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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:00 am

Peralta's walk-off homer provides much-need closure
Shortstop's blast rescues Tigers after Coke gives up run in eighth inning

By Jason Beck / | 6/21/2013 1:19 AM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers have had their fair share of closer problems lately. It was about time they took advantage of another team going through the same thing.

Until Jhonny Peralta turned on an Andrew Bailey pitch in the ninth inning for a two-run, walk-off homer and a 4-3 win over the Red Sox Thursday night at Comerica Park, the Tigers' bullpen was poised to be the story yet again, this time for a Phil Coke eighth-inning collapse. It'll still be an issue for them going forward.

For at least one game, though, Leyland was content to watch somebody else deal with late-inning questions.

"One-run lead and they walked the leadoff guy in the ninth," manager Jim Leyland said. "That was a backbreaker for them."

Leyland wanted to focus on the positive, and Peralta gave him plenty. For a team that has struggled all season to score late-inning runs, it was a blessing. Detroit's second win in 21 games when trailing after eight innings came off one of the closers that had been rumored as a potential Tigers trade target last offseason.

Andrew Bailey began the ninth with a 3-2 lead, but he had blown saves in two of his previous four outings, and given up runs in three of them. Like Jose Valverde last week, his hold on his closer's job has been shaky.

After missing the outside corner on four of five pitches to Victor Martinez for a leadoff walk, it was about to get shakier. Peralta was 3-for-5 with a double off Bailey for his career. He fouled off a cutter over the plate to fall into an 0-2 hole, but after watch a high fastball go for ball one, he got another chance.

"Just looking at the pitch on replay, [Bailey] gets the ball to the edge," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "but just enough elevation for him to get under it and drive it out of the ballpark."

Said Peralta: "I was looking for that pitch. I know he throws a lot of sliders, and that's what I was looking for. He left it center of home plate, so I tried to make good contact."

It was Peralta's second walk-off homer in 13 months. His two-run homer against the White Sox last year, too, rescued Detroit from a game in which it fell behind late.

"We tried to pick up every guy," Peralta said. "Coke gave up a run, but we tried to win this game. It's nine innings, so that's what we tried to do."

Boston's go-ahead run an inning earlier came on a David Ortiz single, but Coke's downfall was the back-to-back walks in between. Leyland went with him against the top of the Red Sox's order based on matchups, and he fulfilled the first half by striking out Jacoby Ellsbury on three pitches to end the seventh inning.

Ellsbury was 1-for-9 off Coke while Ortiz was 1-for-15 against the lefty. In between, Coke missed the strike zone on nine consecutive pitches, walking switch-hitter Shane Victorino and the right-handed-hitting Dustin Pedroia to lead off the eighth before falling behind on Ortiz.

The mechanics that seemed so solid in the seventh, Coke said, deserted him when he took the mound for the eighth.

"There's no excuse for any of it," he said. "I'm really displeased with the way I've been throwing as of late, and it hasn't been what it's supposed to be. I think I might be letting that weigh on my mind too much in between outings and so on. I've had a lot of time to think about it lately."

So has Leyland, who has said repeatedly that he has to get his veteran southpaw going. As effective as Drew Smyly has been, Leyland is clearly worried about overusing him. Once Ortiz singled in Victorino, he had little choice to insert Smyly.

"You have to understand something: If you have two or three, four guys that you guys are asking about all the time, and you don't want to use them, that's not good," Leyland said. "They have to be used. They have to pitch.

"Phil Coke, he had a bad night. I'm not mad at him, but if Phil Coke and some of these guys aren't good for us, we're in trouble. I mean, they have to pitch. You can't pitch two guys every night. That's as simple as it is. So if you're not going to pitch him when you've got two guys that are 2-for-24 off of him, I don't know when you're going to use him."

Smyly (3-0) held down the Red Sox from there to get the win.

"It's huge for our team," Smyly said. "We lost a couple against Baltimore, so it's good to bounce back today. We got a big series against them, so it's definitely good to take the first one. Now we just have to focus on taking the weekend."

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 Jun 22, 2013 12:16 am

Fister's early struggles vs. Red Sox sinks Tigers
Miggy launches three-run homer as part of rally, but bullpen struggles

By Jason Beck / | 6/22/2013 12:33 AM ET


DETROIT -- This is what games are like for teams that don't have dominant starting pitching, in case anyone forgot.

After all the fretting and sweating over Detroit's bullpen, these last few days have provided a reminder of what other teams go through this time of year. On Friday, Doug Fister's fourth-inning exit gave the Tigers' retooled bullpen a little more use than they wanted. It never did get a lead to protect, only a comeback that fell short in an eventual 10-6 loss to the Red Sox at Comerica Park.

"Everybody wants to pass out bouquets," manager Jim Leyland said. "If you listen to me, I don't pass out any bouquets. I mean, you can't stop people from talking about it. I'm very happy, I'm thrilled with my starting rotation, but it's just June. Let's just see what happens and let's play."

That doesn't mean the Tigers are headed for five-reliever nights and pitchers covering three apiece. Their starters are too good for that, as long as they're healthy. But for this turn through the vaunted Detroit rotation, at least, they've found themselves in a funk.

The rotation that put up 20 quality starts in 22 games entering Tuesday now has gone four games without one. Detroit's starters have seen the sixth inning just once in the last four games, and Rick Porcello had already given up six runs by the time he got there on Wednesday.

Fister came into Friday with a five consecutive quality starts, the last three of which he carried into the eighth inning. But after run support seemed to be his curse, his downfall Friday was the ground ball.

The Red Sox churned out four of them in a row for hits in a four-run fourth inning. Add in a line-drive single and a blooper into short right, and his greatest damage in a string of six consecutive hits was a ground ball down the right-field line that went for a two-run double.

By the time the onslaught against him was over, the Red Sox had put up six runs and 11 hits on him for the second consecutive meeting, having done the same to him on Memorial Day last year at Fenway Park.

"It was pretty simple to sum it up: I think he wasn't at his best. However, he also didn't pitch into very good luck," Leyland said. "If they hit it hard, they got a hit. And if they didn't hit it hard, they got a hit. It was one of those nights, and I'm not making excuses for him. Like I said, he wasn't at his sharpest, but it wasn't as bad as the numbers, either."

Fister (6-5) wasn't having any of that.

"Bottom line is I didn't do my job tonight," he said. "I didn't make the pitches, didn't execute. They came out, they're a good lineup, they put the ball in play, did what they needed to do, put up runs."

It marked Fister's third loss in four June starts only because of the Tigers' struggles scoring runs for him earlier this month, which made Miguel Cabrera's 20th home run of the season Friday night bittersweet. With Cabrera's three-run blast off Red Sox starter Jon Lester (7-4), Fister had more run support (five runs) than he had in a four-game stretch combined (four).

In the process, Cabrera reached the 20-homer mark 72 games into the season, sooner than in any other season in his career. The only other year he reached 20 homers by the end of June was 2010. He's the earliest Tiger to 20 homers since another slugging third baseman, Dean Palmer, hit 20 Detroit's first 70 games in 1999.

Cabrera followed his homer with a seventh-inning line drive hit so hard to the opposite field that he had to hustle to beat right fielder Shane Victorino's throw to first. A line drive to left gave Cabrera his fifth four-hit game of the year.

Victorino, too, had a home run and a four-hit game. His three singles after his first-inning solo homer, however, were all ground balls -- one to right, one to right-center, one to left. It was a four-hit game that still didn't deter the Tigers from intentionally walking Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases for Victorino in the eighth inning, trying to keep the deficit at 7-5.

Al Alburquerque, making his return to the Tigers' bullpen after a month-long exile at Triple-A Toledo to work on his command, got the ground ball he wanted, but they couldn't get the out at home plate. Replays suggested Jarrod Saltalamacchia might have slid over the plate with his lead foot, but home-plate umpire Mike DiMuro called him safe.

A wild pitch and another add-on run essentially put it out of reach.

"We were just taking our shot to try to get out of it, and we almost got it," Leyland said. "We just got the in-between hop or we would've had the guy at home. If you got the long hop, you might've been able to turn the double play. It just wasn't our pitchers' night."

For a rare occasion, he meant that for the starter as well.

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   Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:07 am

Scherzer improves to 11-0 with V-Mart's help vs. Sox
Righty remains unbeaten with seven strong innings; DH drives in five

By Jason Beck / | 6/23/2013 12:15 AM ET


DETROIT -- For about a half-inning, Max Scherzer's unbeaten start was in jeopardy. But it was only a half-inning.

Once Victor Martinez erased the deficit with his first grand slam in two years, and his first hit with the bases loaded all season, Scherzer looked like he couldn't lose. Once the Tigers added on late-inning runs to get into double-digits, Scherzer really couldn't lose.

That's the kind of year he has had so far. With Saturday's 10-3 Tigers win over the Red Sox at Comerica Park, it's now a historic season.

No Major League starter had gone 11-0 to begin a season since Roger Clemens did it 16 years ago in Toronto. The last 12-0 start, too, belongs to Clemens, way back in his breakout 1986 season in Boston. Scherzer will have a chance to enter that territory next Friday at Tampa Bay.

No starter in the illustrious history of the Tigers franchise had won his first 11 decisions as a starter to begin a season. George Mullin stood 11-0 in his 29-win season of 1909, but the 11th win came in relief, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Scherzer will continue to call it a fluky record, and the run support he's getting -- and the support his fellow starters have not -- will back him up on that. That's why he insists it doesn't mean much to him.

"I realize it takes so many other teammates to put me in that position," Scherzer said. "This is a credit to the Detroit Tigers for being in this position. I know I pitched well, and I know I gave my team a chance to win, but it doesn't always go that way. To be 11-0, it means that everyone else around me has done their job, and I couldn't be happier for everybody else."

But as his manager pointed out coming in, he still has to pitch well to be in line to win a game more often than not. He leads the Majors in wins, and he's now second to Yu Darvish in strikeouts and batting average allowed. His ERA, which stood at 3.42 four starts ago, is down to 3.05, just outside the American League's top 10.

When Scherzer ended his outing with a strikeout of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, he joined Pedro Martinez as the only pitchers in American League history to begin a season with 15 consecutive starts of six or more strikeouts. Martinez holds the AL record with 29 straight in 2000.

The wins and losses might look fluky, but the statistics supporting it are not.

"It's been special," catcher Brayan Pena said. "It's not because he's 11-0. It's because he's such a great competitor. He just goes out there and battles. He doesn't worry about numbers. He doesn't worry about nothing. He just worries about winning and keeping the game close and throwing strikes. That's what he preaches, and he really followed that big time."

Considering his history against the Red Sox, and what the Red Sox have done this season to lead the league in runs scored, it wasn't simply the record that impressed with Scherzer.

When the Red Sox put up three hits in the first, including a David Ortiz home run halfway up the right-field seats, it looked like Scherzer's history of blisterings from Boston was going to hold. Ortiz had his third homer and seventh RBI in 11 at-bats against Scherzer.

A day after Scherzer talked about the importance of working ahead in the count against Boston, he was falling behind. Once Martinez's slam gave Scherzer a lead, he allowed as many hits in his final six innings combined as he did in his first.

Scherzer fell behind each of Boston's first four hitters, then threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the final 21.

"To me, that's a great sign of attacking their hitters, not being afraid of situations," Scherzer said. "I felt like that was a major reason I had success tonight, because I constantly had them 0-1. When you do that against a good hitting team, you put yourself in a position to have success. I executed some pitches after that, and my defense made even better plays."

Arguably the biggest pitch he executed, and the biggest out from his defense, both came against Ortiz in their next two meetings. He cranked up his fastball to 97 mph in the fourth inning, but once he missed with the fastball on a 2-2 pitch to run the count full, he brought out his curveball.

It's the pitch Scherzer has honed specifically for left-handed hitters like Ortiz, but he hadn't thrown it to him before -- not just in the game, but ever.

"I didn't have that last year," Scherzer said.

He left it up, but Ortiz swung through it and missed for just his second career strikeout against Scherzer.

Scherzer threw just a few curveballs all night, and none to Ortiz again. With another full count in the sixth inning, two men out and a runner on, Scherzer went to his fastball. Ortiz didn't pull it, but blasted it well over 400 feet to left-center.

It was the wrong part of the ballpark to do it. Austin Jackson, a day after missing a game with soreness in his left leg, ran it down just in front of the fence, preserving a 7-2 lead.

It had to seem familiar to Martinez, who has suffered all too often this year. When he got under a 95-mph fastball from Red Sox starter Allen Webster in the first inning, he wondered if the same might happen.

"I just knew that I hit it good," said Martinez, who was 0-for-8 with the bases loaded this season before that at-bat. "When I first hit it, I thought for sure I'd get an RBI, but the ball kept going and, thank God, it didn't get caught."

The ball landed in the first row of seats in right. Martinez added an RBI double in the fifth before watching a drive to left field die on the track in the eighth, but the homer was the key.

