aggressive call to send Justin Smoak home as the potential tying run in the 14th inning Thursday night, forcing the Tigers to make a play. They did then, but they couldn't this time.

Chavez went to a full count on Verlander before dumping a soft line drive into short left field, soft enough to send Seager home before Dirks could get to the ball.

Verlander (2-2) finished with 126 pitches, 89 of them strikes. Two pitches aren't much to regret. That's what Iwakuma's performance against Detroit's lineup, and Carter Capps' two innings of relief for his first Major League win, reduced the game to.

"Just one of those games," Verlander said with a shrug.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:49 am

Tigers' bats remain cold in Anaheim

By Jason Beck / | 4/20/2013 2:49 AM ET


ANAHEIM -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland hasn't had to say this in a while. The way things unfolded against the Angels, there wasn't much good to say, so he kept saying it.

"This is the first time we really just didn't play a very good game," Leyland said after the 8-1 loss on Friday night. "We just couldn't come up with the big hit when we needed it, and we just didn't play very well. That's uncharacteristic."

He wasn't blaming the players. Neither was Torii Hunter.

"Honestly, I can tell you this is the first game that I felt like we got down," Hunter said. "That's pretty impressive. Every other game, we were up, ready to go. Today, Game 16, we had one bad game.

"Over 162 games, there's going to be another one. But we just don't want it to be tomorrow."

The Tigers haven't had a good week at the plate, but they've pitched and fielded their way through it. On Friday, a team that had committed only one error all season lost an unearned run to one miscue and had a misplay between Austin Jackson and Matt Tuiasosopo in left-center field cost them a few more runs. A bullpen that hadn't allowed a run in more than 13 innings saw Octavio Dotel give up a five-run eighth inning, aided in part by the aforementioned misplay.

The way they were struggling to hit, the outcome was probably already in hand. The other issues made it look ugly.

"We got hits," Leyland said. "We just couldn't get the big hit."

The Tigers came within an out of their first back-to-back regular-season shutouts in five years. Miguel Cabrera's two-out single with Hunter on second base in the ninth inning scored the first Tigers run since Brayan Pena's RBI groundout in the 14th inning on Wednesday in Seattle. It was Detroit's first run-scoring hit since Cabrera singled in Jackson in the seventh inning of Tuesday's series opener against the Mariners.

Detroit had endured an 0-for-29 slump with runners in scoring position, managing two bases-loaded walks on Tuesday and a pair of RBI groundouts on Wednesday, before Cabrera singled with runners on first and second in the seventh inning on Friday.

Cabrera's hit off Angels left-hander Sean Burnett loaded the bases, but wasn't deep enough to send Jackson around third on strong-armed left fielder Mike Trout. With the potential tying run on second for Prince Fielder, Burnett used a combination of sinkers and sliders to get ground ball for an inning-ending double play.

It was the third double play Angels pitching induced from the Tigers with runners in scoring position on Friday, two of them from Fielder. They nearly got a 6-4-3 triple play for starter Tommy Hanson (2-1) in the fourth inning, but Jhonny Peralta beat the throw to first.

The Tigers are 4-for-38 with runners in scoring position this week, and Cabrera has the four hits. The last hit with runners in scoring position by somebody else was Peralta's eighth-inning RBI single on Sunday at Oakland.

It's an odd stretch for a team that continues to lead the American League with a .285 average while ranking third with 77 runs. With runners in scoring position, though, their average has fallen to .244 (39-for-160), ninth in the 15-team AL.

They pitched their way through Oakland and Seattle, putting themselves in position for their best April trip to the West Coast since 2006. They'll need more scoring to clinch a winning trip against the Angels.

Hunter believes they lost some energy on the trip from Seattle.

"You're going to have some games when you're flying and you're kind of jet-lagged and you're messed up," Hunter said. "And that's what it felt like today. In Seattle, we battled good pitching out there, we went 14 innings. This is the day when we were beat down. It hit us the day after."

Anibal Sanchez (2-1), who began that stingy stretch with seven innings of one-run ball in Oakland last Sunday, couldn't quite duplicate that gem but still finished with a quality start. Two infield singles, a Peralta error and a Trout sacrifice fly saddled him in the third before Brendan Harris' fourth-inning double capitalized on a two-out rally for a 2-0 lead.

Albert Pujols' RBI single chased Sanchez in the seventh with 11 hits over 6 2/3 innings to go with three strikeouts. Hanson allowed four walks and six hits over six innings but survived.

