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 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:12 am


Curtis Granderson went 3-for-4 with his third homer in two nights. (Hector Mata/AP)


Big seventh sways slugfest Tigers' way
Stretch-run rally vs. Angels erases Verlander's struggles

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/23/09 1:35 AM ET

Box >

ANAHEIM -- What looked like another frustrating loss in the making for Justin Verlander turned out to be a late-inning Tigers comeback. Run-scoring singles from Brandon Inge, Adam Everett and Placido Polanco highlighted a five-run seventh inning, helping erase a second and final deficit on the way to an 12-10 win over the Angels Wednesday night.

What began as a five-inning battle for Verlander ended up showing the value of Tigers pitchers keeping their team in the game. Though Juan Rincon (1-0) allowed a run in the sixth, the 8-6 deficit was gone by the time the Tigers had an out in the bottom of the seventh.

All four batters who faced Angels reliever and Michigan resident Scot Shields reached base safely, including a bases-loaded walk to Gerald Laird that brought Detroit within a run. Jose Arredondo entered to induce a game-tying ground ball from Inge, but shortstop Erick Aybar flipped the ball wide of second base, allowing Carlos Guillen to follow Miguel Cabrera home with the go-ahead run.

None of Detroit's hits in the inning went for extra bases, and few were hit particularly hard. Everett's blooper fell between Aybar and left fielder Bobby Abreu for another single. Curtis Granderson's soft line drive over first baseman Kendry Morales and into short right field marked his third hit of the night. Polanco's high chopper to third allowed Everett to race past third baseman Chone Figgins' attempted tag.

Both Verlander and Angels starter Joe Saunders lasted five innings, with Verlander allowing seven runs on nine hits. Rookie Ryan Perry pitched a scoreless seventh.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Angels slip away from Tigers in finale   Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:14 am


Cabrera's RBI single

Duration: 00:00:36

04.23.09: Miguel Cabrera's infield single gives the Tigers an early advantage


Angels slip away from Tigers in finale
Jackson's control issues, untimely errors lead to late rally

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/24/09 3:20 AM ET

Box >
Inge's solo shot>

ANAHEIM -- For a day that featured two minor seismic experiences in the area, one during the fourth inning, nothing earth-shattering came for the Tigers Thursday.

They had their chance to command their rubber match against the Angels early and couldn't get ahead more than two runs. Edwin Jackson avoided the big hit that could've doomed his outing, but two bases-loaded walks in the fourth and three infield singles sent him to his first defeat in a Detroit uniform. The Tigers rallied later on a bases-loaded walk and two-run single but couldn't get the bigger hit to pull ahead.

In the end, the 10-5 loss frequently seemed to have the rumblings of something bigger for the Tigers, but nothing that ever changed the landscape of this game.

"We just played a bad ballgame," manager Jim Leyland said afterward. "I think that sums it up. These things happen."

With an overnight flight awaiting his club to Kansas City, Leyland was ready to turn the page right then. So were his soon-to-be bleary-eyed players.

If there was a defining moment in this game for the Tigers, it arguably would've been the fourth inning. Neither Jackson nor the Tigers fielders seemed to notice the tremors, which registered at 4.0 in magnitude on the Richter scale, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.Jackson had plenty of chances as he paced the mound seemingly after each pitch for a stretch.

But in Jackson's case, he had bigger issues on his mind.

"I was just trying for a rhythm to make them put the ball in play," he said. "It just didn't work out that way."

This was Jackson's first game this season in which he never seemed to find neither rhythm nor tempo. His pace was deliberate as the approach of Angels hitters, who didn't offer at many pitches once their three consecutive singles loaded the bases with nobody out in what was at that point a 2-0 game.

Gary Matthews Jr. fouled off a 2-2 slider to stay alive, then watched Jackson miss the outside corner on back-to-back offerings to put the Angels on the scorecard. Howard Kendrick took four straight pitches once Jackson used back-to-back sliders to put him in an 0-2 hole, eventually retiring him on a full-count fastball. Jeff Mathis swung and missed at a fastball before watching the next three pitches to take the game-tying pass.

Still with the bases loaded, Jackson kept it from being any worse by jamming Chone Figgins and retiring Maicer Izturis. Though Torii Hunter's solo homer in the fifth put the Angels up for good, Jackson seemingly had found the form to get through at least six innings and set up the bullpen for a potential win.

"Going into the sixth, I was just trying to go back to being aggressive," Jackson (1-1) said. "I felt like I made some alright pitches. The ball just didn't bounce my way tonight."

Two infield singles and two errors, again from the bottom of the Angels order, ended his night. Matthews' bouncer up the middle didn't allow Placido Polanco much of a chance to throw him out. Kendrick's grounder took shortstop Adam Everett deep into the hole, though it was ruled an error when Everett couldn't get a grasp on the ball. Inge made a diving stop on Mathis' grounder down the line, but his throw across the infield from his knees skipped past first baseman Miguel Cabrera, bringing in two runs and setting up another when Bobby Abreu singled off Eddie Bonine.

"He's going to give you everything he's got, every time out," Leyland said of Jackson. "There was nothing wrong with the effort. He got out of sync a little bit, got his pitch count up pretty good."

Down 6-3, the Tigers nearly tied the game the next inning after a Figgins error and back-to-back walks from Angels starter Matt Palmer (1-0) loaded the bases with nobody out. Curtis Granderson's bases-loaded walk and Placido Polanco's two-run single put the potential tying run at second, but reliever Jason Bulger jammed Magglio Ordonez into a popout and got an inning-ending double play from Miguel Cabrera to end the threat.

That was the Tigers' last chance to pull ahead. The Angels batted around in the bottom of the seventh, capped by another Abreu RBI single to put them into double digits.