"It's always good when you give an answer," Martinez said. "They came in ready in the first inning and scored two runs. It's always big to come right back, especially with Max on the mound. Everybody knows how well he's been throwing the ball."

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 Jun 24, 2013 12:55 am

Tigers benefit from call, rally late to sink Red Sox
Nava's error on apparent catch leads to Hunter's go-ahead sac fly

By Bobby Nightengale / | 6/23/2013 7:06 PM ET


DETROIT -- Another late comeback against the Red Sox on Sunday afternoon propelled the Tigers to a 7-5 win at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,507.

While the back-and-forth game featured three ties and three lead changes, there were bizarre plays in the late innings that won't be forgotten anytime soon.

In the seventh inning, Austin Jackson hit a leadoff single before Torii Hunter hit a line drive to a leaping Dustin Pedroia at second. Pedroia dropped the ball, while Jackson retreated to first base. Pedroia threw to first, causing the forceout on Hunter, but not a double play because he didn't tag Jackson beforehand.

"We talk about this rule in Spring Training," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "In my morning session, every once in a while we talk about a rule, and that's one of the rules that we've talked about. If you're at the base and something like that happens, it's your base. Stay there. Do not depart that base. They wanted Austin to step off and tag him, too, for a double play. I'm glad that we went over that. I don't know if that went through his mind today, but yeah, it was a really good play."

Said Jackson: "I had no clue what to do, I have to be honest with you. I'm glad I didn't come off the bag."

Jackson later came around to score when Jhonny Peralta was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

In the eighth, Avisail Garcia led off with a fly ball to deep right. Daniel Nava appeared to make the catch and dropped it when he transferred the ball to his throwing hand, but second-base umpire Mike DiMuro ruled that Nava never made the catch, and Garcia ended up on second base on a two-base error.

"Clearly, the call was missed. He caught it," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He went to transfer to his throwing hand, dropped it at that point. It wasn't like it was an instantaneous movement."

Despite protests from the Red Sox, including Farrell, who was ejected, the call stood, and the umpires defended the call after seeing replays.

"To have a catch, you have to have complete control and voluntary release," crew chief Ted Barrett said. "Mike [DiMuro] had him with control, but did not have the voluntary release. When he flipped the ball out of his glove, he never got it into his hand. That's not voluntary release."

Garcia eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Torii Hunter before Prince Fielder's two-run single gave Detroit a 7-4 lead.

The late rally allowed the Tigers to pick up Justin Verlander, who struggled through five innings, allowing four earned runs. Verlander exited after throwing 112 pitches.

Verlander struggled with his offspeed command; he only got one swing and miss on the 23 changeups he threw. Throughout the season, batters have swung through his changeup nearly 18 percent of the time, according to BrooksBaseball. He only forced Boston's hitters into a total of six swings and misses, while they fouled off 28 pitches.

"The stuff is there, just a lot of location really," Verlander said. "The offspeed stuff wasn't very good today, the changeup and curveball weren't very good. It's just leaving a lot of stuff over the middle of the plate, whether it being to put guys away or early in the count, or whatever it is."

It's the fifth time in nine starts that Verlander hasn't pitched more than five innings. During the past two seasons, he pitched longer than five innings in all but one of his starts.

"He continues to have command issues," Leyland said. "That's the only issue. It's not a stuff issue or anything else. It's a command issue for him. But today none of the repertoire was really getting where he wanted it to go."

Despite the command issues, Verlander found a silver lining.

"The one positive, though, I was able to limit the big inning," Verlander said. "There were opportunities for those guys to blow it open early, and I was able to make some pitches when I really needed to keep us in the ballgame. That's what it's all about with this team, because we can obviously score runs in a hurry."

Reliever Drew Smyly followed Verlander with 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Leyland planned on only pitching Smyly one inning so he could use him for Tuesday's game against the Angels. However, Verlander's short start didn't allow him to do so with a taxed bullpen.

"I had to change the plan a little bit," Leyland said. "See, the key with him for me is to get him one inning at an important time and be successful and then get him an inning the very next day at an important time and be successful. He can go back-to-back if he pitches one inning, but when his pitch count gets up to 35, 38, 39 pitches, then I lose him for a couple days. So it's not a perfect situation just yet, but we're working on it."

Although Sunday's game may not have gone to plan, the Tigers made it work.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jun 26, 2013 12:56 am

Tigers commit six errors in sloppy loss to Halos
Cabrera hits 21st homer; Angels plate eight runs in fifth

By Jason Beck / | 6/26/2013 12:40 AM ET


DETROIT -- Unlike in April, Rick Porcello's rematch against the Angels did not end in the first inning. This was a long, drawn-out drubbing they put on him and the Tigers.

Once the Angels chased Porcello in the fifth inning, the damage looked similar, as did the defensive struggles behind him. And the Angels were just halfway done.

By the time Tuesday's 14-8 loss was final, four hours and three minutes after Porcello's first pitch, the Tigers had allowed their highest run total since July 2, 2011, and posted their first six-error game in 31 years. They also had their fourth loss in as many games to the Angels this year by a combined 36-12 margin.

Miguel Cabrera's 21st home run of the year for a brief lead was a distant memory, as was his brief staredown with C.J. Wilson.

"The weather was miserable," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, "and we had a miserable night."

Porcello, on the other hand, was struggling to figure out what happened -- not so much against the Angels as his last two starts.

"Tonight, there's definitely some things to be had, some things to learn from," Porcello said. "The past few starts, I've been getting beat with fastballs up in the strike zone, so obviously there's a little something that's off. I took a look at it when I came out of the game, and there are some adjustments that I need to make.

"The biggest thing, though, is mentally bear down with two strikes against those guys. A big inning starts with a couple hits, and those could have been easily avoided tonight."

This was supposed to be the chance for Porcello to avenge the first-inning drubbing the Angels handed him April 20 in Anaheim. Porcello suffered the misfortune that afternoon of three infield singles and three more ground balls before Mike Trout's grand slam on a hanging curveball chased him with two outs in the first.

Porcello went 4-1 with a 2.63 ERA in his next nine starts after that outing, making it more of an anomaly in a potential breakout season, before the Orioles put up six runs in as many innings against him last Wednesday.

Porcello needed just nine pitches Tuesday to outlast his previous meeting with the Halos, retiring the side in order in the opening inning. A 31-pitch second inning, albeit a scoreless one, raised more concerns.

"The first time around this year, I think it was just a combination of a lot of freak things, and a couple of bad pitches," Porcello said. "But tonight was just me. I was off and it just happened to be against the same team. If I make good pitches, I'm getting those guys out for sure, but I just didn't make good pitches tonight."

The missing factor from Porcello's April outing with the Angels, besides a big out from his defense, was the curveball, a pitch that became more effective in the outings since. Time and again Tuesday, he tried to get that going, starting off several hitters with it the second and third trips through the batting order.

The results of those pitches were mixed. The results, overall, were anything but.

"The offspeed stuff wasn't as good as it has been and I've got to get back to getting the ball down in the zone," Porcello said. "That was the biggest thing, it's just elevated, leaving pitches out over the plate."

Six consecutive Angels hitters reached base safely in a 12-batter fifth. The only out in a 10-batter span that required three different pitchers was an Erick Aybar sacrifice fly.

Porcello threw strikes, except for an intentional walk to his final hitter, and the Angels sent them into the outfield. A 2-2 changeup to Albert Pujols went for the double that started it all. Fastballs to Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick went for singles. A curveball to Josh Hamilton ended up being his second hit on an 0-2 count in as many innings.

"Just a rough outing and a rough night, and that's one of those where you just turn the page," Leyland said.

Leyland pulled Porcello with the bases loaded and one out, handing the ball to Darin Downs with a 4-2 deficit. Downs had stranded nine consecutive runners since May 1. A Hank Conger bases-loaded walk, Aybar sac fly and J.B. Shuck RBI single later, all three runners were in, and the game was blown open.

"Downsie looked like he was a little dead-armed," Leyland said.

Porcello gave up seven runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings, bumping his damage against the Angels to 16 runs on 19 hits over five innings. He owns a 3.70 ERA against every other opponent this year.

The Tigers added three runs in the bottom of the inning against Wilson, two on a Victor Martinez two-out single after a Prince Fielder RBI double. By that point, the Tigers' best chance at avoiding a defeat was a rainout, and the storm that passed through wasn't heavy enough for that.

"We're just trying to get as many wins as we can," Wilson said. "That's really all there is to it. It's so deep in the season now. I don't care if we win in 16 innings and they're all unearned runs or whatever."

Not since Sept. 11, 1982, had the Tigers committed six errors in a game. Two errors went to Evan Reed, who followed his errant pickoff throw by missing first base on a grounder to Fielder, and Cabrera, who made two errant throws to first. The half-dozen miscues marked the highest total in the Majors since the Pirates committed seven errors Sept. 7, 2012, against the Cubs.

"We hit the ball and we did what we had to do, but they outscored us. This is baseball," Torii Hunter said. "We'll just chalk this up as a loss -- as a beatdown, actually -- and come back ready to go tomorrow."

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 Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:31 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:10 am

Tigers can't crack Halos in Alvarez's first loss
Hunter, Miggy hit back-to-back jacks, but southpaw relinquishes lead

By Jason Beck / | 6/27/2013 12:30 AM ET


DETROIT -- Not even a last-second bullpen start from the Angels could help the Tigers to a win Wednesday night. That's the way their matchups are going this season.

Instead, on a night when scheduled starter Tommy Hanson was out before he could even throw a pitch, it was the 110th and final pitch from Jose Alvarez in what looked like another quality start that turned this episode of a rivalry that Detroit can't break through.

Add-on runs from the Angels helped pad the margin for a 7-4 Tigers loss, but didn't lessen the impact. This one hurt.

"I don't know how to say it," Torii Hunter said. "I've been around the game for a while and I've seen different teams manhandle one team, and they're manhandling us right now. They're throwing us around like rag dolls."

For the season, the Angels are now 5-0 against them, outscoring them by a 43-16 margin. Detroit will have to find a way to beat Jered Weaver on Thursday afternoon to avoid a season sweep. Add in a three-game sweep last September in Anaheim, and it's an eight-game streak by a 55-21 run differential.

The Angels are 9-7 against the rest of the American League Central, so the impact in the division is lessened. The bewilderment is not, even amongst some players. The Angels are among the season's mysteries, an expected contender that sits eight games under .500 overall and 12-20 against its AL West competitors -- including 3-7 against the Astros -- but seemingly play to their potential here.

"It's another team that's a good team," manager Jim Leyland said, "and they've been swinging the bats very well lately. They're like everybody else. When they pitch good, they win games. No, I don't think it has anything to do with the matchup."

That's the thing: On a night their bullpen had to cover nine innings, the Angels weren't expected to pitch well. When Hunter and Miguel Cabrera hit back-to-back homers off Billy Buckner -- who had a stint with the Toledo Mud Hens in 2010 -- in the first inning for a 2-0 lead, it looked like a blowout in the making.

Buckner had recorded the final two outs the previous night, but the Triple-A starter was the best option the Angels had on short notice. The Tigers didn't know until less than 20 minutes before game time.

With a short bullpen, the Angels had to cover innings. Buckner handled three-plus, with the only other run he allowed a Prince Fielder RBI single in the third. Mike Trout's two-run homer off Alvarez in the top of the inning had tied the game at 2.

"For Billy Buckner to have to get down there and get loose in a hurry and for our bullpen to respond the way they did is huge," Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "That's a big offense over there. Billy did the best he can to kind of get us going, but the bullpen came in and gave us six strong innings. Dane De La Rosa in the middle, that was huge."

Once De La Rosa stranded two of Buckner's runners by leaving the bases loaded in the fourth with a strikeout of Hunter, the Angels had successfully turned potential doom into a pitching duel. In the process, they made every decision a big one.

None arguably loomed larger than the one Leyland faced in the sixth, after Alvarez crossed the 100-pitch mark protecting a 3-2 lead. It wasn't merely a decision about how many pitches Alvarez had left, but also how many pitches Leyland felt he could get out of Drew Smyly.

This is the scenario Leyland meant when he talked in recent days about getting his bullpen in order. With Alvarez, a fill-in starter while Anibal Sanchez is on the disabled list, it's just a far less certain proposition to stretch out for that one critical out to make the logical handoff to the bullpen.

"We were basically hoping to get [Alvarez] through the sixth, pitch Smyly in the seventh, [Al] Alburquerque the eighth and [Joaquin] Benoit the ninth," Leyland said afterward. "And that's what we have to get to if we're going to be good."

That's how a bullpen in order works. The struggle to get there, not just Wednesday but for much of the season, demonstrates Detroit's bullpen woes.

Luke Putkonen was warming in the bullpen as Alvarez began the sixth, but Leyland said he was an option if the Angels put some hits on Alvarez early in the inning. Once Alvarez retired Josh Hamilton and Alberto Callaspo, Putkonen sat down and Smyly got up.