"We opened up as the game went on offensively," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "A one- or two-run lead against those guys over there is not a lot, so Tommy had to keep pitching. We got out of some big jams tonight, but there's no doubt as the game went on I think our at-bats got better and we had our share of clutch hits tonight and it made a big difference."

They'll make a difference again for the Tigers, who won't keep hitting like this. On Friday, their lack of it made everything look ugly.

"We're a very good team. I mean, there's not a lot of rocket science to this stuff," Leyland said. "It's pretty simple. We just didn't have a very good game, all around."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:24 pm

Tough day for Porcello, Tigers in loss to Angels
Right-hander labors in a nine-run first inning, including grand slam

By Jason Beck / | 4/20/2013 8:30 PM ET


ANAHEIM -- The dribbler to short on Rick Porcello's second pitch Saturday afternoon was not a good sign.

The back-to-back ground balls through the middle that followed suggested Porcello was going to need a big pitch if he was going to stop the rally.

The Mike Trout grand slam to center field that punctuated a nine-run opening inning was the clincher. The big pitch wasn't happening.

"To be honest with you, at that point in the inning I was pretty gassed," Porcello said.

For the Tigers, it pretty much ended any suspense in a 10-0 loss to the Angels, save for the free tacos fans won when the Halos reached double digits. For Porcello, it closed an outing that looked rough in the scorebook and on the field in completely different fashions.

"A little rusty, a little wild, a little unlucky," manager Jim Leyland said of his starter. "And that pretty much sums it up."

Trout's first career slam was the only extra-base hit of the bunch off Porcello. In between was a combination of two line drives, three infield singles and three ground balls through the middle of a Tigers infield that has enjoyed better days than this one over the season's first three weeks.

Converting one of those opening singles into an out would have limited the first-inning damage to three runs rather than nine. Then again, a sharper curveball to Trout from Porcello -- who held onto his rotation spot this spring on the strength of his curve -- might have limited the first inning to five runs. An out on Josh Hamilton, who battled out of a 1-2 count to draw a walk, would have done the same.

Sometimes, defenses pick up their pitchers. Sometimes, pitchers make a pitch to support the defense behind him. When neither happens, sometimes games like this do.

"I think we've all had games where guys are hitting the ball hard just right at [defenders]," Porcello said, "and you cruise through seven innings or whatever and you walk away feeling pretty good about it, but you didn't throw the ball that well. Today, I felt like I threw the ball fine. It just wasn't in the cards for me."

Add in an offense that has scored three runs over its last four games -- the lowest-scoring stretch the Tigers have had under Leyland's watch -- and is mired in a 4-for-44 funk with runners in scoring position, and a team that looked down on Friday looked much the same the next afternoon.

"There's some uphill battles and then there's some uphill battles," Leyland said. "And that was one of those, 'And then there's some uphill battles.'"

Porcello became just the second Tigers pitcher since 1916 to give up nine earned runs without getting out of the first inning. Hank Borowy allowed nine earned runs without retiring a batter against the St. Louis Browns on August 18, 1951. No Major League pitcher had done it since Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto on July 6, 2009.

The last Tigers hurler to allow a nine-run opening inning was Nate Cornejo on July 30, 2003, at Seattle. Like Porcello, Cornejo was a sinkerballer who was a high Draft pick. Like Porcello's day, Cornejo gave up a grand slam. Unlike Porcello's debacle, an error behind him led to six of the nine runs being unearned.

The Tigers didn't commit an error behind Porcello, but they didn't make a big play, either. After Peter Bourjos' infield dribbler, Trout and Albert Pujols both singled through the middle, the latter traveled so closely that both shortstop Jhonny Peralta and second baseman Omar Infante gave chase, leaving them looking at each other after it eluded both of them and continued into center field.

"The whole time that we play him, we play him to pull to the third-base side," Peralta said of Pujols. "And he hit one to the middle."

As the opening inning unraveled, Porcello stuck with his sinker, looked for the ground ball that would get him out of it. Both outs he recorded came on a Chris Iannetta ground ball to third. An earlier out would have made it an inning-ending double play. Instead, the inning continued with the Angels already holding a 4-0 lead.

Three more singles, including back-to-back infield grounders, loaded the bases again for Trout. Porcello got him in an 0-2 count before trying to finish him off with a curveball.