Before the game, Leyland had said that when facing a relatively unknown pitchers, usually it'll be either a high-scoring barrage or a low-scoring gem. The Tigers had neither off Palmer, who earned his first big league victory at their expense.

Their lone extra-base hit was Brandon Inge's sixth home run of the year. They had plenty of other threats, but nothing really developed.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 25, 2009 12:40 am

Tigers have no answer for Greinke
Detroit held to three hits as Royals ace goes distance

By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com

04/24/09 10:25 PM ET
UPDATED 04/25/09 12:40 AM ET

Box >

KANSAS CITY -- To say the Tigers were operating on short rest Friday night is an understatement. That yawning dilemma was compounded by the fact that they had to face Royals ace Zack Greinke, who can put any hitter to sleep in a hurry.

Arriving at their Kansas City hotel shortly before 6 a.m. CT following a red-eye flight from Southern California, the Tigers never shook out the cobwebs in a 6-1 loss to Greinke and the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

Jet lag, lack of continuous sleep and Greinke's complete game make for a bad combination when trying to put runs on the scoreboard. Even against rested foes, Greinke entered Friday's game with a 0.00 ERA in 20 innings this season. The ERA is still perfect, although the Tigers managed to scratch out an unearned run thanks largely to Gerald Laird's hustle in the fifth.

Otherwise, it was all Kansas City, as Detroit right-hander Rick Porcello surrendered a two-run homer to Mark Teahen in the first and a surprising solo shot to Alberto Callaspo in the second. It was the first homer by the diminutive Callaspo in 441 at-bats, and that was the longest streak by an active Major League position player without a home run.

The Royals' giving Greinke a 3-0 lead in the second was the equivalent of a goodnight lullaby for the groggy Tigers.

The only Detroit run came when Laird led off the fifth with a double. With out out, Josh Anderson lined out to center and Laird, looking to make something happen, aggressively tagged up and took off. The relay throw from Kansas City shortstop Mike Aviles to third sailed astray and Laird got up quickly and scored.

Trailing, 3-1, the Tigers couldn't keep any semblance of momentum as two wild pitches, a walk to No. 9 hitter Mitch Maier and a throwing error by first baseman Miguel Cabrera paved the way for a two-run Royals rally in the fifth.

Porcello allowed just four hits in his six innings, but the two early homers and the two wild pitches in the fifth kept him from an outing that could have put more pressure on Greinke and Co.

"There's not a lot of teams, in my opinion, who would have beat Greinke tonight," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

The Royals moved a game up on the Tigers in the American League Central by getting a second successive complete game from Greinke, who surrendered just three hits, two coming off the bat of Laird.

"He made a couple of mistakes to me, and I just put some good swings on it," Laird said. "I feel like I've had some decent at-bats against him in the past, when I was with the Rangers. He's got good stuff. When you face a guy like that, you've got to go in there and battle and hopefully he makes a mistake."

Greinke had a franchise-best scoreless-innings streak snapped at 38 (dating back to last year) when Laird forced the issue on the bases in the fifth. But Detroit's three hits for the night represented a season low. Previously, the Tigers had collected eight or more hits in each of the first 15 games.

Leyland, therefore, was quick to tip his cap in Greinke's direction. Before the game, Leyland said no team in baseball should have to arrive at the hotel at 6 a.m, and then play a game that night. But after the game, he wasn't about to take anything away from Greinke by making the travel schedule an excuse.

"I wouldn't put that into the equation tonight," Leyland said. "I spoke my piece before the game about it. But I would never sit here and say it had anything to do with the outcome of the game tonight. Greinke dominated us."

The silver lining for Leyland was the progress that the 20-year-old Porcello showed.

"I was tickled to death with Porcello," Leyland said. In a lot of ways, I was happier with him tonight than I was when he got the win in Seattle. He found out the value of using his pitches and used them much more effectively tonight as the game went on."

Porcello may not have been scored on after the second if not for a freakish play in the fifth. With men at second and third and one out, Coco Crisp rapped a grounder to Cabrera, who threw home with Porcello scrambling to cover first. With Porcello crossing into the throwing lane, Cabrera's throw sailed away from Laird as two runs scored.

"I wanted to get over there as quick as I could, but at the same time, I didn't want to run into the throw if he was going to throw home," Porcello said. "I was kind of caught in-between and that may have messed him up a little bit."

Royals manager Trey Hillman saluted Porcello, as well as Greinke.

"It's easy to see why [the Tigers] are excited about that young man," Hillman said. "He's going to do a lot of great things."

Greinke already is doing a lot of great things with his 0.00 ERA in 29 innings.

"[Porcello] just hooked up with the hottest pitcher in the league," Leyland said.

The result: Good night, Tigers.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Apr 25, 2009 5:36 pm

Saturday, April 25, 2009
Royals 6 Tigers 1
Tigers end Zack Greinke's streak, but lose game
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Kansas City, Mo. -- The Tigers at least did one thing Friday no other team has done against Zack Greinke since 2008. They scored a run -- an unearned run at that.

And, of course, they lost to the guy Tigers manager Jim Leyland acknowledged "is maybe the hottest pitcher in the game right now."

Greinke, a 24-year-old right-hander who looks as if he is eyeing a Cy Young Award, went all nine innings Friday at Kauffman Stadium and helped the Kansas City Royals to a 6-1 victory.

The only blemish was that run in the fifth, which came courtesy of a throwing error by Royals shortstop Mike Aviles. It allowed Gerald Laird to score from third base with the first run against Greinke in 38 innings dating to last season.

"He's good -- really good -- and he's under control with all his pitches," Leyland said of a pitcher whose dastardly mix of high-bore fastballs, sliders, curves and change-ups held the Tigers to three hits and socked them with 10 strikeouts.