Neither Chris Iannetta's eight-pitch at-bat nor pitching coach Jeff Jones' slow walk to the mound for a visit were going to buy time to get Smyly ready. The visit, Leyland said, was meant to give Alvarez a chance to catch his breath.

"He asked me how I was doing," Alvarez said of Jones, "and I said, 'Good.'"

The switch-hitting Aybar entered the night batting 51 points higher against right-handed pitching than lefties. For his career, his lefty-righty splits are virtually even. For style, Hunter said, he's a different hitter against lefties.

"That's my fault, I didn't tell 'em," Hunter said. "When he's on the right side, he's always trying to go deep. He swings really hard. Left side, he's more of a slap hitter. He got a changeup up, and he was able to capitalize on that hanging changeup."

Said Alvarez: "I think he was sitting on it. The pitch went down, but he hit it."

Three seventh-inning runs off Smyly put the game out of reach. Fielder doubled and scored on a passed ball in the eighth, but that's all the Tigers could add against a procession of Angels relievers.

"We faced six different pitchers today," Hunter said. "Felt like Spring Training. We had different looks every at-bat. But there's no excuses. We got to go out there and do our jobs and battle back. We did. ... We just couldn't come back. The Angels just have our number."

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 Jun 27, 2013 11:42 pm

Fister strong, but Tigers fall to Angels in 10
Righty yields one run over seven frames in Detroit's third straight loss

By Bobby Nightengale / | 6/27/2013 7:00 PM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers have looked dominating at times this season, and frustrating at others. Against the Angels, it's been frustrating the entire time, as they lost all six meetings -- three at home and three on the road -- this season after falling, 3-1, in 10 innings on Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park.

At times this season, the Tigers have struggled to play at their full potential. When they do, it seems that when the starting pitching has been good, then the bats have been quiet. If the offense is scoring runs, the pitching has been shaky.

"We had a lot of bad combinations going," manager Jim Leyland said. "We're all in this together, so it starts with me. When you get in a funk like this, you don't manage good enough, you don't hit good enough, you don't pitch good enough, you don't catch the ball good enough, you don't coach good enough. We're all in this together, and we'll all come out of it together."

Starter Doug Fister was back to his usual ways after an uncharacteristic start last week. Unfortunately, a quality start by Fister typically means the absence of run support for the Tigers, with the offense providing a total of seven runs in his last five quality starts.

"We got one run in 10 innings," Leyland said. "That's why we didn't win this game. We had our chances to win this game."

Angels starter Jered Weaver limited the Tigers to four hits over seven innings. Detroit hitters went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, after going 1-for-9 in the same situation during Wednesday's 7-4 loss to the Angels.

The lack of offense not only leaves little margin for error, it also stretches the bullpen thin. With lefty Drew Smyly having logged multiple innings from the bullpen -- although Leyland wants to limit his outings to one inning so he can pitch in back-to-back games -- the Tigers' only other southpaw setup man in the 'pen, Phil Coke, was called upon late in Thursday's game.

"Well, you've gotta pitch him," Leyland said. "It won't get going by sitting there. I wanted to give him an opportunity today to do something."

Coke entered the game in the 10th inning, and gave up three straight hits, including a go-ahead RBI double to Albert Pujols, who drilled an 85-mph changeup to the wall in center field.

"I felt like I made a good pitcher's pitch -- I don't feel like I made the perfect pitch to him by any means -- but I mean, the last thing I thought he was going to do was hit the ball as far as he did," Coke said. "It was away from him, I looked at where [catcher Brayan] Pena was set up, and [Pena] was going away from Pujols with his glove, going away to receive the ball, and [Pujols] found it with his barrel."

Said Pujols: "I just try to get a good pitch up. Try to put my best swing and trust my hands. When I'm doing that, I'm good at it, and that's what I was able to do right there. I felt like I got some good pitches today that I got a little bit under or rolled over on a couple times, but I guess I hit it when it counts."

Coke dropped to 0-5 with a 6.56 ERA in 24 appearances. Opposing hitters are batting .333 against him with runners in scoring position, including a .381 slugging percentage vs. a .224 batting average and .303 slugging percentage in 2012.

"I feel like I'm making pitches, and I'm getting beat," Coke said. "I feel like I'm not contributing in a positive way. And that's a tough pill to swallow, because I pride myself on what I do, and I haven't got anything to show for it. I don't feel like I have anything positive effect-wise on our team."

Fister became only the third Tigers starter to last more than six innings over the team's past nine games. With that equals a taxed bullpen, one that is facing 11 games in the next 11 days. Now that Joaquin Benoit has been moved to the ninth inning, Smyly, Coke and Al Alburquerque are going to split the setup duties.

Coke, however, still is working on finding his groove. Since June 8, he has pitched in three tied games, allowing four earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.

"I'm going out there and doing my best to actually keep the pitches I'm being asked to throw, Coke said, "and I don't have the results to show for."

Despite only four wins in the 10-game homestand, players may be angry, but they believe they're better than they've played recently.

"I'm annoyed right now, man," Coke said. "How do you think I feel right now? I'm not happy. I'm not excited about what I've done this season for this team. We are way too good to be where we are in the standing as it is overall record-wise. We are way too good; our bullpen is too good. We haven't clicked, I haven't clicked, it just hasn't happened. It's going to happen, it has to. Something has to give, and it's not going to be me."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for him on Twitter @nightengalejr. 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 Jun 29, 2013 12:42 am

Scherzer becomes first to start 12-0 since 1986
Miggy goes 4-for-4 with two homers to back right-hander

By Jim Hawkins / Special to | 6/28/2013 11:47 PM ET


ST. PETERSBURG -- Max Scherzer became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 1986 to start a season 12-0 on Friday, and the first Tigers pitcher ever to reach that lofty plateau.

But Scherzer insisted the credit for his historic record rightfully belonged to sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, who together blasted three gigantic home runs as the Tigers snapped their three-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field.

"I'm pitching well, but the reason why I'm 12-0 is our offense," Scherzer said. "You got to see first-hand today the best player in the game [Cabrera] hitting two home runs on three pitches and go 4-for-4. Then Prince hits a bomb.

"My record is a reflection of our team. It was the offense that stepped up tonight. All I thought about was winning. That's all that mattered. I don't get caught up in the win-loss record, because it's kind of flukey."

Cabrera, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player and Triple Crown winner, homered with Austin Jackson aboard and one out in the first inning, then connected again leading off the fourth with a blast deep into the left-field seats.

Fielder called Cabrera's home runs, which traveled 388 and 432 feet, "enormous." And third-base coach Tom Brookens said, "The ball jumps off his bat, it's just a different sound."

Fielder himself blasted a towering two-run homer off the C-ring catwalk high above right field, 412 feet from home plate, that Cabrera laughingly said would have flown "to Miami," if it hadn't struck the catwalk.

"I was just glad it went out," Fielder said. "If you can tell me a formula to do that all the time, I'll do it."

"The big guys did what they do, they hit some bombs, and Max did a terrific job, obviously -- that's a nice combination," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "That's the combination of how we get a lot of wins. We're a good team and when we pitch good and hit good, we're going to win some games."

As for Scherzer's 12-0 record, Leyland said, "That's a nice individual thing. But more importantly, we needed a win.

"I guess that's the Tigers' all-time record, and the Tigers have been around a long time. That's pretty impressive."

Scherzer leads the American League in wins. Clemens started the 1986 season 14-0 for the Red Sox.

Scherzer, who held the Rays to four hits over the first seven innings, struck out nine. He has recorded six or more strikeouts in all 16 of his starts -- the second-longest streak of six-strikeout games to begin a season in American League history. Boston's Pedro Martinez holds the AL record with a 29-game streak to begin the 2000 season.

In the Tigers' last 11 games, Scherzer is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA in three starts, while the rest of the starting rotation is 0-5 with a 7.62 ERA.

"It's something that's fun to watch, it's unbelievable," said catcher Brayan Pena. "It's exciting to be behind home plate and watch him doing what he's doing."

The home runs were Cabrera's 23rd and 24th of the year, second-most in the AL. That gives him 81 RBIs, which leads the league and are the most by any Tiger through 78 games since Vic Wertz in 1949.

Cabrera, who also singled and doubled, leads the Major Leagues with 116 hits, the most by a Tiger through 78 games since Al Kaline in 1955.

Ben Zobrist homered in the fourth for the first hit off Scherzer. Rays rookie Wil Myers slammed his third homer in the fifth to cut the Tigers lead to 4-2. Myers singled with two gone in the seventh and scored on Luke Scott's double down the right-field line to make it 4-3, before Fielder's homer in the eighth put the game away.

Scherzer is scheduled to start on Saturday, July 13. Leyland, who will manage the American League in the All-Star Game, said Friday that he will "probably" use pitchers who start on that Saturday for no more than one inning.

But that would not preclude Scherzer from starting the All-Star Game.

The Tigers have now won 15 of their last 19 games against the Rays, dating back to Aug. 11, 2010. They have held the Rays to four runs or fewer in 16 consecutive games.

Jim Hawkins 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 Jun 30, 2013 2:37 am

Tigers edged in extras after Verlander's quality outing
Rondon tagged for three singles in return as Rays walk off in 10th inning

By Jim Hawkins / Special to | 6/29/2013 11:46 PM ET


ST. PETERSBURG -- The Tigers staked Justin Verlander to a three-run lead Saturday night but the right-hander, winless since June 7, couldn't hold it as Tampa Bay prevailed, 4-3, in 10 innings on Yunel Escobar's walk-off RBI single against rookie reliever Bruce Rondon before 23,809 at Tropicana Field.

Verlander worked a season-high eight innings, allowing three runs on nine hits. He walked four and struck out four. It marked the first time in his last three starts that he has pitched more than five innings.

Verlander and manager Jim Leyland were both pleased with the right-hander's performance.

"I thought Verlander was really locked in from about the fifth inning on," Leyland said. "He was absolutely terrific. I thought that was the best that he's thrown in a long time. As the game went on, his stuff got much, much better."

According to Verlander, while working with pitching coach Jeff Jones in the bullpen since his last start, they discovered a problem with the angle of his shoulder.

"My shoulder angle was very tilted," Verlander explained. "It was nothing major. It just kind of went unnoticed by us. And it just kind of made sense. It was just a matter of getting comfortable with it."

Leyland, however, was not at all pleased about a head-high inside 1-2 pitch in the 10th inning from former Tiger Fernando Rodney that brushed Miguel Cabrera back away from the plate.

"I don't care about a guy throwing inside, that's part of the art of pitching," Leyland said. "But not upstairs in the head area. That's unacceptable. We will not tolerate that. Against anybody. Not upstairs. And you can take that to the bank.

"And I don't want to hear that stuff about 'the ball got away.' [Rodney] has pitched long enough that they don't 'get away.'

"I'm not saying he was throwing at him. What he did tonight, up in that area, that's just not acceptable. And there's a price to pay for that.

"If you're going to pitch inside, you've got to be careful that it's not in the head area. There's no free lunch in baseball. When somebody starts doing that stuff, somebody pays a price for it."

Cabrera did not comment on the incident after the game.

Austin Jackson, who has been red-hot since he returned from the disabled list on June 14, batting .367, with 14 runs scored, two home runs and seven RBIs, led off the third with his fourth homer of the season.

One out later, Cabrera singled, extending his hitting streak to 14 games. Victor Martinez kept the rally alive with a base hit, and Jhonny Peralta brought them both home with a single, putting the Tigers and Verlander on top, 3-0.

Tampa's Desmond Jennings tripled and scored on Ben Zobrist's infield grounder in the bottom half of that inning. A throwing error by Prince Fielder, a single by Zobrist and a base hit to right by James Loney in the fifth made it 3-2.

Tampa nearly tied it up in the seventh when Matt Joyce walked and Zobrist singled for the third time. But, with one away, the Tigers' just barely turned a clutch double play on Loney's ground ball to second, prompting Verlander to pump his fist in the air.

Luke Scott tied the score at three in the eighth with his fifth home run of the year on a Verlander changeup.

Brayan Pena doubled with one out in the top of the ninth, but Rodney retired Jackson and Avisail Garcia to get out of the jam.

Rondon, making his first appearance since his return to the big leagues on Friday, gave up three singles, including the game winner, in the 10th.

"I thought he threw the ball well," Leyland said. "He'll be able to help us."

The walk-off loss was the Tigers' seventh of the season, most in the American League. They suffered only six all last season. It also was the Tigers' 10th loss this year when leading after seven innings.

Jim Hawkins 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 Jun 30, 2013 7:18 pm

Bats fall quiet as Tigers drop finale to Rays
Cabrera's towering homer provides sole offense in Porcello's solid start

By Jim Hawkins / Special to | 6/30/2013 6:20 PM ET


ST. PETERSBURG -- Jim Leyland admitted he doesn't have the answer.