"That at-bat, I was fighting for my life to get out of there and just get that last out and regroup," Porcello said. "I hung a breaking ball a little too up in the zone and he hit it well."

Though Drew Smyly retired 11 consecutive Angels from the third inning through the sixth, his work did more to save the bullpen than it did to salvage the game.

Porcello's outing came almost a year to the day after he gave up an eight-run first inning to the Rangers last April 21. His struggles at times last season raised the question whether the he could ultimately succeed behind Detroit's infield. Infante's return to Detroit did a lot to address that, and Peralta showed improved range in Spring Training, especially towards the middle.

Saturday's performance raised the damage off Porcello (0-2) to 16 runs on 23 hits over 13 innings with as many walks (three) as strikeouts. Still, it would be a shock if he didn't make his next scheduled start on Friday against the Braves at Comerica Park.

"We played the game all right," Leyland said. "We just got ambushed."

Angels starter Garrett Richards (1-0) took the lead and never gave the Tigers an opportunity with multiple runners on base. With 12 groundouts over seven scoreless innings, he had the kind of outing Porcello was seeking.

"Anytime you're facing the Tigers and their offense, runs early, especially runs early, are really important," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "For us to break the game open at that point is important."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon Apr 22, 2013 12:08 am

Tigers' skid hits four after 13-inning loss to Angels

By Jason Beck / | 4/21/2013 10:42 PM ET


ANAHEIM -- Finally, the Tigers found the big hit they'd been seeking all weekend to get them back into it against the Angels. They could not get another one to put them over the top.

Once Mark Trumbo's home run in the bottom of the 13th sent the Angels to a 4-3 win, the Tigers were ready to find the plane and get out of town.

They bid farewell to the West Coast for the regular season with a three-game series sweep and a four-game losing streak. In the process, a road test that began with series wins in Oakland and Seattle ended with a lost weekend in Southern California.

"We had a chance to have a real good trip," manager Jim Leyland said, "and we ended up with not a bad trip. It could've been a real good trip."

Leyland didn't want to call it a bad trip, as well as the Tigers pitched for most of it. He couldn't call it a good trip, the way they hit. As lopsided as the 22-3 margin over the series sweep looked, thanks to Friday's four-run eighth inning and Saturday's nine-run first inning, Detroit had its chances, none bigger than Sunday.

After the Tigers were held to one run over three games for the first time in Leyland's tenure, as well as three runs over four games, Sunday was a mathematical improvement. After three other innings ended with the bases loaded, it was not a breakthrough.

"It was tough," Prince Fielder said. "It's baseball. I think we played well, just didn't win. Everybody's prepared, everybody played hard. If you do all that, you can go to sleep at night, because besides that, there's nothing else.

"There's no such thing as, 'Get a hit or get an out.' If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. There's no formula for it."

Fielder should know. He went from winning American League Player of the Week last Monday to a 5-for-27, 12-strikeout trip to Seattle and Anaheim. His two-run home run in Sunday's fifth inning, however, seemed to be the Tigers' breakout hit, three innings after their offensive nadir.

Detroit actually took its first lead of the series in the second inning, getting Jhonny Peralta around the bases following a leadoff walk, Omar Infante's single, a C.J. Wilson balk and an Austin Jackson ground ball for a fielder's choice. It took Wilson's balk, though, to put Peralta in position.

Back-to-back two-out walks to Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera gave the Tigers a chance for more, but Wilson escaped by getting Fielder to hit a comebacker. It was the second consecutive inning Wilson stranded the bases loaded, having struck out Victor Martinez and watched Matt Tuiasosopo's fly ball perish on the warning track in the opening frame.

The chances of Wilson escaping another leadoff walk unpunished through the middle of the order -- even with Detroit's struggles -- seemed unlikely after he walked Hunter to lead off the fifth. Wilson struck out Cabrera, but Fielder pulled a 1-1 fastball into the right-field seats for his fifth home run of the year and his third on the nine-game road trip, tying the game at 3-3 after the Angels had pulled ahead in a miscue-fueled three-run third.

Fielder's two-run homer was the first multi-run hit for the Tigers since Cabrera's go-ahead two-run homer Tuesday in Seattle, and it topped the Tigers' scoring output from the previous three games combined. It was not enough by itself. The game remained tied into extra innings, though the Tigers had a golden chance in the ninth after Infante's leadoff single. Infante was retired on a disputed call at second on Jackson's bunt, but Jackson's third stolen base of the series put him in scoring position for the middle of the order against Ernesto Frieri. Replays suggested Infante had beaten the throw to second. Had second-base umpire Gary Darling ruled as such, the Tigers would have had two on and nobody out, rather than Jackson on first with one out. Jackson eventually stole second to reach scoring position, but the open base allowed Frieri to pitch carefully with two outs to both Cabrera and Fielder, rather than facing Fielder with the bases loaded and one out.