"He looks like he's been pitching out there for 15 years."

Tigers starter Rick Porcello allowed four hits in six innings.

Porcello gave up home runs to Mark Teahen and Alberto Callaspo, walked two, threw two wild pitches in Kansas City's two-run fifth, and struck out four as his record dropped to 1-2.

Along the way he thoroughly impressed his manager.

"I was tickled to death with Porcello," said Leyland, who believed Porcello was better Friday than he was in beating the Mariners at Seattle last Sunday. "He found out the value of using all his pitches. He's still a little green with his curveball, but I take a real positive from this game."

Porcello agreed.


"After the first two innings, I mixed in some change-ups and kept them off the fastball," said Porcello, who threw 85 pitches before giving way to Nate Robertson and Ryan Perry. "It's getting there."

Laird had two of Detroit's three hits. It was his leadoff double in the fifth, when he whacked one of Greinke's 66-mph blooper balls tight to the left-field line, that pushed across that rarest of feats: a run off Greinke.

After a strikeout by Brandon Inge, Josh Anderson smoked a line drive to center that was grabbed by Coco Crisp. Laird tagged and headed for third base. Crisp relayed the ball to Aviles, who fired to third in hopes of cutting down Laird.

But the ball skipped past Teahen and Laird headed for home, barely beating the throw to the plate that catcher Miguel Olivo couldn't handle. The Tigers' only other hit was a first-inning single by Placido Polanco.

"He's aggressive with all his pitches," said Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who struck out twice and went 0-for-3 against Greinke. "The thing is, you try to work the count but he's on both corners. He was tough tonight."

lynn.henning@detnews.com
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:53 am




Miner-Laird battery picks up Tigers
Hurler extends dominance at Kauffman while bats pitch in

By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com

04/25/09 11:52 PM ET

Box >

KANSAS CITY -- There's something about Kauffman Stadium that seems to bring out the tenacity in Zach Miner.

Renovations or no renovations, Miner has made the "K" his version of Special K. After not allowing an earned run in 18 1/3 innings of work in Kansas City entering this season, Miner picked up where he had left off by blanking the Royals through the first five innings in a 9-1 Detroit victory on Saturday night.

Miner bent early with shaky control, but never broke.

With an 8-0 lead, the right-hander allowed a leadoff single to Coco Crisp in the sixth. That was Miner's 83rd and final pitch. Though Crisp came around to score -- breaking Miner's ERA streak at Kauffman -- it was nevertheless a performance in which the Tigers took some satisfaction. Though he struggled early, Miner gathered himself and wound up allowing just three hits before turning things over to the Tigers' bullpen.

"I didn't feel that comfortable the first few innings," Miner said. "I was kind of rushing and overthrowing at times. But I was able to regroup and start making better pitches."

The Tigers supported Miner in fine fashion, as a pair of two-run homers from Gerald Laird and Curtis Granderson off Kyle Davies gave Miner a 4-0 cushion in the third.

And that was the key inning for Miner. After issuing a leadoff walk to Tony Pena Jr. and another to Crisp, manager Jim Leyland had Juan Rincon up and throwing in the bullpen.

"I saw him," Miner said of Rincon.

As it turned out, there was no need for long relief.

Miner pulled it together by fanning David DeJesus and getting hot-hitting Mark Teahen on a double-play bouncer.

"[Teahen] hits me real well, too," Miner said. "I was fortunate to get the ball down [on a 3-2 pitch] and got a ground ball."

Miner felt bad about walking the first two in the third after his team had staked him to a four-run cushion.

"The last thing you want to do when your team gets you runs is go walk the first two guys in an inning," Miner said. "But I did it, and just wanted to stop the damage. It wasn't even about not giving up any runs. I just wanted to make sure I got a couple of outs and keep it to a minimum. I was able to get the strikeout and then a double play, so I was very fortunate."

Miner called it "coincidence" that he has had such success at Kauffman.

"I was able to get out of a jam, but they could have easily thrown up a crooked number there against me in a couple of innings," Miner said. "It's one of those things where it worked out for me today, but they're a tough club."

It was a big night all-around for Detroit's starting battery.

In addition to helping Miner get back on track, Laird finished 3-for-4 at the plate to lift his batting average to .340.

"I started setting up more inside when [Miner] threw the fastball," Laird said. "He made some big pitches in big situations."

Laird is another Tiger who enjoys visiting Kauffman Stadium. As a Ranger, Laird considered Kansas City one of his favorite American League stops. He now has a .381 career average vs. the Royals.

"I've always liked coming here and playing," Laird said. "It's a big yard, and I've always been able to see the ball real well. Right now, I'm just putting good swings on the ball and finding some holes."

Extra-base thunder was the order of the night for Detroit. After the early two-run homers by Laird and Granderson, a two-run triple by Josh Anderson in a four-run sixth took all the steam out of the Royals -- and a sellout crowd of 37,647.

Magglio Ordonez added to the power fun with his first homer of the season, putting the exclamation point on a win that lifted the Tigers to a 9-8 record and a first-place tie with the Royals and White Sox.

Davies had been an impressive No. 3 starter for the Royals through the opening weeks of the season, but the Tigers were ready to get after him after being handcuffed by Zack Greinke the previous night. Davies is now just 1-5 lifetime vs. the Tigers.

"I have to throw my slider and my curveball for strikes and I didn't do it at all tonight," Davies said.

The Tigers just hope the offense will be in high gear again Sunday as they try to take the series and head home with momentum.

"[Davies] is an excellent pitcher, but he got a couple of pitches up and we took advantage of it," Leyland said.

When Miner managed to steady himself in the pivotal third with the double-play pitch, it was smooth sailing for the Tigers.

"He got the ground ball right at somebody," Leyland said.