"Since the beginning of the year, people have talked about what a terrific lineup we've got -- and it is a terrific lineup," Leyland said Sunday after the Tigers lost their second game in a row and their fifth of their last six, falling 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Rays to drop into a virtual tie with the Indians for first place in the American League Central.

It marks the first time since May 23 that the Tigers have not been in sole possession of first place.

And in those last five losses, the Tigers, the top hitting team in the AL with a .280 average, have been outscored, 31-17.

"I'm not really overly concerned about it, but we do have to put some runs on the board," Leyland said. "We just haven't been producing any runs. We're just not swinging the bats good in big situations. Runs have been a problem for us and they were again today."

The Tigers rank third in the AL in runs scored with 396. But as Leyland pointed out earlier this weekend, their scoring has been inconsistent.

"To say we're struggling, that's obvious," he said. "To say, what's the solution? That's not so obvious.

"I could get goofy and play some silly games with the lineup. Some guys have done that. But I don't believe in that."

Rick Porcello, who has now lost three in a row, posting an 8.82 ERA over that stretch, worked six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits as the Tigers continue to try to get him back on track.

"I've made some adjustments but I still need to keep making some more to avoid innings like the fourth," Porcello said. "Six innings, three runs, kept us in the game. I'll take it.

"You don't want to overthink the process," Leyland explained. "Most Major League pitchers don't need a major overhaul between starts or during the week. It's hard to do on the Major League level."

The Rays took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when James Loney doubled and scored on Jose Lobaton's single. They added two more runs in the fourth, but it could have been a lot worse.

Consecutive singles by Wil Myers, Luke Scott, Kelly Johnson and Lobaton produced one run and a bases-loaded walk to Yunel Escobar pushed another across the plate.

"I threw some pitches that inning that weren't competitive," Porcello said. "Obviously, the fourth inning was a little rocky. I was getting ahead of myself a little bit."

But first baseman Prince Fielder turned former Tiger Matt Joyce's line drive into an inning-ending double play.

"I got lucky," Porcello said.

Miguel Cabrera led off the fourth with his 25th home run of the season, driving a ball 424 feet into the Tropicana Field tank in right-center field, tying the score at 1. That was only the second homer ever hit into the tank. The other was by Luis Gonzalez on June 24, 2007.

Trailing by two, the Tigers loaded the bases with nobody out against Jeremy Hellickson in the seventh on a double by Andy Dirks, a single by Omar Infante and a walk to pinch hitter Jhonny Peralta.

But Jake McGee came on in relief, and Bryan Holaday flied to right, Austin Jackson forced Dirks at home and Torii Hunter flied out.

"We didn't even need a hit there," Leyland said. "If we had just gotten a sacrifice fly we would have been in good shape."

Those fans waiting to see if the Tigers would retaliate for Fernando Rodney's high-and-tight pitch to Cabrera in the 10th inning on Saturday night didn't have to wait long.

After retiring the first two Rays he faced in the bottom of the first, Porcello hit Ben Zobrist on the upper right arm. Plate umpire Vic Carapazza immediately warned both benches and Zobrist glared at Porcello as he walked slowly to first base.

Leyland, who was outspoken after the incident Saturday night, dismissed Porcello's plunking of Zobrist.

"Why is everybody making a big deal out of that?" the Tigers' manager said. "That's part of baseball. Guys get hit in baseball games. Big deal. That's nothing new."

Porcello said he was "just trying to throw a fastball inside and it got away from me" when he hit Zobrist.

Porcello also said the umpire's warning didn't bother him.

"The only way I'm going to get those guys out is by pitching inside," he said.

Jim Hawkins 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   Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:49 pm

Rookie Alvarez struggles, Tigers fall out of first place
Infante goes 4-for-4, homers, but Detroit drops sixth of last seven

By Jason Beck / | 7/1/2013 6:38 PM ET


TORONTO -- The Tigers reached the midpoint of their season on Monday looking up at the division lead. Considering they were in third place halfway through last season, they'll take it. Considering where they stood a week ago, it's not the same.

They're not worried about the standings at this point, but they are about recent play behind it. While the Blue Jays celebrated Canada Day with an early fireworks display off Tigers pitching, R.A. Dickey sent his knuckleball largely fluttering past a Tigers' offense that continued sputtering.

The resulting 8-3 loss at Rogers Centre marked the Tigers' sixth defeat in their last seven games. Combined with an off-day for the Cleveland Indians, it also dropped Detroit to second place in the AL Central for the first time since May 23.

The Tigers now sit a half-game back of the lead with three more games in Toronto before a showdown with the Indians in Cleveland next weekend. Detroit also sits in search for a spark to ignite an offensive revival and recapture the kind of play that helped build a lead in the first place.

Like the starting pitching that had dominated until a week or two ago, the Tigers believe the offensive firepower is there. Getting it going on a consistent basis, not just a game here and there, is something they're struggling to figure out.

"I don't know. I'm not sure," Prince Fielder said. "If I knew, we would never be in a slump. Just play hard and see what happens."

A series-opening matinee with the only knuckleballer left in the Majors probably wasn't the place to find it. Once Detroit fell behind by five runs by the end of the third, the challenge against Dickey became that much harder.

"We tried not to swing too aggressive, but that's why they say it's not easy to hit that ball," said Omar Infante, who had four of Detroit's seven hits as he carried over his National League success to Canada. "He has a good knuckleball and he throws a hard knuckleball. That's why it's not easy."

The Tigers didn't lead the division by themselves in either of the past two seasons, but still went on to win. In neither of those seasons did Detroit hold as large of an early summer lead as this season, a five-game advantage two weeks ago and a four-game lead heading into last week before the aforementioned skid.

Manager Jim Leyland said last week he had the wrong combinations going. On Monday, before a sellout crowd that was roaring when the Jays took the lead in the second inning, everything seemed to go wrong, including lefty Jose Alvarez.

"Today," catcher Brayan Pena said, "was a rough day."

Alvarez (1-2), making his fourth and likely final start in place of the injured Anibal Sanchez, retired five of the first six Blue Jays he faced before a two-out single from Maicer Izturis began a second-inning rally. Alvarez never recovered.

Like his previous two starts, his second time through the order was the time for opponents to do damage. Unlike those starts, Alvarez didn't survive long enough to get a third trip through the lineup.

It was an outing out of character for Alvarez from that first hit on. Three of the next seven Blue Jays drew walks against him, all three getting 3-0 counts. He had just two 3-0 counts in his previous three starts combined. Two of those walks scored, and the other could have if Josh Thole hadn't run through third base coach Luis Rivera's stop sign for Andy Dirks to throw him out at the plate. Dirks' play got Alvarez out of the second inning with a lone run allowed and left Jose Reyes on deck.

Alvarez's 2-1 offspeed pitch to Reyes went for a leadoff homer and a 2-0 Jays lead. A double and two walks loaded the bases from there, and J.P. Arencibia hit a two-run single. In between, a steal of third from Rajai Davis while Pena was throwing the ball back to Alvarez typified the way things were going.

Alvarez (1-2) gave up five runs, four earned, on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Six of the 10 balls put in play by Jays hitters went for base hits.

"In that inning, nothing worked for us and they took advantage of our mistakes," Pena said. "I blame myself, too, in there. It was one of those days that you just need to forget and learn from the game and try to move on and regroup."

With a 5-0 deficit, the Tigers' best chance at a comeback was going to be hanging knuckleballs from Dickey, who has been feast or famine for much of the past month. Fielder got one and drove it like a batting practice swing for a fourth-inning solo homer, his 14th home run of the season. Infante got another and doubled in Martinez three batters later to make it a 5-2 game.

That was about it. Once Mark DeRosa added a three-run homer off Luke Putkonen in the bottom of the inning, Putkonen could do little more than save the bullpen, which he did by pitching four innings. Dickey (8-8), meanwhile, lasted seven innings on six hits with four strikeouts.

"It's coming back, that's the velocity I could count on last year," Dickey said. "So you can get away with a lot more mistakes when the velocity is 78-81."

Infante's double was the Tigers' lone hit in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. They're now 3-for-25 with runners in scoring position over their last three games. By contrast, they have four home runs in that span, all solo shots, including Infante's ninth-inning drive. his sixth of the year.

Get a runner or two on for those home runs, and they likely have an extra win in this stretch. But it's a symptom of more than just three games. At the season's midway point, it's a funk.

"We're going to snap out this," Pena said. "Everybody goes through that. Sometimes you have to go through a little bit and then bounce back. We know what we can do."

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 Jul 03, 2013 12:41 am

Tigers rally from early deficit, edge Jays on late hit
Hunter's hustle snaps tie in eighth; offense, bullpen pick up Fister

By Jason Beck / | 7/3/2013 12:33 AM ET


DETROIT -- The Tigers didn't call this a must-win game, this 7-6 comeback over the Blue Jays on Tuesday night. They don't have must-win games in July. They still found plenty of ways to describe the importance.

Even for a veteran clubhouse like this, a team that stays steady through the ebbs and flows of a long season moreso than riding the waves of it, Tuesday was big.

"I believe in that," said Torii Hunter, whose last strides to first base to beat Jose Reyes' throw for a two-out infield single and the go-ahead run in the eighth inning brought back memories of his younger days beating out choppers at the Metrodome.

"You're only as good as your last game. Our last game, we battled back, Hunter added. "We didn't give up. If you can't build from that, what else are going to build from?"

Miguel Cabrera, whose 26th home run of the year put the Tigers on top in the second hid the back stiffness he battled for eight innings, agreed.

"Especially when this club scored a lot of runs in the first inning, to get back in the game, it's big for us," he said.

Joaquin Benoit, who finished off the lead few thought the Tigers would ever get in this game after a four-run Toronto first inning, described it another way.

"It's a relief," Benoit said, "because playing the Blue Jays here, it's tough. This team at home is really, really good. Their offense is really good. For us, it's a big win, coming from a deficit early in the game and to win the game by the minimum."

The numbers back them all up.

They hadn't come back from more than a three-run deficit in their first 81 games this season, yet erased a four-run first-inning deficit by the time Doug Fister took the mound again after his 38-pitch debacle of an opening frame.

"Right after they scored four, we came in the dugout and we said, 'Hey, don't give up, don't give in. Let's keep fighting, keep battling,'" Hunter said. "We were telling each other that, lifting each other up."

They scored more runs in the second inning (six) than they did in 46 of their first 81 games, including all but nine games in June. They hit Jays starter Chien-Ming Wang hard enough to not only knock him out of the game, but knock him off the roster once Toronto designated him for assignment.

"I think in that second inning the ball just flattened out a little bit," catcher Josh Thole said of Wang's sinker in his second straight second-inning exit.

Maybe most important, a team batting just .210 in the seventh inning or later of close games on the season, compared to a .279 average overall, scored a go-ahead run in the eighth. It took the ricochet of a Hunter comebacker off Neil Wagner and a flash of speed that seemingly had been waning as the season wore on, but it was enough to get Omar Infante home.

Just when it seemed the Tigers had missed their chance three pitches earlier, when Austin Jackson's drive to center field died on the warning track, they had merely set themselves up to manufacture a run.

"It would've been a base hit anyway," Hunter said, "but the pitcher blocked it. There were a lot of ups and downs on that play. My emotions were jacked up the whole time I was running down the line."

As a result, a day shy of two months after Drew Smyly picked up the win in Houston on May 3 during a four-game sweep of the Astros, the Tigers bullpen earned a win on the road for the first time since then.

Detroit's bullpen has gone through a full-blown reconstruction since. Smyly, then the long reliever, is now a setup guy, and his perfect eighth carried the lead over for Benoit's sixth save in as many chances. Al Alburquerque (1-1), exiled to Triple-A Toledo in May with control problems, earned another notch of trust by retiring the top of the Toronto lineup in the seventh, earning him his first regular-season win since Sept. 10, 2011.

The late-inning trio manager Jim Leyland spent the last few weeks struggling to fit into roles -- in large part because of the struggles of the rotation -- finally came together at the right time.

"It's a good win for us. We needed it," said Leyland, whose team had lost six of its last seven. "Hopefully we can get things going again."

It was almost a reversal of Fister's usual fates this season. Detroit's portrait of run support deprivation received two runs of offense or fewer five of his previous seven starts, which made his fate appear sealed once the Jays batted around on him in a first inning that included two doubles, two infield singles, Fister's league-leading 13th hit batter of the season and less-than-stellar defense behind him.

Simply seeing another full turn through the Toronto lineup seemed unlikely, let alone seeing a handshake from Leyland after the sixth.

"It's still a nothing-nothing ballgame in my mind," Fister said. "Going out there, you're still throwing the same pitches and trying to get outs."

A Tigers offense that left two runners on base in the opening frame against Wang sent 11 batters to the plate in the second, including back-to-back RBI doubles from Infante and Alex Avila ahead of Cabrera's drive to right-center.