That put the onus on Martinez, who had a three-hit game Tuesday in Seattle but has gone 2-for-21 since. Though Martinez fouled off one fastball after another to keep the at-bat alive following an 0-2 count, he couldn't put any of them solidly in play. On the eighth pitch of the bat, Frieri got Martinez to chase a high fastball, popping it up to left field.

"I didn't hit the ball the way I wanted," Martinez said. "I was just trying to put together a good at-bat. He was a little wild. All of a sudden, I was down 0-2, and it's tough."

Detroit went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position Sunday, and 5-for-52 for the week. The lone hit in that situation Sunday was a first-inning infield single from Fielder that Wilson fell over while trying to field, loading the bases.

"We didn't make a couple plays. That's part of the game," Leyland said. "And we didn't get a couple hits when we had opportunities. I think that pretty much sums it up."

The Tigers' bullpen gave them chances, including two perfect innings and five strikeouts from Al Alburquerque, as well as a Joaquin Benoit strikeout of Howie Kendrick to strand the potential winning run on third in the 10th inning. Phil Coke intentionally walked Albert Pujols with the bases empty to face Josh Hamilton in the 12th, striking him out.

Coke was not, however, going to walk the right-handed hitting Trumbo leading off the 13th. And with no right-handers available -- Octavio Dotel was hurt, and Brayan Villarreal had pitched the previous two days -- Coke had to face him.

Trumbo guessed changeup on a 3-1 pitch and got it.

"That's where the advantage of the home team comes in, always having the last chance," he said. "That's in the back of your mind that you're going to have the last chance."

Said Coke: "It was the right pitch. It was just two balls too high and found the barrel. If he's out there guessing, he guessed right."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:43 am

Valverde, Tigers 'pen winning script vs. Royals
Closer fires 1-2-3 ninth for first save, V-Mart gets two timely knocks

By Jason Beck / | 4/25/2013 1:00 AM ET


DETROIT -- The bullpen door opened, and Jose Valverde lingered there, like he had so many times before. He might as well have been waiting for a time warp.

Six months after the Tigers bade farewell to Valverde at Comerica Park, there he was, back with his old team, back in his old role. With three outs in the ninth to finish off a 7-5 win over the Royals, he was seemingly back to his old stuff.

"From what I saw today, it looks like he'll get outs for us for sure," catcher Alex Avila said.

Just as important, the bullpen was back to its old order.

This is what a bullpen with a set closer looks like. This is the bullpen the Tigers had hoped to eventually get to this year. It was just with a guy at the end they didn't expect to see again.

"If this works out with Papa Grande, that would be music to everybody's ears," manager Jim Leyland said. "You get guys in the order that you want them. For one night anyway, it worked out pretty good."

Valverde, for his part, wasn't emotional about it. It just looked that way.

The goggles are gone, the stomach is a little smaller, and the chin beard is split down the middle between bleach blond and dark. The rituals, however, are the same.

He was standing at the gate when the crowd reaction began. Initially, some boos were scattered among the cheers. After a couple seconds, the cheers seemingly took over, and Valverde took off through left field towards the mound.

"I don't pay attention too much to the reaction," Valverde said. "I think they were excited. But what I have in my mind all the time, when I'm running for the mound, is make good pitches, throw strikes, get a fly ball or strike them out, and that's it."

It was good that Valverde had that focus, and not just for the two flyouts and a ground ball he induced to retire the top of the Royals lineup in order. The crowd reaction on each pitch resembled late-season fervor. Some of those fans, no doubt, were freezing in the 39-degree temperature and cheering for the game to end so they could go home, standing up and moving around in a futile effort to keep warm. Most of them, though, were reacting to Valverde, getting that old mix of trepidation and anticipation when he went to two full counts.

"That's a tough one," Leyland said. "You knew the first one back, there was going to be a little emotion there with the crowd, and probably for him, but certainly for me. I think all the coaches and the pitchers and the players on the bench were pulling so hard for him. Tonight, it worked out fine."