When Miner is pitching at Kauffman, that's par for the course.

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:10 pm



Brandon Inge belts a homer to left field to bring in Jeff Larish


Inge ignites Tigers to win over Royals
Infielder belts seventh homer; Galarraga improves to 3-0

By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com

04/26/09 7:14 PM ET

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KANSAS CITY -- Brandon Inge insists he's not swinging for home runs. Nevertheless, the April long balls keep coming off his bat in abundance.

Inge blasted a two-run homer off Sidney Ponson in the second inning on Sunday to provide a springboard for the Tigers' 3-2 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. When Ponson made one of his few mistakes on the day -- a breaking ball that caught too much of the plate -- Inge made the veteran right-hander pay with a blast over the left-field wall.

That's No. 7 already for Inge, who also has 17 runs batted in and a rock-solid approach at the plate that he vows will remain with him whether he's striking out or striking fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers.

"I don't even think about the outcome," Inge said. "As the pitch is coming, I just let everything that I worked on in the offseason take over. That mind-set is probably the best thing I've got going right now."

Ponson wanted that pitch to Inge back as soon as it left his hand.

"I don't make excuses," Ponson said. "That one bad pitch put us in a hole."

The last time Inge went on a big power binge, he had a 27-homer season and the Tigers wound up in the 2006 World Series. But sometimes it takes small ball, as well as the long ball. That was certainly the case on Sunday, as Detroit gave a textbook display in manufacturing what proved to be the winning run.

With the Tigers up, 2-1, in the fifth, Josh Anderson led off with one of his three hits. Anderson stole second and advanced to third when Adam Everett gave himself up by hitting a grounder to second. Backup catcher Dane Sardinha bunted foul on a suicide squeeze, but made up for it by battling with two strikes and getting a sacrifice fly to center.

Sardinha came up on Sunday to replace Matt Treanor, who was placed on the disabled list. He showed his defensive skills when he threw out Coco Crisp, who tried to steal second in the fifth.

"The first day couldn't have gone much better," Sardinha said.

Inge thoroughly enjoyed watching Anderson, Everett and Sardinha manufacture the run, which made it 3-1 in the fifth.

"That's true baseball," Inge said. "I like that hard-nosed baseball where you have to earn it. Everett did a great job making sure he kept his hands inside and he pushed the ball to the right side of the infield. That's key right there. And Dane, in his first game up from Triple-A, had an excellent at-bat."

Closer Fernando Rodney issued a solo homer to Mike Aviles in the ninth, but still came away with his fourth save after Armando Galarraga worked the opening six innings and Bobby Seay and Ryan Perry each delivered a scoreless inning.

The Tigers, 10-8 and alone in first place, will take their 5-4 road trip and not look back.

Although Galarraga surrendered five walks and wasn't as sharp as he wanted to be, he still managed to keep Kansas City at arm's length.

With the big blast from Inge early in the game, the Detroit right-hander at least had the luxury of working with a cushion.

Inge lifted his batting average to .323 to go along with the power display.

"He's in a good groove," manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't want to make too big a deal about [home runs]. He's just hitting the ball hard. If he gets it up in the air, it goes over the fence. If he doesn't, he hits a line drive. I just want him to stay on the ball like he's doing. If he does that, he'll hit some home runs, because he's real strong."

Galarraga is now 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA. He had to battle through the third when the Royals got a run-scoring single from Jose Guillen, and then had the bases loaded with Alberto Callaspo at the plate in a key spot.

Galarraga got Callaspo on a roller to second and the Royals couldn't do much thereafter until Aviles went deep against Rodney in the ninth.

"I know I need to work on my mechanics," Galarraga said. "But we got a big win that keeps us in first place."

After being dominated by Zack Greinke on Friday in the series opener, the Tigers' pitching staff limited the Royals to a combined three runs in taking the final two games of the series. Detroit can only hope that trend holds up over the course of the season series with Kansas City.

"When you've got a pitching staff that has [Gil] Meche and Greinke, they are going to be tough to beat," Inge said. "We have to take what we can get, so this was an important game."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:52 pm

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Tigers 3, Royals 2
Brandon Inge powers Tigers past Royals
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

Kansas City, Mo. -- Brandon Inge hit his team-leading seventh home run, a two-run shot that helped the Tigers to a 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday at Kauffman Stadium.

Inge hit 11 home runs last year but has been a consistent source of power and big RBIs for the Tigers during a hot April. He has the team lead in RBIs, as well, with 17, which he reached when he drove a Sidney Ponson fastball over the Royals bullpen in the first inning.

Armando Galarraga started for the Tigers and plowed through six tough innings, which saw him throw 107 pitches and walk five batters. He allowed only three hits, however, and one run and left with a 3-1 lead.

Bobby Seay and Ryan Perry shut out the Royals in the seventh and eighth innings, ahead of Fernando Rodney's arrival in the ninth.

He allowed a one-out home run by Mike Aviles, but got the next two batters to nail down his fourth save.

The Tigers scored their third run in the fifth when Josh Anderson singled, stole second and moved to third on a ground-out. After his attempt to score on a suicide squeeze bunt was foiled when batter Dane Sardinha fouled it off, Sardinha lined a sacrifice fly to center to score Anderson with the game-winning run.

Anderson had three hits.

The Tigers are 10-8 and in first place in the American League Central.

They return home to begin a three-game series Monday against the New York Yankees.

You can reach Lynn Henning at lynn.henning@detnews.com.


"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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:16 am

Verlander mows down Yankees
Righty strikes out nine over seven shutout frames in win

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/27/09 11:28 PM ET

Box >

DETROIT -- Ask Justin Verlander the last time he felt this good during an outing, and it's not exactly the right question. He felt good in two of his past three outings, but didn't get the results.