Just as suddenly as Fister had been given a lead out of initial disaster, the Jays erased it with Colby Rasmus' two-run homer following a two-out walk to Jose Bautista in the second. Fister retired 13 of his final 14 batters from there.

He not only set up the bullpen, he set up the rally that began with Infante's leadoff single.

"That's a great feeling," Hunter said.

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 Jul 04, 2013 1:34 am

Dealing Scherzer baffles Blue Jays, rolls to 13-0
Fireballer becomes first hurler to reach mark since Clemens in '86

By Jason Beck / | 7/4/2013 1:36 AM ET


TORONTO -- No matter what goes on around him, Max Scherzer keeps on winning. His latest victory Wednesday night had plenty surrounding it.

It also had plenty of teammates behind it.

"The record's kind of overblown," Scherzer insisted again after Wednesday's 6-2 Tigers win over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. "I'm playing a part on a great team here. Every time I start, they're always picking me up, they're always making plays. That's the reason why I'm 13-0. I've gone out there and pitched well and always given our team a chance to win, but so have other guys."

Scherzer has spent his past couple of starts making a point about the role his teammates have played in his historic start, but his 13th win might have been the best example yet. While Austin Jackson made two highlight catches in center field early, a four-run second inning off Josh Johnson gave Scherzer an early cushion to protect on his way to 6 1/3 strong innings, eight strikeouts and another step deep into history.

Scherzer's sixth win in as many starts made him the first Major League starter with a 13-0 record since Roger Clemens in 1986. He'll have a chance to tie Clemens' 14-0 standard from that season Monday night in Cleveland.

Whether or not it's flukey, as Scherzer keeps calling it, it's historic. Even his manager, while saying he didn't want to make a big deal about it, couldn't help but marvel at it.

"It's hard to believe, to be honest with you, that somebody is 13-0 in this day and age," Jim Leyland said, "but he is, and we'll take it. We'll accept it and be happy for him, and hopefully he goes 14-0."

Whether Scherzer will have Omar Infante behind him when he goes for 14 remains to be seen. Detroit's second baseman and recent spark plug left the game with a left shin contusion after Colby Rasmus slid into him trying to break up a double play in the fourth inning. What was initially feared to be far worse turned out to bring a sigh of relief when X-rays on Infante's leg came back negative.

"We're really mad about that slide," Scherzer said.

The injury added tension to a game that was trending strongly in Detroit's favor. A Todd Redmond pitch that hit Torii Hunter just below the head in the sixth inning sent the game simmering as both benches cleared and Hunter walked up the first-base line shouting at Redmond.

"To come in like that, that's fine. It's no big deal. I was just mad," Hunter said. "It hurt, first of all, he came up and in, and [Rasmus] took out my second baseman. So I kind of vented."

Scherzer pitched through it, shutting down the Jays' offense until four ground-ball singles led to a two-run sixth inning.

Scherzer said his pure pitching numbers are a better indication of how he fares from start to start. Wednesday brought some of the best pitching he has had in a while.

"I don't judge my season based on 13-0," Scherzer said. "I judge my season based on how I pitch. I thought I've pitched this season very well. I'm doing a lot of things right, generating swings and misses, minimizing walks, pitching with four pitches. And when I do that, I'm going to be successful.

"Am I going to be 13-0 every time I do that? No, but at the same time, I've put my team in a chance to win, and they've gone out every time and won."

Scherzer faced a Jays order that was strengthened with Adam Lind's return, and struck out four of the first five batters he faced, the exception being a Jose Bautista double to deep left field. The next ball put in play was a Maicer Izturis drive to right-center that Jackson ran down in a flat-out sprint.

After Mark DeRosa followed with a two-out triple, Jackson topped his previous work with his best catch so far this year, running back on J.P. Arencibia's fly ball to deep left-center and making a leaping grab near the top of the fence.

The only reason Scherzer didn't know if Jackson would get to it was because he didn't know whether it would stay in the park.

"This is a small park, so I knew there was a chance it could go," Scherzer said, "but I also know Austin can run down anything. I've seen it many, many, many times. I knew the longer it hung up there, the better shot he had. For him to make a jumping, leaping catch the way he did, I was so happy for him and for the team to be able to stay out of a jam in that inning."

By then, the Tigers already had a 4-0 lead, all of the runs scoring in the top of the second. Three of them came home on Alex Avila's home run to left, his second hard hit to the opposite field in as many games since returning from the disabled list. Victor Martinez added an RBI single in the third inning and a solo homer leading off the fifth.

With that, Scherzer had at least six runs of support for the third consecutive start. He has had five runs behind him in five of his last six starts, all six of them wins. However, he also hasn't given up more than three runs in an outing since May 15 in Houston.

An Emilio Bonifacio single chased him with one out in the seventh, but rookie fireballer Bruce Rondon hit 102 mph on the radar gun en route to retiring Jose Reyes and Bautista.

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 Jul 05, 2013 12:45 am

Verlander dominates Jays over seven shutout frames
Tigers offense, led by Jackson's three RBIs, knocks around Rogers

By Jason Beck / | 7/5/2013 12:13 AM ET


TORONTO -- Justin Verlander hadn't taken the mound at Rogers Centre since his no-hitter against the Blue Jays two years ago. A day before his return, he said that was the game that helped him become the dominant pitcher he was the rest of that year.

The way Verlander looked on the mound Thursday night, delivering seven shutout innings in an 11-1 win, the Tigers would love for this to do the same for him.

It wasn't a no-hitter, and it wasn't the best pitching line he has had this season. Yet to some, it might be the best pure pitching he has had all year.

"Yes, this year," Torii Hunter said. "That was an impressive outing for him. I definitely think he figured some things out a couple days ago, and I definitely think he's on the rise."

Manager Jim Leyland didn't put comparisons on it, but his superlatives said plenty.

"I thought he threw exceptionally well," he said. "I thought he threw the ball pretty hard, a little bit firmer than he has been at times. He used all his pitches like he normally does. He was just in command all the way."

Verlander wasn't so sure.

"It was obviously one of my better ones so far," he said. "Just trying to get myself to where I need to be."

He thinks he has better starts in his near future, and he's already looking forward. This might well end up being the step that gets him there.

"You guys have seen my best," he said with a smirk, noting the venue. "It's much better, though."

This was supposed to be the opportunity for the Blue Jays to get to him. He made improvements five days earlier in Tampa Bay for eight solid innings, but he has had outings like that this season become false steps forward. Moreover, with Miguel Cabrera and Omar Infante both out of the lineup, he shouldn't have run support helping him out.

Like Verlander at his best, he took any thoughts of vulnerability and shut them down. In the process, he had some in the crowd of 35,978 wondering if lightning could strike twice.

He understood, because he thought about another bid, too.

"After the first few innings, yeah, of course I did," Verlander said. "I did last time."

He retired the first 11 Blue Jays, striking out just two, but inducing several early-in-the-count outs to keep his pitch count down. When Edwin Encarncion turned away at a curveball that dropped over the plate for a strike with two outs in the fourth, the thought of another no-hit bid seemed legitimate.

Encarnacion dashed that idea on the next pitch, lining it over shortstop Jhonny Peralta and into left-center field for a single. Two groundball singles and two walks were all Verlander allowed for the remainder of his outing.

The curveball to Encarnacion was one highlight. The fifth-inning slider that sent Munenori Kawasaki twisting himself into the dirt on a swing and miss was another.

Verlander not only threw his fastball at 97-98 mph, he sustained it into the later innings. He dropped curveballs onto the corners early before losing a little feel for it later. He changed speeds with ease, not only with his secondary stuff, but with his fastball as well.

"I mean, he just pitches," said J.P. Arencibia, the only Toronto hitter to reach base against Verlander his last trip here. "He's got, obviously, four pitches he can throw at any time, so you've got to respect it. Whenever he wants, he can climb up to 97. If he wants to throw a slider at 90, he can throw a slider at 90. Then he'll throw you a fastball at 97."

His biggest obstacle preventing a bid at a shutout might have been his own offense. With Cabrera given a night to rest his sore back, and Infante out with a bruised left shin, the Tigers used a combination of supporting cast and role players to overwhelm Toronto starter Esmil Rogers.

"You lose those two guys, you're talking about a lot of hits," Hunter said. "So to come out and get those runs early for Verlander and then score some more runs without those guys, that's a lot of fun."

Andy Dirks, Prince Fielder and Peralta all hit RBI doubles for four runs over the first three innings. Austin Jackson had four hits and four runs scored, including a no-doubt two-run homer to left-center in the eighth. Even utilityman Don Kelly, starting at third base in Cabrera's place, had his first three-hit game since Sept. 21, 2011.

"Nobody in the league can be Miguel Cabrera," Kelly said. "You're going in there trying to stay within yourself and do anything you can."

Jackson's fifth homer of the year made it 9-0 and essentially left Verlander's services unnecessary for the final two innings. He finished with seven innings of three-hit ball, walking two and striking out five.

"He was going to go out for the eighth inning if he had a quick inning," Leyland said. "But when that inning went so long, I wasn't going to send him back out there."

Only a 17-2 win in Houston May 4 saw the Tigers score more runs on the road this year.

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 Jul 06, 2013 12:17 am

Porcello, Tigers blank Indians in series opener
Detroit picks up fourth straight win, pads AL Central lead over Tribe

By Jason Beck / | 7/6/2013 12:08 AM ET


CLEVELAND -- The Tigers insisted on their way into town that it was too early for a big series. It wasn't too early for a big game.

It was important for Rick Porcello, who largely quieted Cleveland's left-handed hitters on his way to seven scoreless innings in a 7-0 Tigers win Friday night at Progressive Field.

"Personally, I thought his mound presence tonight, with a packed house, on the road, a team right there with you, I thought his presence was the best I've seen it," manager Jim Leyland said.

It was big for Jhonny Peralta, who was 1-for-17 off former Indians teammate Justin Masterson before delivering a two-out, two-run double in the fifth inning to knock Cleveland's ace out of the game.

"When the sinker is up, anybody can hit it," Masterson said. "It doesn't matter what the numbers are."

It was even big for Ramon Santiago, 1-for-14 off Masterson and 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position before his two-run single in the second inning.

"With [Masterson], you have to look for something up in the zone," Santiago said. "When that sinker's down, there's nothing you can do."

It was pretty good, too, for Victor Martinez, whose third three-hit game against his old club this year raised his batting average to .242, tying his high for the season.

"That looked like the Victor Martinez we know tonight -- patient and just hitting line drives all over the ballpark," Leyland said. "That's the Victor we know."

And with the resulting victory, their lead in the American League Central looks a little bigger, too, now back to 2 1/2 games. Detroit has gained three games on Cleveland in the standings in as many days while putting together a four-game winning streak, all on the road.

It's too early to watch the standings, several Tigers insisted. Their late-season comeback last year was an example why, Peralta pointed out after the Tigers beat Toronto on Thursday. They're not, however, diminishing the importance of wins.

It's the third time this year the Tigers have won four in a row away from Comerica Park. The last was a four-game sweep of the Astros in Houston two months ago. A win Saturday would tie their longest streak of the season, home or away.

"We're trying to win games," Leyland argued before the game. "It doesn't matter that we're playing Cleveland."

The crowd of 40,167, the first sellout at Progressive Field for a game other than Opening Day since the Yankees were in town on July 4 two years ago, might suggest a little more importance. A mix of reconnected Tribe faithful and traveling Tigers fans packed the place, but only the latter had much to cheer.

"That's the most I've ever seen here since I've been coming here to play," Don Kelly said. "That was fun."

Masterson (10-7) has pitched his way into consideration for a spot on Leyland's AL All-Star roster, but he has beaten the Tigers just twice in 13 career meetings. After he retired Detroit's first four batters in order, the two-out, two-run single from Santiago of all people started his fortunes down a similar path.

Miguel Cabrera, back in Detroit's lineup after missing Thursday's game with back soreness, singled in Andy Dirks in the third inning before three fifth-inning runs knocked Masterson out. All three scored with two outs on hits from former Clevelanders, Martinez's RBI single preceding Peralta's drive to the fence in right-center field.

Masterson gave up six runs on seven hits over 4 2/3 innings. For this night, at least, he was the second-best sinkerballer on the mound, throwing more pitches in less than five innings (108) than Porcello (101) threw in his seven.

But then, Porcello continues to make strides to become less reliant on his sinker.

Like his 13-0 teammate Max Scherzer, Porcello used a curveball to his advantage against left-handed batters. Against a Cleveland lineup with just two right-handed hitters, Porcello went to the curve for five outs over his first four innings.

"It was the game plan going in," Porcello said, "and the ability to execute it tonight was the difference. The curveball was there. … We went to it a lot."

When the Indians finally adjusted, Porcello (5-6) went back to his change of speeds to close out.