The win ended Detroit's four-game skid and moved the Tigers to within a half game of Kansas City atop the American League Central. More important than sorting out the standings at this point, though, was sorting out the bullpen.

After playing matchups in the final innings for the first three weeks of the season, the Tigers signed Valverde to a Major League contract on Tuesday to close after he pitched in three games at Class A Lakeland as a warmup. Once Max Scherzer stranded the bases loaded in the fifth to carry a two-run lead to the bullpen, the order was set.

Al Alburquerque, who dazzled in late-inning stints over the past week with some of the best pitching he has shown as a Tiger, was on his way to doing the same with a scoreless sixth inning before back-to-back two-out walks put the potential tying run on in the seventh.

Joaquin Benoit, who had been Detroit's closer for the past two weeks, returned to his old setup role, but entered an inning early. For one batter in the seventh, Leyland was playing matchups.

"I brought Benoit in to face [Mike] Moustakas instead of [lefty Phil] Coke," Leyland said, "because Moustakas has hit him pretty good. He's 1-for-6 off Benoit, and we feel that Benoit's pretty good with lefties."

Benoit ended the threat with a popout from Moustakas that Prince Fielder ran down in front of home plate and caught against his chest, then Benoit stayed on for a perfect eighth.

That led to Valverde, who topped out at 95 mph on the radar gun, backing up scouting reports from Florida on a night when everybody seemed to have trouble hitting top speed in the cold. It definitely affected the grip on the ball, which is why Valverde didn't throw the splitter he worked in this spring.

"I'd like to see you throw a split-finger in that," he said.

With a sinker and a cutter moving, though, he never felt like he needed it.

"I've caught him for three years," Avila said. "I've caught him where his ball hasn't had much movement, and I've caught him in years past when he's had a little bit of sink, a little bit of cut. Today it looked like he was able to command both, and was able to go to both sides of the plate."

Said Royals manager Ned Yost: "I was impressed that he threw that well, having limited appearances and no Spring Training."

The Tigers pulled ahead with a four-run fourth inning on just two base hits. The inning turned on a potential double-play ball that went through the legs of third baseman Moustakas for an error, scoring Omar Infante for the first run and setting up Austin Jackson to score the go-ahead run on Miguel Cabrera's ensuing sacrifice fly. A bases-loaded walk to Jhonny Peralta set up an insurance tally before Victor Martinez singled in another run.

Martinez, who was 2-for-20 with runners in scoring position coming into the game, had two hits and two RBIs in those same situations on Wednesday.

"It was a great inning," he said. "They scored four runs, and we came right back with the same answer. I think that really set the tone for us for the rest of the game, made our pitching staff feel a little comfortable going out there to do their job."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson

Last edited by TigersForever on Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:45 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:42 am

Bullpen falters in extras as Tigers fall to Royals
Verlander leaves after seven with blister, Rondon blows save in debut

By Jason Beck / | 4/25/2013 6:57 PM ET


DETROIT -- Was it all a mirage, this Tigers bullpen in working order? Or was it numbers working against them?

It all lined up so well for Detroit on Wednesday night when the Tigers welcomed back their closer of the past. By Thursday afternoon, they were debuting their closer of the future with an eighth-inning lead. It didn't go well from there.

By the 10th, as Alex Gordon was rounding the bases on his first Major League grand slam, a drive into the center-field shrubs that punctuated an 8-3 Royals comeback victory, the Tigers had to have the feeling of a bullpen mix that was little relief.

It wasn't exactly manager Jim Leyland's Plan A. He didn't have closer Jose Valverde, whose return Wednesday night was his fourth outing in six days dating back to his stint at Class A Lakeland. He did not want to press Al Alburquerque, who threw a season-high 26 pitches Wednesday with hip tightness mixed in, into use.

He had Joaquin Benoit for the ninth inning, and he had to mix and match to get there. He was an inning away, with Justin Verlander needing 96 pitches to plow through seven innings.

Then Verlander got a blister. By the end of the 10th, the Tigers bullpen had gotten blistered.

"If he doesn't have the blister, we probably get him through one more inning, maybe even two," Leyland said. "But, I mean, those things you can't help. But once again, we got five hits. Everybody focuses on [the bullpen], but we got five hits today."

That happens with James Shields going eight strong innings. Games like this are why the Royals traded so much to get him. Shields has never lost at Comerica Park, and he won a 4-2 duel with Verlander last April with eight solid innings thanks to a four-run ninth off Verlander.