"It's been a while since I felt this good after a game," he admitted Monday.

After seven-plus scoreless innings, nine strikeouts and a 4-2 win over the Yankees before an impressively supportive crowd of 28,784 at Comerica Park, Verlander deserved that feeling.

When manager Jim Leyland suggested after Verlander's last start that he wanted to win too badly, Verlander disagreed. To him, there's no such thing. It's more about how you use that competitiveness.

Taking it into a game and overthrowing, as he had at times on other nights, turned out to be self-defeating. Taking it into preparation and executing is a little different. Taking it into a two-on no-out jam and dialing up the fastball without speeding up the mechanics proved very productive.

"I really liked the way he pitched," Leyland said. "He got himself into a comfort zone. He had a little extra when he needed it."

For the Tigers' first evening home game of the season, Verlander (1-2) delivered a primetime performance. It was the kind that many expect from him but haven't seen often over the last year, but many Tigers felt he still had it in him.

One by one, the Yankees (9-10) tried to wait out Verlander and bring out the inconsistent command that had marked some of his other outings so far this year. He answered with first-pitch strikes, both with fastballs and breaking balls, and followed with more.

When Verlander put Yankees hitters into two-strike counts, he was able to throw his fastball in and out of the zone while still getting them to chase. Instead of sailing, his fastballs moved, and hitters struggled to catch up. It turned out to be a quality plan of attack against a Yankees lineup that arrived in Detroit in the wee hours of Monday morning after a long Sunday night game at Boston.

Verlander didn't throw 98-99 mph all the time, only when he felt he had to. A lot of those pitches came in the fourth inning, the only time he pitched with a runner in scoring position.

None of the seven hits Verlander allowed went for extra bases, and only twice did they come consecutively. Back-to-back singles from Mark Teixeira and Hideki Matsui put two on with nobody out in what was still a 1-0 game in the fourth. Verlander put Robinson Cano in an 0-2 hole, then tried to overpower him before running the count full.

Cano flied out to right on Verlander's offspeed pitch. By contrast, the usually patient Nick Swisher fanned swinging at a high fastball that registered at 99 mph on the Comerica Park radar gun for the second out. After Melky Cabrera fouled off three straight pitches on a 2-2 count, he swung and missed at a 98-mph heater that rose out of the zone.

"I believe when you overthrow, hitters can see that," Verlander said. "And when you don't, it looks like everything else."

In other words, Verlander's high-90s fastballs could look more like his mid-90s fastballs.

The velocity sustained as Verlander's outing went on. Johnny Damon went down swinging at a 98-mph fastball to end the fifth inning. Jose Molina ended the seventh flying out on a 97-mph heater, Verlander's 98th pitch of the night.

Not since last July at Cleveland had Verlander struck out nine hitters in a game, though he had back-to-back eight-strikeout games earlier this month before the Angels debacle. But he had never struck out that many guys without a walk.

That, Verlander said, is a product of the adjustment he made during Spring Training to lower his arm angle. He worked on it after each start to the point that he felt like he was throwing sidearm at times during his side sessions before the season began. It's feeling much more comfortable now.

Until the later innings, Verlander needed those zeros to keep the Tigers (11-8) up against Yankees ace CC Sabathia (1-2). Placido Polanco's double and Miguel Cabrera's RBI single in the opening inning comprised the only scoring of the game until the sixth, when Curtis Granderson's bunt single started a one-out rally.

Polanco doubled in Granderson, then came home on Magglio Ordonez's second home run of the season.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. 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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:30 am

Key battles hurt Jackson, bullpen
Tigers fall to Yanks on 10-run seventh that proves historic

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/28/09 10:47 PM ET
UPDATED: 04/29/09 12:35 AM ET

Box >

DETROIT -- Manager Jim Leyland has been in the game for more than 40 years. This was a new one for him.

"I don't think I've ever seen that in my life," Leyland said after the Tigers' 11-0 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday. "Never in my life can I remember a game being nothing-nothing after six innings and 10-0 after seven."

You would've had to have been around for those 1919 World Series champion Cincinnati Reds to have seen anything resembling it in the Major Leagues.

Not since Cincinnati's 10-run rally in the 13th inning in Brooklyn had a team broken up a scoreless duel with a double-digit inning in the seventh or later, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They weren't even the Brooklyn Dodgers at that point; they were the Brooklyn Robins.

Ninety years later, the Tigers became the second team in Major League history to lose that kind of game. And incredibly, it came after Edwin Jackson and Phil Hughes dueled for six scoreless innings.

While much of the damage will fall on left fielder Josh Anderson for his error on Jorge Posada's sacrifice fly or reliever Brandon Lyon on Jose Molina's grand slam to put the Yankees into double digits, a good share of credit arguably goes to Robinson Cano. Without his 12-pitch at-bat against Jackson in the fourth inning or their 10-pitch battle in the sixth, Jackson might well have made it into the seventh.

Instead, the Yankees took 117 pitches out of Jackson over his six innings of four-hit ball. Twenty-seven of them, including eight foul balls in the fourth inning, came in three at-bats against Cano, 5-for-21 for his career against Jackson when the big righty pitched for the Rays.

"He'd put the bat on a good pitch, and you just have to keep coming at him," Jackson said.

A bad hop earned Cano a two-out infield single in the fourth-inning meeting after he battled out of an 0-2 hole to work the count full. Hideki Matsui's triple off Curtis Granderson's glove in the sixth put a potential go-ahead run on third for Cano before Jackson sent him down swinging at a slider.

"I think he pitched as well as you could possibly pitch a guy in a big situation," Leyland said.