"He had a good four-seamer that he was getting to us at the end of counts," Michael Bourn said. "After he slowed us down, he was speeding us up pretty much. We never really got him in any real trouble."

Porcello said he and Scherzer have talked about their similar work with the curveball to better attack lefties, though they have different games around them. "I think Max uses his curveball a little differently than I do, because his fastball and changeup are real put-away pitches," Porcello said. "But for me, I'm trying to use it early and often, maybe not trying to strike guys out but get guys to roll over on it and set up my fastball more."

Porcello allowed five hits and two walks against six strikeouts. It marked his third outing of seven or more scoreless innings in his last eight starts. He has three other six-inning quality starts in that span, with two disastrous outings filling it out.

Nights like Friday are the ones when the 24-year-old's progress looks impressive. To do it in this game was big, at least for him.

"I know that we've had a tough time winning here the past couple years," Porcello said. "This is a tough place to win games. They play really well at home. Really, against this team, no lead is safe. Everybody did a great job. Hopefully we can get two more and get out of here."

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 Jul 06, 2013 9:28 pm

Torii single shy of cycle in Tigers' rout of Tribe
Cabrera, Fielder hit back-to-back HRs; Anibal strong in return from DL

By Stephen Ellsesser / Special to | 7/6/2013 9:14 PM ET


CLEVELAND -- Anibal Sanchez had a short evening, but Torii Hunter and the Tigers' bats made sure it would be a long one for Indians pitching.

Sanchez threw five sharp innings in his first start since coming off the disabled list, while Hunter, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder powered a hot Tigers lineup Saturday at Progressive Field as Detroit won its fifth straight, and seventh straight against Cleveland, 9-4.

Hunter, who was one of six Tigers named to the All-Star team on Saturday, including Cabrera and Fielder, went 3-for-5, falling a single shy of hitting for the cycle.

Hunter knows what happened to his single, though.

"I look at Michael Bourn making the diving play in center field," Hunter said. "It was a hard-hit line drive, and he made the play. That was my single. He ruined it for me."

Bourn robbed Hunter of that hit in the third inning.

Hunter's first-inning triple was the initial blemish on spot starter Carlos Carrasco (0-4), before Hunter added a run-scoring double off Carrasco in the fourth and a two-run homer in the sixth.

After going deep against Matt Albers, Hunter knew he would have one more at-bat.

In his last chance to complete the cycle, during the eighth inning, Hunter tapped a soft grounder to pitcher Vinnie Pestano, who easily threw him out at first.

"I was trying, trust me," Hunter said. "I tried to bloop it, but it just didn't work out."

Saturday's effort was vintage Hunter, who left Toronto's artificial turf feeling his age after validating his All-Star selection by acting like a younger player.

"That turf put it on me. Go run in the sand for about three hours and see how that turns out for you," Hunter said. "I know I'm 37, about to be 38, I mean, 27 about to be 28. Don't worry, I'm good."

Cabrera and Fielder hit back-to-back home runs in the third, doing so for the first time this season. Cabrera's intentional walk in the next frame marked the end of the night for Carrasco, whose fastball had long been drained of its 98-mph heat.

"That's what winning is all about," Cabrera said. "We did what we got to do. If we do all that, I think we will be OK."

Carrasco, who allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits, hung a breaking ball against Cabrera, and Tribe manager Terry Francona worried that was the start of a downward spiral.

"When things started happening, he started going to his breaking ball a lot, instead of continuing to pound his fastball in," Francona said.

Cabrera, who leads the team with 27 homers, will make his first career start at the All-Star Game this season. He is one hit short of Al Kaline's team record for hits before the All-Star break.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland indicated before the game that Sanchez (7-5) would be on a pitch count, and with the Tigers never trailing, that number wound up being 73 pitches.

"To be honest, I wanted 75 pitches," Leyland said. "Every once in a while, you run into one of those days where everything works right."

Sanchez, who had been resting a sore right shoulder, went five innings in his first start since June 15, allowing a run and three hits while striking out four and walking one.

Sanchez, who did not allow a hit until the third inning, faced only one real jam. In the third, Lonnie Chisenhall and Drew Stubbs led off with back-to-back singles, and Bourn brought home Chisenhall with an infield single.

Sanchez buckled down and retired three straight batters to end the threat, stranding two runners in scoring position.

"I got a little worried that his pitches were going to get up there too quick, but it turned out just about right," Leyland said.

The toughest part for Sanchez wasn't keeping Tribe hitters off the bases. He said that pitching on a count was more difficult for him.

"I had the pitch count, that's what I worried about," Sanchez said. "It's really hard when you're thinking more about the [number of] pitches."

Only one of the final nine batters Sanchez faced reached base.

In making his first start in three weeks, Sanchez exceeded his manager's expectations.

"I was pleasantly surprised the way he threw the ball," Leyland said. "I did not think he would throw with that velocity."

Sanchez doesn't like working under a pitch count, but he knows it will be a part of life in the short term.

"It's part of my process," he said. "I am building my arm. I don't know how many I will have next time, but it's going to be better."

Stephen Ellsesser 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 Jul 07, 2013 7:36 pm

Tigers finally fall behind, can't complete comeback
Fister puts Detroit in early hole before 'pen allows decisive runs late

By Jason Beck / | 7/7/2013 7:14 PM ET


CLEVELAND -- The Tigers started a five-game winning streak by overcoming a four-run opening inning Doug Fister gave up Tuesday night in Toronto. Detroit put up a six-run second inning that night and didn't trail at any point since entering Sunday's matinee.

Five days later, after Miguel Cabrera's 28th home run of the year opened the scoring against the Indians, Fister gave up another four-run first that finally put Detroit behind. The Tigers rallied again with six runs, half of them on Torii Hunter's game-tying homer in the eighth, and came within a base hit of pulling ahead.

Instead, Michael Brantley's second homer of the game, a go-ahead drive off Al Alburquerque in the eighth inning, took back the game and sent the Tigers to a 9-6 loss. It brought the Indians back within 2 1/2 games in the American League Central.

The Tigers went 45 innings over five days and two cities without falling behind, including the first two games of their division showdown at Progressive Field. Even in defeat, the team that couldn't seem to produce runs on a consistent basis just a week ago scored six runs for the sixth consecutive game, their longest streak since September 2010 and their longest streak within a single road trip since June 1994.

"They're never out of it," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Fortunately, we keep playing. That would have been a tough one to go home today with a loss. But we didn't."

In a win-loss business, it's a mere consolation prize. Detroit missed out on a chance for a season-high sixth consecutive win, as well as any possibility for its first four-game series sweep in Cleveland in 25 years.

But for a manager who often bristles at blown leads and saw his bullpen take its 16th loss of the year, the third most in the American League, the fact that they actually got that far made losing it easier to digest.

"We're fine," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We let one get away today for two reasons: We walked people and didn't keep the ball in the ballpark. You're not going to win when you do that. But what an effort to come back like that. I mean, I've got no complaints."

Or as catcher Alex Avila put it, "As far as the three games we've played, I'll take 2-1 with Max [Scherzer] going tomorrow."

Scoring six more runs behind Scherzer would no doubt make him feel better. For most of Sunday, that number seemed impossible.

The combination of a quick strike second-inning at the start of the winning streak and Chien-Ming Wang's struggles for the Jays made that rally seem more like a retort than a comeback. Cleveland starter Corey Kluber's pitching made Sunday's challenge more daunting.

Kluber allowed a baserunner in all but one inning, but kept them stranded with 10 strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. Seven of those strikeouts came with runners on base. When Cabrera singled and Prince Fielder walked with nobody out in the sixth, Kluber struck out the side swinging, shrugging off the pair's first double steal.

"That guy's stuff was very good, and we swung at a lot of balls because the stuff was good," Leyland said.

For most of the afternoon, his only mistake was a pitch that would've been a quality first-pitch strike to most hitters. His fastball to Cabrera was on the inside corner, a pitch many Major Leaguers would take.

"It was probably in off the plate, and he hit it a long way," Francona said. "And to Corey's credit, he didn't vary from being in attack mode."

Cabrera not only swung, he pulled it halfway up the left-field bleachers. Even Leyland, who has said several times this year he's running out of things to say about his All-Star third baseman, had to say something about that.

"He does things that I just marvel at," Leyland said. "I don't know how. The guy's throwing 95 mph, you haven't seen a pitch all day, and you go up there, the first pitch you see you hit out of the ballpark. Not many people can do that."

Nobody else could do much with Kluber, who retired the leadoff man in the seventh and had nine-hole hitter Ramon Santiago up with a 6-1 lead when things turned.

Four hits and two runs later -- including Cabrera's 90th RBI of the season -- Joe Smith had to escape a jam by retiring Fielder as the potential tying run, then Jhonny Peralta as the potential go-ahead tally with the bases loaded. Vinnie Pestano wasn't so fortunate against the top of the Tigers order after putting two on to begin the next inning.

Hunter jumped a hanging offspeed pitch for his second home run in about 24 hours and his 17th career homer at Progressive Field, tying him with Cabrera and Jermaine Dye for most among opposing players.

"We were down, 6-1, and we battled back bit by bit," Hunter said. "We were able to tie the game up and give ourselves a chance. But at the same time, we lost."

Had Victor Martinez followed back-to-back two-out hits from Cabrera and Fielder with a hit of his own, Evan Reed would have been in line for his first Major League win in a game he joined late. He woke up Sunday morning at Triple-A Toledo and had to drive into town to replace the injured Darin Downs.

Cody Allen's strikeout of Martinez stranded the 11th Detroit runner on base. Moments later, Alburquerque's leadoff walk to Nick Swisher resembled his early-season command woes. Alburquerque fell behind Brantley on a 3-1 count, then watched Brantley send a 95-mph fastball out to the opposite field.

"Al was having a hard time throwing the slider for a strike, so we had to go with the fastball," Avila said. "It wasn't much mystery there. You just have to give him credit for getting it out in front."

For the first time in nearly a week, the Tigers never got in front. They came tantalizingly close.

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   Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:09 am

Tigers top Tribe in extras; no-decision for Scherzer
Martinez's RBI double in 10th provides breathing room in Central

By Jason Beck / | 7/9/2013 2:06 AM ET


CLEVELAND -- Seventy-six years after the Tigers ruined former Indian Johnny Allen's unbeaten season, there was no revenge from Cleveland. But there was no 14th win for Max Scherzer, either.

Scherzer is fine with that.

"I thought this was the best win of the year," Scherzer said after Victor Martinez's go-ahead double in the 10th inning sent Detroit home with a 4-2 victory on Monday. "I thought we battled, everybody battled. It was a great game to be a part of."

While Scherzer picked up a no-decision to stay unbeaten after throwing seven innings of two-run ball, the Tigers picked up their sixth win in seven games, and their third in this four-game series, with a rain-soaked marathon.

They go home with a 3 1/2-game lead over the Indians in the American League Central, one game larger than the lead they had going into their 11-game, three-city road trip. They went 7-4 on the trek to even their road record for the season at 23-23.

A trip that seemed headed for disaster in St. Petersburg after two close, low-scoring losses to the Rays and then controversy in Toronto with Rick Porcello's suspension, Miguel Cabrera's sore back and Colby Rasmus' takeout slide on Omar Infante ended as a potentially defining trip for this team.

"I think it was a great, great road trip for us," Cabrera said.

For all the talk about the relevance of a pitcher's record, Scherzer gets it. He has used the word fluky to describe his unbeaten start so often that it has become a cliché. He doesn't apologize for the wins, but he makes the point that there are far better ways to measure how he's pitching.

On a night when the Major League leader in run support -- he averaged 7.87 runs of support per nine innings entering the night -- took a no-decision in a low-scoring duel, he had his example why.

"Exactly!" Scherzer exclaimed at the mention, then laughed. "I'm more happy about this team winning than any -- maybe some -- of the other wins I've had. I care about how this team plays. For us to battle the way we did tonight, I'm most of proud of this win."

Scherzer remains at 13-0, though he still made history. His streak of 19 consecutive starts without a loss, dating back to last September, is a franchise record, passing Bobo Newsom's record from 1940. His streak of 18 consecutive starts without a loss to begin the season, already a team record, is tied with Brooks Lawrence in 1956 for the fourth-longest in the Majors since 1916.

One of the other three was the aforementioned Allen, a Cleveland Indian who came within a game of a perfect season in 1937. He went into his final start at Detroit with a 15-0 record over 19 starts but lost a 1-0 decision to the Tigers. Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg singled in that game's only run in the first inning.

For Scherzer to pick up his first loss in Cleveland would have seemed fitting for some Tribe fans and historians. The Indians came close.

Scherzer's night seemed in danger as early as the second inning, not from Indians hitters so much as the weather. Scherzer was working through a driving rain with two on and two outs against Lonnie Chisenhall when he stepped off the mound and circled as he said something to crew chief Joe West at second base. West called for the tarp, putting the game -- and Scherzer's outing -- on hold.