If the Tigers were going to pull this one out, they'd have to make a few runs work. For a second straight year, they needed three more outs from Verlander for a chance to beat Shields. For a completely different reason than last year, they couldn't get it.

The blister is on Verlander's thumb, near his fingernail.

"I noticed it after my last start and it wasn't too bad," Verlander said. "It started getting a little bit worse after the fifth. I started noticing it and after the seventh, I talked to our pitching coach, and we kind of came to a joint decision. At this point in the year, there's no point in creating something that possibly could become a nagging issue, so we just made the decision to call it a day."

The Tigers lost one starter to a blister last year, having to shelve Drew Smyly for two weeks in June. They weren't going to risk it again. Neither Verlander nor Leyland expect it to affect his next scheduled start on Tuesday.

On came Bruce Rondon, the hard-throwing 22-year-old rookie just recalled a couple days earlier. He competed in Spring Training for the closer's job before losing out. Now he made his big league debut in the setup role some thought he might fill as a way to ease into late-inning work.

"If you're here, you've gotta pitch," Leyland said. "We would like to throw him in under a little different conditions, but it just wasn't going to be that way today, because we were a little short."

Though Rondon threw hard as advertised, hitting 100 mph five times, he struggled around the strike zone for the six hitters he faced. That allowed the Royals to manufacture the tying run, pinch-running with Jarrod Dyson following Billy Butler's leadoff single. Dyson stole second easily, then took third on Eric Hosmer's groundout.

Rondon came close to the strikeout he needed, getting Lorenzo Cain to foul off back-to-back 100-mph fastballs for an 0-2 count. The first slider that followed was too low, and Cain watched it bounce in the dirt. The second was just high enough for Cain to lift into center field for a sacrifice fly.

Rondon left in the ninth following Salvador Perez's leadoff single. Phil Coke stranded him there, but fell apart after Cain's one-out double in the ninth.

"Cokey just lost control of the strike zone," Leyland said.

Just seven of Coke's 21 pitches in the 10th went for strikes. Take away the four pitches for an intentional walk to Jeff Francoeur, and it still wasn't a good ratio.

A day after Leyland opted for Benoit over Coke to face Mike Moustakas, citing the track record, he kept Coke in to face the left-handed hitter. Moustakas drew a five-pitch walk before a wild pitch to Francoeur moved the runners up to second and third. That prompted an intentional walk of Francoeur to set up a force play at any base but also left Coke with no base to put another runner.

The plan backfired when he fell behind on a 3-0 count to backup catcher George Kottaras, batting for the first time in the game, en route to a five-pitch walk.

Darin Downs got the second out on a force play at the plate, but had to challenge Gordon with a 2-0 pitch. Gordon hit it out to straightaway center.

"It's a big outfield," Gordon said, "and I think there was a storm coming in that kind of blew it out a little bit. Honestly, I had three punch-outs on the day and I was just trying to make contact. Sometimes that's what happens."

The Tigers can't afford many more of these. It was only their second loss when leading after seven innings, but their third loss in four extra-inning affairs, and it raised the bullpen ERA to 4.89 for the season, including 37 walks in 66 2/3 innings.

It wasn't the full bullpen they had just put together. It was the bullpen they had to work with, and it had one too many innings to cover.

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Apr 26, 2013 11:37 pm

Anibal sets Tigers record with career-high 17 K's
Righty tops Lolich's franchise mark while Tuiasosopo carries offense

By Jason Beck / | 4/27/2013 1:32 AM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers welcomed the team with the best record in baseball by starting a pitcher who had lost his last five starts against the Braves, fielding an offense that had scored just 16 runs in its previous seven games and facing a pitcher who had allowed just three earned runs so far this season.

As the 10-0 victory Friday showed, Anibal Sanchez and the Tigers apparently had the Braves right where they wanted them.

By the time Sanchez dropped a breaking ball past his old teammate and old nemesis, Dan Uggla, for his 17th strikeout of the game, he had provided all the evidence why the Tigers wanted him back when he hit free agency last winter.

"I didn't think for the strikeout," Sanchez said. "I just tried to get a lot of ground balls, stay in the game for a lot of innings. That's what I work for."

Not only did Sanchez get that revenge against his old division rival, he shut them out for eight innings while striking out 17, topping the Tigers' franchise record set by Mickey Lolich on May 23, 1969. He became the first pitcher in the Majors to strike out 17 in a game since Brandon Morrow on Aug. 8, 2010, and the first to do it in eight innings or fewer since fellow Venezuelan Johan Santana in 2007.