Jackson still felt strong at that point, having hit 98 mph on his 114th pitch of the night. Cano fouled that one off, too. With that pitch count, however, there was no way Jackson was going back out. He got Cano out when he needed, but the Yankees got Jackson out just in time. The fourth-inning duel with Cano, Leyland estimated, probably cost Jackson two-thirds of an inning, not just from the at-bat but the extra two batters Jackson had to face to finish the inning.

Jackson sent his opponent scoreless into the seventh for the third time in five starts this season, but he has a lone win to show for it.

Ryan Perry followed Jackson in the seventh and gave up a leadoff single to Nick Swisher. Midway through Perry's ensuing four-pitch walk to Melky Cabrera, Leyland made a visit to the mound.

The Tigers skipper has become known for occasionally going to the mound without making a pitching change, but usually just to discuss strategy or to talk about a mental approach rather than something mechanical. His visit with Perry lasted just a few seconds.

"I just told him, 'Don't worry about [the hit], don't let up, go right at them,'" Leyland said.

If only the rest of the inning could've been so brief. Instead, Leyland made two more visits to the mound, both for pitching changes, before the inning was over.

After Molina sacrificed the runners to second and third, Perry put the pinch-hitting Posada in an 0-2 hole before the Yankees' catcher hit a liner at Anderson. By appearances, Anderson seemed to struggle to find the ball in the lights. However, he said he was gearing up for Swisher to try to tag up and score.

"I saw it the whole way," Anderson said. "I didn't really stop. I hesitated, just to get some momentum on the throw. I knew the guy was at third and he was tagging. And when I hesitated to get some momentum, the ball was diving pretty hard, and by the time I could catch it, it was at my shoelaces."

The ball skipped past Anderson as Swisher tagged up and Cabrera rounded third behind him.

"Aggressive guy," Leyland said. "That's the way he plays. That's the way he's going to play. And that's the way I want him to play."

And as Leyland pointed out, Perry struggled to throw strikes after that at-bat. A walk to Derek Jeter brought out Leyland and brought in Nate Robertson. Johnny Damon, Matsui and Cano followed with RBI singles before Lyon walked in a run and gave up Molina's grand slam.

The rest is history.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:51 pm

Porcello undaunted by misstep in finale
Tigers rally in ninth, but comeback falls shy vs. Yankees

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

04/29/09 10:07 PM ET
Updated: 04/30/09 12:36 AM ET

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DETROIT -- When the Tigers decided to bring up 20-year-old Rick Porcello and 22-year-old Ryan Perry from Class A ball to the big leagues, the club knew they would have their ups and downs. One rough outing wasn't going to affect their opinion.

Manager Jim Leyland made those points on Tuesday after Perry took the loss against the Yankees. One night later, he was saying many of the same things about Porcello after Detroit's 8-6 loss in the rubber match.

"I don't think you make any kind of rash judgment right after a performance like tonight," Leyland said. "I think you think about things. All the equipment's there. He's very bright, he's very teachable, coachable, so that's a good sign."

Porcello's makeup remains strong, which is a big part of what got him here. His pitches on Wednesday generally were not.

Porcello threw 43 of his 75 pitches for strikes. His sinker that could pile up ground-ball outs in his earlier outings didn't have the same effect Wednesday, leading to just two outs on the ground after his three-groundout opening inning. His three walks in 3 2/3 innings matched his total over his previous three starts this season combined, covering 18 innings.

Porcello's curveball, the breaking pitch that was a project for him last year in the Florida State League and became his effective secondary pitch, was relegated at times to a show pitch Wednesday. The righty spotted one on the second pitch of the game, Leyland said, and he struggled to locate another.

"He only threw one curveball, I think, for a strike," Leyland said, "and obviously, you can't be a 1 1/2-pitch pitcher against a team like the Yankees, with that many left-handed bats in there tonight."

In short, Porcello had one of those days. Unfortunately, it came in his first start at Comerica Park. And while he can accept it, he won't have an easy time brushing it off.

"You're frustrated, because you want to go out there and you want to succeed," Porcello said. "You want to do well for your team. You want to do well for your fans and the organization. When you have a rough outing, that sort of thing, it's tough. It's a lot more magnified here than it would be in the Minor Leagues or anything like that.

"I've had success, and I know I can compete and be successful at this level. There's no question there. It's a matter of learning."

Success came for Porcello (1-3) early. He entered the fourth inning coming off an eight-pitch third in which he retired the top third of the Yankees' lineup in order. His velocity was strong, and his sinker seemed to be doing its job. He sat in the dugout while the Tigers worked a single, three walks and a sacrifice fly for their first run in the bottom of the inning before Yankees starter Joba Chamberlain (1-0) stranded the bases loaded with a nasty breaking ball for a called third strike on Miguel Cabrera.

Porcello lost Hideki Matsui to a leadoff walk, then after Robinson Cano lined out, fired all fastballs to Jorge Posada en route to a one-out single. Then as Porcello's pitches rose, the bottom dropped out on his outing.

The full-count offering that Nick Swisher hit resembled a home-run ball that Toronto's Adam Lind hit off Porcello in his Major League debut three weeks ago. It was an offspeed pitch that rose high and outside, allowing Swisher to launch an opposite field shot over the left-field fence.

"For any right-handed hitter, that would've been a real test tonight," Leyland said.

One sign of Porcello's poise this year has been to recover from shots like that and get back to outs. Swisher's homer, however, admittedly bothered him. He managed one out from the next four hitters before Leyland pulled him.

"It was a bad pitch," Porcello said. "That was the thing that just bothered me the most. I felt it was the right pitch, just in a bad spot. Normally, I don't let it get to me."

Johnny Damon's RBI double chased him from the game with a 4-1 deficit and two more runners still on base. After left-hander Clay Rapada intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to load the bases, Matsui cleared them with a double.