"I said, 'Joe, come on, let me get him,'" Scherzer said. "I said, 'I feel good right now, let me get him. You don't need to call it. The rain's not bugging me.' He said, 'No, I can't do that. We can't have anybody get hurt.'"

Any delay longer than an hour likely would have ended Scherzer's night, but the delay lasted just 20 minutes. Scherzer seemed ready to take the mound again in about half that but had to wait for the grounds crew. Finally, he made his 2-2 pitch to Chisenhall, who promptly lined it into right field for a two-run single and a one-run Tribe lead.

"I wanted a changeup in the dirt," Scherzer said, "and unfortunately, it was just high enough for him to be able to get the barrel to it."

Four scoreless innings later, Scherzer was having another conversation to try to keep his outing going. This one was with manager Jim Leyland and pitching coach Jeff Jones after he entered the dugout at the end of the sixth inning, his pitch count at 101.

"I wanted to check with him," Leyland said. "He said, 'I'm all right, I can start [the seventh inning] for sure.' And I just wanted to make sure he knew that if this inning got lingering, there was a point where I was going to have to take him out during the inning, regardless of what was going on."

That point was around 120 pitches. Michael Bourn's leadoff single had Leyland readying to have to make that walk. But after a rundown at second base erased Bourn, Scherzer ended his night with back-to-back strikeouts of Asdrubal Cabrera and Jason Kipnis, the latter swinging at a 97-mph fastball on Scherzer's 117th and final pitch.

That extended another streak for Scherzer, who has recorded at least six strikeouts in all 18 of his starts this season. It's the longest such streak to begin a season by somebody not named Pedro Martinez or Randy Johnson. The only one longer in American League history is Martinez's 29-start streak in 2000.

"You've got to give a lot of credit to Scherzer," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We threatened a lot, and he has a lot of ways of either reaching back or taking something off. That's why his record is what it is."

The ensuing battle of the bullpens came down to Martinez making Matt Albers (2-1) pay for back-to-back two-out walks to Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Martinez's drive sent Bourn to the fence in center field, but the ball hit off the padding and then Bourn's knee, and Cabrera and Fielder kept running.

Drew Smyly (4-0) picked up the win after stranding the potential winning run on second base in the ninth. AL All-Star Final Vote candidate Joaquin Benoit worked the 10th for his seventh save in as many chances.

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 Jul 10, 2013 1:56 am

Verlander, Tigers run into trouble in eighth inning
Right-hander tagged for five runs on 12 hits, including two homers

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/10/2013 12:55 AM ET


DETROIT -- While Justin Verlander didn't have his best stuff, he was able to limit the White Sox to one run until the eighth inning. In that fateful frame, it didn't matter if it was a former Most Valuable Player or anyone else pitching out of the bullpen, the White Sox offense exploded for 10 runs on 15 hits in the final two innings of an 11-4 win against the Tigers at Comerica Park on Tuesday night.

The White Sox used five consecutive hits, powered by two home runs, to spark a seven-run eighth inning that broke a 1-1 tie.

"They had a great game, just came out and beat us up, period," manager Jim Leyland said. "There's not much to say about this one."

After finding his rhythm in his past two starts, Verlander gave up five earned runs on 12 hits in seven-plus innings. Seven of the 12 hits came with two outs, although he was able to limit the damage until the eighth.

"Just wasn't crisp, one of those days that happens at this level at this time of the year," Verlander said. "Felt good, but I wasn't able to execute there in the eighth."

Alex Rios singled to lead off the eighth, on his way to going 6-for-6 and tying an American League record for hits in a nine-inning game. Next up was Adam Dunn, whom Verlander struck out on a 96-mph fastball in the fifth inning, causing Dunn to throw his bat down in disgust. Dunn, however, threw down his bat for a different reason in the eighth.

"It was a 3-2 pitch, down and in where a lefty likes it," Verlander said. "Not trying to throw it right there. He did what he does. He's a guy who strikes out a lot, but when he puts the ball in play, a lot of the time he does a lot of damage with it, and that one hurt."

Dunn blasted the ball to the right-field seats for a two-run home run to give the White Sox a 3-1 lead. Verlander exited after giving up two more singles, and Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off Al Alburquerque to extend Chicago's lead to 6-1.

"It is fun. It's been the most fun we've had in a quite a while," Rios said. "We've had some tough times, but it shows we haven't quit. We go out there and grind and do what we have to do to win games. Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn't. But we still believe."

The South Siders snapped a seven-game losing streak at Comerica Park, dating back to May 2012.

Said White Sox manager Robin Ventura: "We had opportunities. Even earlier in the game we have a couple guys on and he would get out of it. That's kind of the way it's gone for us. It was a big home run by Adam to stay with it. Tank hit a couple to tie it and put us ahead and stretch it out. It was a good night offensively. It was a big relief for all these guys."

Meanwhile, White Sox starter Jose Quintana stifled the Tigers for most of the night, allowing three runs on six hits in eight innings.

Matt Tuiasosopo gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a home run in the fifth inning. Tuiasosopo now has five homers this year in 39 games with the Tigers, matching his career total in 71 games before this season.

"I was battling, he made some good pitches on me in my first at-bat, and he got me looking," Tuiasosopo said. "I didn't want to do that again in my second at-bat, so I just got a cutter up and in, and just tried to put a good swing on it and it went out."

In the bottom half of the eighth inning, Miguel Cabrera hit his 29th home run, the most by a Tigers player before the All-Star Game since the game was created in 1933. It also was the 350th of his career.

Otherwise it was a night to forget for the Tigers. Chicago's 23 hits were the most allowed by the Tigers since Sept. 9, 2004.

"To sum it up, I thought Justin battled, didn't have his real good stuff," Leyland said. "The bullpen came in and didn't really shut it down at all. We were a little sluggish offensively. The last factor was Quintana was really good."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jul 11, 2013 12:39 am

Tigers pay back White Sox with offensive fireworks
Miggy, Fielder and Martinez go 9-for-13 with five RBIs

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/10/2013 10:16 PM ET


DETROIT -- When Victor Martinez is swinging the bat well, he helps out the two sluggers in front of him -- Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. Those three hitters combined for nine hits, five RBIs and four runs scored to help the Tigers to an 8-5 win against the White Sox on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Martinez extended his hitting streak to 12 games, improving his batting average from .225 to .254 during that stretch.

"Base hits to right, base hits to left, he's starting to get back to the Victor we know, so we'll take that. I like that a lot," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We talked before the game today, base hits come by design, home runs come by mistake. I think his approach right now is terrific, it's getting back to where it was a couple of years ago."

The Tigers had 15 hits and scored all of their runs with two outs.

"I thought we really had a terrific approach, I really do," Leyland said. "I thought we did a really good job of not trying to do too much and just taking what was there, and I thought we did pretty good at that tonight."

With Martinez getting hot, Fielder and Cabrera are starting to see better pitches. Fielder smashed a two-run home run in the first inning against White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod, on his way to his third three-hit game of the season.

"[Fielder] has been really swinging the bat great," Martinez said. "A lot of the times, he's been hitting right at people, but finally today he was able to find some holes. Everybody is going to go through some tough stretches in the whole season, it happens. He's a great hitter, and there's no doubt about it. I don't think there's any pitcher that wants to face him or Miggy."

With those two hitting well, it gives the Tigers the formidable middle of the order they dreamed about entering the season.

"[The middle of the order is] here to win games," Cabrera said. "If we get one hit, two hits and we win, that's all that matters. You know we got a lot of run support today, and hopefully we can do that more often."

Martinez's teammates have said all season long that he was hitting the ball well, just right to where the fielders were positioned. According to Fangraphs, he's batting .261 this season on balls in play, which is much lower than his .312 career average.

"I think they started falling, for sure," Martinez said. "I've been taking good at-bats, putting good swings, and finally finding some holes."

Besides a shaky fourth inning, Rick Porcello shut down Chicago, giving up three runs on seven hits over six innings while striking out six.

"[Porcello] didn't have his best command, but I thought he really battled hard and made some pitches when he had to," Leyland said. "His curveball was either a little bit too high or sometimes a little bit too low, he couldn't find that happy medium. But overall, he did a good job."

However, it's the lineup, when running at its full potential, that causes opposing managers to fret and worry.

"If you're not sharp, they're good hitters. They're professional hitters," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "They know how to go the other way. Even when they blew it open, everything is going the other way, staying inside of it, hitting it hard. If you're not sharp going through this lineup, it's not good news."

With the lineup clicking -- eight Tigers reached base on Wednesday -- it'll not only pick the pitchers up, but it'll also give extra motivation to the hitters.

"We have a good lineup. Everybody went out there and put up good swings, put up good at-bats, and that's just contagious," Martinez said. "When you see everyone going out there and battling in every at-bat, there's no reason for you going out there and not battling in your at-bat, and I think we've been doing a great job of that."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jul 12, 2013 12:13 am

Tigers lose to White Sox despite Cabrera's 30th HR
Putkonen, Leyland ejected after benches clear; Tuiasosopo goes deep

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/11/2013 7:57 PM ET


DETROIT -- The White Sox have scored an American League-worst 336 runs this season. Yet the lack of firepower didn't show in a three-game set against the Tigers, as Chicago scored 22 runs and won Thursday's rubber game, 6-3, at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd of 40,444.

The Tigers used two home runs to score their three runs -- including Miguel Cabrera's 30th home run of the season in the fifth inning after Matt Tuiasosopo's two-run shot in the second -- but White Sox rookie Josh Phegley hit a grand slam in a heated sixth inning to power Chicago.

"I don't even know these guys any more the way they scored for [starter Chris] Sale today," joked White Sox manager Robin Ventura. "You just keep going. It's a good feeling. As low as it has been, you can have a series like this and beat a really good team."

Manager Jim Leyland talked to Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez after he completed the fifth inning with 83 pitches. He only threw 73 in his last start, his first back from the 15-day disabled list, but was able to come out for the sixth on Thursday. Sanchez said he was healthy, and there was no reason for him to leave the game.

But an error, walk and base hit loaded the bases for the rookie Phegley. On a 3-2 count, Phegley sent a shot to left field for his first career grand slam, and third home run in only five career games, to give Chicago a 5-3 lead.

"I was looking for something out over the plate and my only thought in that third at-bat was, 'Hit something deep to the outfield to score at least one run,'" Phegley said. "I basically hit the same ball as I did the first two at-bats, just a little better and it made it over the wall."

Said Sanchez: "I think it's not one mistake. I think it's probably the location with the pitch. If I don't miss, it's a popup somewhere. But he homered."

Sanchez gave up seven hits and five runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six. Though the results may not have been his best of the season, he's happy that he's returning to being healthy.

"I think the more important thing is this is my second start back from the DL," Sanchez said. "Everything is there, so I just have to work a little bit more with my command."

Luke Putkonen relieved Sanchez, and two batters later, he threw a pitch behind Alexei Ramirez, which led to the benches clearing after the White Sox shortstop took exception and started toward the mound, pointing at Putkonen before being restrained. No punches were thrown, but Putkonen and Leyland, who argued when Ramirez was not tossed, were ejected.

The game began simmering an inning earlier, when Sale threw up-and-in to Prince Fielder one pitch after Cabrera's homer.

"Wasn't trying to hit anybody, just threw a fastball inside and it got away from me," Putkonen said. "I didn't know I was ejected until all that stuff kind of settled down."

Alejandro De Aza added another home run for the White Sox in the eighth inning against Phil Coke. Coke has allowed an earned run in six of his last 11 appearances.

"Well I mean the other day I was up in the zone," Coke said. "I went out there and made the adjustment trying to keep the ball down, and kept it too far down. That's the result of the walks. As far as the home run went, it was supposed to be away, I left it over the middle of the plate, and he made me pay for it."

Coke admitted that he took the mound angry after the benches cleared, and it affected his pitching. However, he says he won't let his pitching struggles stick in his mind.

"Funk or not, it doesn't matter, it happens to everybody," Coke said. "So what, I'm in a hitter's slump right now, what do you do? Every time they give you the ball, you do the best job you can. Whether or not that's enough that day or not, it doesn't matter. I'm doing everything I can. I'm making adjustments in my mechanics, my timing, my delivery to the plate and everything, what do you want me to do?"

Leyland cautioned before the series that the White Sox were a talented team, and that they would start hitting and playing better baseball at some point.

His words rang true, but unfortunately it came at the wrong time for the Tigers.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jul 13, 2013 1:50 am

Fister rides five-run first to victory over Rangers
Right-hander bounces back from two rough starts with quality outing

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/13/2013 12:00 AM ET


DETROIT -- Doug Fister was as cool as a cucumber, but the Tigers' bats were hot as they scored seven runs in the first two innings of a 7-2 victory against the Rangers on Friday night at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,686.

Fister allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings while striking out five. He gave up six earned runs in each of his last two starts.