All this against a team that had owned him. He hadn't beaten Atlanta in three years, sustaining five straight losses to the Braves as a Marlin. He hadn't struck out more than seven Braves in any of his 17 career meetings. He had just 14 strikeouts against them over his last three starts combined, interspersed between 15 earned runs on 20 hits over 13 1/3 innings.

It's a different lineup with the addition of B.J. Upton and Justin Upton, two high-powered, high-strikeout hitters, along with other role players. As Friday night demonstrated, it's a different Sanchez, too.

"From the times I've faced him, he was a different guy tonight," said Uggla, a former Marlins teammate who became a Braves nemesis a few years ago.

As Sanchez was mowing down Braves hitters -- at least two in every inning but the fourth -- Uggla talked with Braves backup catcher Gerald Laird. He was catching with the Tigers when Sanchez came over last summer.

"He said, 'Once he got over to Detroit last year, he was a different pitcher,'" Uggla said. "I guess that switch turned on and he locked it in."

Uggla was 3-for-10 with two home runs off Sanchez entering the evening. Freddie Freeman, the one other hitter in the Braves' lineup with a history against Sanchez, was 3-for-8 against him.

They stepped to the plate seven times against Sanchez on Friday night. Each time, they went back to the dugout with a strikeout -- four from Uggla, three from Freeman. The Upton brothers, by contrast, fanned just twice.

"I just had more preparation for those two guys," Sanchez said. "I talked with [catcher Brayan] Pena before the game about those two guys. They hit me very good in the past, and I tried to keep the ball down and I said, 'Whatever they hit, they hit ground balls.' That's what we need. We need to put the ball down.

"That's what I did all night, just put my ball down, try to get some strikes. And you see everybody miss, miss. That's it."

Sanchez threw 121 pitches, 84 for strikes. Twenty-seven of those were swings and misses, and they came off of all five pitches in Sanchez's arsenal. Many of them were pitches low, some of them in the dirt.

"Everything was working for him tonight," Pena said. "He was mixing it up. He was attacking the strike zone with his offspeed, and then he was expanding his strike zone. He was making those guys chase because his stuff tonight was unbelievable.

"I think it was one of those nights that when you're behind home plate, you feel comfortable with whatever you put down, especially after a 10-0 lead."

It was the right approach, helped by ample support. While Sanchez struck out seven of the first 11 hitters he faced, the Tigers went to work against previously stingy Paul Maholm. They missed a scoring chance with runners on second and third and nobody out in the second inning, continuing their struggles with runners in scoring position.

Once Torii Hunter and Victor Martinez hit RBI singles in the third, their struggles broke. Matt Tuiasosopo, who made the team to hit lefties like Maholm, opened a 4-0 lead with a bases-loaded single.

Tuiasosopo was one of the few Tigers who had never faced Maholm, so he studied up on him a couple days ahead of time, anticipating the start against a pitcher with a 1.03 ERA entering the game.

"The reason why he's having the success that he's having, he's very crafty," Tuiasosopo said. "[He'll throw] sinker away, cut it in, changeup, then he'll slow down even more with his curveball. So we wanted to make sure we got his pitches up, and we were able to do that today."

Three more singles and another key hit from Martinez, this one a double yanked into the left-field corner, knocked out Maholm. A four-pitch walk from Anthony Varvaro brought up Tuiasosopo again, this time against a righty. His three-run homer closed the book on Maholm, whose ERA tripled with eight runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings.

"For me, there were a few walks that shouldn't happen and a few pitches that didn't happen," Maholm said. "It was kind of a snowball effect. When you look at how [Sanchez] was pitching, it's tough to fight back."

They tried. They missed.

Uggla's record-setting strikeout in the eighth was one of two innings in which all three outs came by strikeout; Sanchez fanned Juan Francisco to end the second with runners on first and second. The only other innings in which the Braves had a runner in scoring position were the third and the seventh.

It was a thorough display on both sides against the Majors' best team.

"They're great," Tuiasosopo said. "They've been playing really good. But you look around this clubhouse, we're a great team, too. As long as we just continue to stay loose, be relaxed and not try to do too much, this is the type of night that we're capable of having."

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

"If you have to choose between power and speed and it often turns out you have to make that choice, you've got to go for speed." Source: TV Guide Interview (April 3, 1982)
-- Sparky Anderson
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