Once the Tigers rallied with five runs in the ninth, those runs became huge. Curtis Granderson's three-run homer was only the second by a Tiger off Mariano Rivera, the last being Bobby Higginson's game-tying solo shot at Tiger Stadium on July 6, 1999.

"If I come back and shut them down, hopefully hold them at three runs, that gives us a chance to stay in the game and battle and keep it close," Porcello said.

Porcello's loss won't be nearly that rare. But he'll learn.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat May 02, 2009 1:18 am

Tigers can't complete monumental rally
Cabrera's homer keys five-run eighth; Galarraga off his game

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/01/09 10:56 PM ET
UPDATED: 05/02/09 12:33 AM ET

Box >

DETROIT -- For the second straight game, the Tigers nearly erased a big deficit late. For the second straight postgame, their manager was left to lament falling behind big in the first place.

"Comebacks falling short don't mean much to me," Jim Leyland said after what had been a six-run deficit and a potential Carl Pavano shutout before a 6-5 loss to the Indians on Friday night at Comerica Park.

"The one fact you appreciate," Leyland continued, "is that they kept playing. They're playing nine innings, busting their tails, so you appreciate that. But to come in here [after] the last game and say you had the tying run on deck, and tonight you got within one, that's all fine, but that's not the idea here."

The idea, and the pressure the Tigers face this year, is to win. And after back-to-back losses, the Tigers are back to the .500 mark and now in fourth place in the American League Central, albeit a game back of the first-place White Sox. They have an offense that can't seem to hit starting pitchers lately and some starting pitchers who are struggling to last deep into games.

On Friday, as quickly as Miguel Cabrera's three-run homer went out on a line to left to put Detroit back into the game, Pavano kept Detroit's offense creeping along for seven innings at the ballpark he nearly called home.

Though Pavano had never pitched in Comerica Park, he paid a visit on his cross-country free-agent tour after the 2004 season, when he was the target of Detroit's offseason wishes. He met with the front office, talked personally with owner Mike Ilitch and went into the Winter Meetings with a positive impression before he spurned the Tigers to sign with the Yankees.

"I had some good meetings here," Pavano said. "I was impressed by all the personnel. They have an owner with a lot of passion."

Injuries marred his four-year tenure in New York, making it a move the Tigers were glad they didn't make. Those injuries have made Pavano a much different pitcher now compared to then. On Friday, Pavano's ability to work the strike zone made him an effective pitcher nonetheless.

It wasn't complicated, and certainly not hard-throwing, but it was efficient. Pavano (1-3) retired the first seven Tigers he faced before Josh Anderson reached base on an error by first baseman Victor Martinez in a collision at the bag. Detroit didn't manage a hit off of him until a fourth-inning single from Magglio Ordonez, the player the Tigers eventually signed with their free-agent dollars after Pavano turned them down.

Curtis Granderson had a one-out single and stolen base in the sixth, but Pavano sent down Placido Polanco and Ordonez on ground balls to short. Cabrera's leadoff single in the seventh vanished when Pavano got an ensuing double play from Carlos Guillen.

"Pavano pretty much controlled us," Leyland said. "He just used both sides of the plate. Nothing fancy. He used both sides of the plate and threw strikes."

He did what Tigers starter Armando Galarraga could not.

Galarraga (3-1) jump-started his career last year with his ability to quiet Indians bats. He earned his first Major League win at Cleveland in April 2008, and three of his team-leading 13 victories came at Cleveland's expense.

He was aggressive against the Indians then, and they couldn't answer. He never seemed to get into that comfortable Friday.

Though Mark DeRosa's leadoff double and Cabrera's error served as the catalyst for the four-run second inning that sank Galarraga, it was a one-out walk to Kelly Shoppach that Galarraga was left to regret. Shoppach was 0-for-5 off Galarraga entering the game, but battled out of an 0-2 hole. Galarraga tried to get him to chase at sliders down, but couldn't, before he missed the inside corner on a changeup.

"I think it was a big mistake," Galarraga said. "It was probably the key to the game, because they got a couple more runs. That's a guy I can handle up in the count, and I had two strikes already."

Up came Grady Sizemore, 6-for-15 with three homers off Galarraga entering the night. His sacrifice fly made it 2-0 before Asdrubal Cabrera and Martinez followed with RBI singles.

"When he struggles, to me, he gets away from his sinker a little bit too much and goes to his slider too much," Leyland said of Galarraga.

Brandon Inge's sliding catch in foul territory to end the top of the eighth and hustling double to lead off the bottom half seemingly sparked the Tigers, who knocked out Pavano on Adam Everett's ensuing double. Back-to-back singles from Curtis Granderson and Polanco put runners on base for Cabrera, who took Jensen Lewis deep on a line to left for his fifth home run of the year and first since April 15.

But as Leyland said, it was too little, too late.

"We're not supposed to get shut out for seven innings," Leyland said. "That's just not supposed to happen."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat May 02, 2009 9:53 am

Saturday, May 2, 2009
Indians 6, Tigers 5
Carl Pavano flusters Tigers
Yankees castoff bests Galarraga, who suffers first defeat
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Detroit -- The Tigers once saw something in Carl Pavano. Now they've seen it twice.

Nothing overpowering, mind you. The kind of stuff they occasionally clobber, in fact, but effective.

The right-hander they wanted to sign as a free agent after the 2004 season, before his four nightmarish seasons with the New York Yankees, looked like the pitcher of another club's dreams Friday night.

Despite some stinky starts on his resume, Pavano pitched the Cleveland Indians to a 6-5 victory -- in the process handing the Tigers their third consecutive loss.

It was only close because the Tigers erupted for five runs in the eighth, most of the damage coming against the Indians bullpen before Kerry Wood closed it out in the ninth.

"He wasn't fancy, but he used both sides of the plate, threw strikes, and pretty much controlled us," manager Jim Leyland said of Pavano.