The win was Fister's first since June 16 and only his second since May 14. Despite several good outings in between, the Tigers haven't provided him with much run support.

"It felt good to be able to go out there and get some runs for him early so he can just calm down, settle down and throw strikes," Torii Hunter said. "That's what he did today. He was poised, he gave up two runs, but at the same time, he looked totally different than when he had to go out there and fight when we weren't giving any run support."

The Tigers went to work on Rangers starter Justin Grimm in the first inning, as the first six batters reached base. Austin Jackson and Hunter hit back-to-back doubles to start the game, while Jhonny Peralta punctuated the five-run inning with a two-run double.

Detroit extended its lead to 7-0 with two more runs in the second. Jackson and Hunter both reached on singles before Miguel Cabrera brought home Jackson on a sacrifice fly for his 95th RBI.

Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI double in the second inning, batting .446 during that stretch with 10 runs scored and nine RBIs.

"We came out aggressive, and we came swinging," Hunter said. "The last time we faced [Grimm] in Texas, we didn't know much about him. We were taking pitches, he was getting ahead in the count. This time, we just had a different attack plan, and we went out there, swung the bats and got him early."

Fister ran into trouble in the fourth inning after A.J. Pierzynski hit his ninth home run of the season and Jurickson Profar delivered an RBI single. The Rangers loaded the bases in the frame, but Fister escaped the jam by striking out David Murphy.

"There were a couple of innings where he was fighting his own mechanics a little bit," catcher Alex Avila said. "There were some innings where his sinker was really good, some that it wasn't. We had to make adjustments on the fly there, and he was able to make the pitches he had to."

Fister was able to throw 17 of his 26 curveballs for strikes, using it more effectively as the game wore on.

"That's Fister," Pierzynski said. "He throws the ball over the plate, doesn't walk anybody, changes speeds, comes at you with that high angle, and his motion is very deceptive."

Bruce Rondon replaced Fister in the seventh and pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings with two strikeouts. All 10 of his pitches ending up as strikes.

"That's probably his best outing and you can't get any better than that," Avila said. "He threw the ball well. It's not something that you'll see every single time out there, but it's good for him. He's done well since he's come back [from the Minors] and I'm very happy and proud of him, because he's worked hard."

Rondon was able to throw all of his pitches -- fastball, changeup and slider -- for strikes, which led to hitters being unable to focus on hitting his fastball.

"Success builds confidence," manager Jim Leyland said. "It breeds confidence. I'm thrilled with him. I don't want to get carried away, there's going to be some bumps and bruises, but he's got the equipment."

Drew Smyly pitched 1 1/3 innings after Rondon, but Joaquin Benoit came on in the ninth inning with two outs and two runners on base. Benoit was able to strike out Nelson Cruz, who was 2-for-4 lifetime against him including a home run.

"I think Benoit might have the best temperament of any pitcher we have on the team," Leyland said. "I think he's pretty even-keeled."

Against a top team in the American League, this was the type of game plenty of people were hoping to see this season from the Tigers. The offense scored plenty of runs, the starting pitching gave opposing hitters fits, and the bullpen shut the door.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jul 14, 2013 12:40 am

Scherzer gives up four runs, takes first loss of 2013
Right-hander fans six over six innings, but offense comes up short

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/13/2013 11:59 PM ET


DETROIT -- Lucky No. 13 turned out to be quite the opposite for Max Scherzer, who took his first loss of the season in the Rangers' 7-1 win over the Tigers on Saturday night at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd.

Scherzer (13-1) allowed a season-high eight hits, four earned runs and two walks in six innings while striking out six. He's struck out at least six batters in all 19 of his starts this season.

"I ran into a good team," Scherzer said. "They swung the bat well. I threw some good pitches, they hit it. I made some bad pitches, they hit it even further. That's what happens when you're not quite 100 percent on your game."

Scherzer had a scare in the second inning, when Jurickson Profar drilled a comebacker to the mound. Although Scherzer was about to move his pitching hand out of the way, the ball hit him in the left wrist before he was able to corral it and get the out at first.

"It got me right on the wrist, right on the bone," he said. "I was still able to pitch, and pitch effectively. I hit my spots, but it changed how my mechanics worked. But at the same time, I was still able to execute pitches, I thought, and they were able still to get the barrel to the ball."

X-rays came back negative.

Although Scherzer was able to fight the pain to throw a 1-2-3 third inning, he faced some trouble in the fourth. After Nelson Cruz scored following a leadoff double, Elvis Andrus drew a two-out, seven-pitch walk.

"I had a 3-2 slider, and he was able to foul it off, and I thought if I was able to come with it again, I'd be able to induce some weak contact," Scherzer said. "It just got away from me. Any time you have a two-out walk, with his speed, you have to be quick to the plate, because you know he's probably going to steal in that situation."

With Andrus on first, Mitch Moreland drilled the next pitch to the right-field seats for his 13th home run of the season to give the Rangers a three-run lead.

"That part of the game, I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit," Moreland said. "I had the walk before me, and I got a first-pitch fastball middle away. I just put a good swing on it."

In the fifth, Leonys Martin walked, stole second and scored on an A.J. Pierzynski blooper that landed on the left-field line for an RBI double.

Scherzer only walked two batters, but both came around to score.

"Scherzer is a really good pitcher," Moreland said. "It's always tough against him. We just wanted to create some opportunities, get guys on base and take advantage of it. We were able to do that."

Meanwhile, Derek Holland shut down the Tigers, allowing just one run on five hits in seven innings. He also struck out seven, all on his slider.

"His slider was really working today; it came up real hard," Torii Hunter said. "You couldn't tell if it was a fastball or slider, the same delivery. He beat us today. He pitched well. You have to give credit where credit is due."

Scherzer's loss was his first since Sept. 23, 2012; he went 19 starts without a losing decision.

"I mean, obviously, it's a nice streak," Scherzer said. "Hopefully, it just shows well and I can pitch consistently. I believe in my talents, and I believe going forward I'm going to put together other streaks as well."

The four runs were the most Scherzer allowed in a start since May 15, and at the same time, his usual supply of run support disappeared.

"He probably wasn't as dominant, but he still gave us a chance to win and kept us close," Hunter said. "We just weren't able to get any run support for him. Tonight we failed him."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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   Sun Jul 14, 2013 6:22 pm

Verlander sparkles in flirting with no-hitter
Tigers slug three homers to close first half with win over Rangers

By Bobby Nightengale / | 7/14/2013 3:59 PM ET


DETROIT -- Justin Verlander won't pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, so he turned in a performance for the ages Sunday. Verlander allowed only one hit in seven innings during the Tigers' 5-0 win over the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd.

Mitch Moreland broke up Verlander's no-hit bid with a two-out double in the seventh inning to the right-center gap. It was the second time this season that Verlander took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, doing so against the Astros on May 5 before Carlos Pena hit a one-out single.

As the crowd grew louder with each out, they rewarded Verlander, who has thrown two career no-hitters, with a 24-second standing ovation following Moreland's double. Verlander received another standing ovation at the end of the inning before he went down the dugout steps to shake hands with manager Jim Leyland.

Verlander walked three and struck out three before ultimately losing his no-hit bid. He exited after seven innings with a tight right quad muscle.

Meanwhile, the Tigers offense gave Verlander plenty of support through the long ball.

Torii Hunter smashed a hanging curveball on a full count to right field for his seventh home run of the season to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Hunter is hitting .411 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in July.

In the fourth inning, Victor Martinez drilled a 90 mph fastball past the wall in left-center for his eighth home run of the season. Next up was Jhonny Peralta, who hit his eighth homer of the year to the seats in right field to stretch the lead to 3-0.

Martinez and Peralta's back-to-back home runs were the Tigers' first since Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder did it July 6 against the Indians.

Detroit added two more runs in the sixth inning, after Hunter and Cabrera drew walks to begin the frame. With two outs, Peralta lined a single above second baseman Ian Kinsler's glove to score Hunter. Next, Matt Tuiasosopo hit a single to center to score Cabrera and give the Tigers a 5-0 lead.

Drew Smyly relieved Verlander in the eighth, tossing a scoreless inning and recording an out in the ninth before Joaquin Benoit finished it off.

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @nightengalejr. 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 Jul 20, 2013 2:21 am

Bats can't crack KC to aid Anibal's solid start
Righty yields one run in six innings as Tigers fall to 2-4 vs. Royals

By Jason Beck / | 7/19/2013 11:00 PM ET


KANSAS CITY -- Anibal Sanchez overcame his own spotty command, his catcher's drop on the would-be third out with the bases loaded, and a handful of runners he stranded in scoring position. He could not overcome his team's offense.

On a night when the restrictions came off after Sanchez's shoulder strain from last month, that was another sign that his season is back on track, complete with the irony of Friday's 1-0 Tigers loss to the Royals.

Sanchez had his highest walk total in a Tigers uniform, and his highest total in two years. After falling into just 11 3-0 counts all year, he worked his way into four of them on Friday. None of those runners came around.

Sanchez's downfall, the game's only run, scored on a first-inning RBI single from Billy Butler on an 0-2 pitch. It scored Alex Gordon, who reached base after another 0-2 count.

Sanchez left five runners in scoring position over the next five innings, stranding the bases loaded in the sixth with a strikeout of Alcides Escobar that might well have summed up Sanchez's night.

After falling behind on a 2-0 count, Sanchez seemingly escaped when Escobar hit a popup on the next pitch. Catcher Alex Avila's errant drop, however, extended the at-bat, which Escobar ran full before Sanchez spotted a full-count pitch to escape.

"I feel good because I kept the score right there," Sanchez shrugged. "We have to give credit to [Ervin] Santana. He threw a good ballgame, there's no question about it."

Make no mistake, Sanchez's outing could've been a whole lot worse. Still, he deserved a better fate for the outing he actually had.

With six innings of four-hit, one-run ball, Sanchez (7-7) has enough innings again to qualify among the leaders in ERA. He cracked the top five by lowering his ERA to 2.85, tying him with White Sox All-Star Chris Sale. They're also the only pitchers in the American League's top 10 without winning records.

The Tigers, owners of one of baseball's most potent lineups, have scored three runs or fewer in all seven of Sanchez's losses, as well as his two no-decisions. They've also scored six runs or more in all seven of Sanchez's victories, including three 10-run outbursts.

Yet on a night when he fell on the losing end of the pitching duel with Santana, the lasting image arguably was Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain catching drives to the fence in the deepest part of Kauffman Stadium.

"I thought we swung the bats better than the results showed, I will say that," manager Jim Leyland said. "But Santana pitched really good, and the center fielder covered a lot of real estate."

The Tigers centered three balls, hit them deep and got three outs to show for them. Torii Hunter's first-inning drive sent Cain, who was playing shallow, crashing into the fence.

"I crushed that ball," Hunter said. "I hit that slider hard and it wasn't going out at all."

Victor Martinez's fifth-inning loft sent Cain into a race to the warning track. Miguel Cabrera's seventh-inning drive, by contrast, saw Cain seemingly teasing the Tigers with how easily he camped under it.

"I got great jumps on them, read them great off the bat and was able to make some plays," Cain said. "Ervin did an outstanding job today, so for me to go make some plays for him was great."

Those were plays that could've turned into doubles with a bad step here or there. They also comprised just about all the solid contact the Tigers made all evening.

Detroit arrived at the ballpark early on Friday afternoon and took extra batting practice to try to shake off the rust of an extended All-Star break. It didn't make much difference.

The Royals went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, thanks to Sanchez's key pitches. The Tigers couldn't get a runner past first base against Santana (6-6), who allowed two singles and a walk over 7 1/3 innings before relievers Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland finished the shutout.

"I think the success that [Santana] got today was because he threw a lot of strikes," Sanchez said. "He threw the first pitch for strikes. It made the difference."

Hunter played behind Santana when he threw his no-hitter two years ago. Friday's performance didn't shock him.

"He got us," Hunter said. "You have to tip your cap."

Bad luck, bad hitting or excellent pitching, the bottom line was the Tigers' third 1-0 loss of the year. Their other two came to the Pirates in early May, both of those in extra innings. While Rick Porcello and Doug Fister took no-decisions in those, Sanchez was left holding this one.

It was the 20th time this year the Tigers have held an opponent or one or fewer runs, third-most among AL teams according to stats guru Bill Chuck. Their third such loss in those games, however, tied them with the Cubs for most in the Majors.

Their last 1-0 loss in nine innings was last Aug. 22, also to the Royals in Kansas City. Sanchez took the loss in that one, too, thanks to eight scoreless innings from Bruce Chen. He avenged that decision in September with a three-hitter at Comerica Park.

Add up the numbers, and Sanchez has given up two runs on 14 hits in 22 innings against the Royals since joining the AL a year ago. He has a 1-2 record to go with it.

"Pitchers' duel, old-fashioned," Butler summed up.

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 Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:12 am; edited 1 time in total
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