So much for pitching matchups which look lopsided.

Pavano was 0-3 with a 9.50 ERA before this game. Armando Galarraga was 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA. A slam dunk, right?

But that's why they play the games. Galarraga looked "tentative," according to Leyland. Pavano looked like the Pavano of old -- or at least of that one season when he went 18-8 for the Florida Marlins.

"Armando ran his pitch count up," Leyland said. "He threw too many pitches early."

The Tigers only had three singles off Pavano the first seven innings. Toss in the fact he didn't walk anyone and you can count on one finger the number of scoring chances they had before the eighth.

Even that one chance, Curtis Granderson stealing second with one out in the sixth, wasn't much.

"We made a little run at them," Leyland said, "but we're much better than this offensively. We're just not doing a whole lot right now."

The Tigers finally broke through in the eighth on doubles by Brandon Inge and Adam Everett. With the hit, Inge ran his streak of getting on-base at least once to 22 games, the longest for any Tiger since Alan Trammell's 22-gamer in 1990.

The doubles chased Pavano, who turned a relatively harmless situation over left-hander Rafael Perez.

Two batters later, though, it was no longer harmless.

Both Granderson and Placido Polanco singled off Perez, which meant that when Jensen Lewis took over, a home run from either Magglio Ordonez or Miguel Cabrera would close the gap to a run.

And Cabrera's home run did.

Too much earlier damage -- including David Dellucci's four hits and Jhonny Peralta's first home run of the season -- had been done, though.

Wood retired the side in order in the ninth for his fifth save.
Strange April


Granderson admits he had a strange April.

"But it seems I always do," he said.

He hit seven home runs, the most he has hit in any month as a Tiger. He also had 15 RBIs.

In only two other months (16 in May, 2007 and 18 in May 2006) has he had more RBIs.

But he hit just .241 with only one double.

He was 2-for-4 Friday.

Around the horn

Jeremy Bonderman , though showing improvement, is still pitching in extended spring training.

So his return to the Tigers is not exactly imminent.

... On the eve of the Kentucky Derby, Leyland was asked about the chances of his 2-year-old, Little River Bob, being good enough to run in next year's Derby.

"Those things are a zillion to one," he said. "I just hope he doesn't end up with kids (riding him) on a merry-go-around."

... With left-handers starting the next two days for Cleveland, Ryan Raburn will be in the Tigers' starting lineup.

tom.gage@detnews.com
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat May 02, 2009 8:22 pm



Granderson's homer caps wild win
Everett homers as Tigers score five in fourth inning

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/02/09 6:59 PM ET

Box >

DETROIT -- Zach Miner would've loved nothing more than a shutdown inning when the Tigers had their five-run lead Saturday. He ended up part of the big inning that opened everything up.

By the time Curtis Granderson's two-run home run put Detroit ahead for good in a 9-7 victory over Cleveland, that big lead seemed like as much of a misread as the Asdrubal Cabrera fly ball on which Ryan Raburn slipped. Twice, the Tigers took the lead in one half-inning, only to watch the Indians erase it in the next.

How wild was it, besides the defensive misplays? Adam Everett put Detroit ahead with a grand slam in his second at-bat for his first homer with the Tigers, laid down a sacrifice bunt his next time up to help his club tie it, then gave way his next time up to pinch-hitter Josh Anderson for his pinch-hit single ahead of Granderson's homer to change the lead again.

Not until the Tigers' relief tandem of Joel Zumaya and Fernando Rodney teamed up for the first time this season did the afternoon at Comerica Park finally settle down.

"We kind of won in spite of ourselves," manager Jim Leyland said. "But we really hung in there well. I'm really proud of our guys. They didn't collapse. They stayed after it."

The first four innings for Miner looked like anything but a battle. He threw a steady diet of sinkers for nine ground-ball outs, including a double play to end the fourth. The only really well-hit ball was Victor Martinez's double in the first.

Once Detroit finally made Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey pay for his walks with Everett's slam, Miner seemingly was set to put it away. He got a three-pitch strikeout of Jhonny Peralta, capped by a call on a changeup, then had a 2-2 count on David Dellucci before he singled.

"Zach was pitching great," Leyland said. "The fifth inning, he got a little careless, a little tentative maybe."

Miner then had a 1-2 count on Ryan Garko before missing on back-to-back changeups en route to a one-out walk. Trouble had arrived.

"I felt like if I could throw a good changeup, there was no way he could lay off," Miner said.

After Ben Francisco's single loaded the bases for the top of the order, Miner recovered for an impressive strikeout of Grady Sizemore. But the walk meant Miner still had to face Adsrubal Cabrera, who popped up a 2-0 pitch into left field.

Raburn, playing left field to provide another right-handed bat against Laffey, initially seemed to break wrong, then slipped as he changed direction. Once Raburn got up, he was on a mad dash to the warning track to try to run it back down as the wind carried it.

"When Cabrera hit that ball, I had no vision of that ball carrying that far," Leyland said. "[Raburn] probably thought like I did. He was playing it and the tricky wind got him."

Raburn still got under it, but the ball popped out of his glove at the fence for a bases-clearing double. Miner still had a chance to end the inning ahead, but two more baserunners set up Shin-Soo Choo's game-tying triple on a sinking liner past a sliding attempt from right fielder Magglio Ordonez.

"I was telling myself just to go after the next guy and we still had a lead and this and that," said Miner. "I'm only human. I'm not going to lie to you. It affected me. I probably tried to do a little too much to the next guy, and it probably carried over to the next one."

It looked all too familiar to the big innings that had cost the Tigers the previous three games, except that Miner's strikeout of Mark DeRosa kept the game tied. Back and forth Cleveland and Detroit went in a game that seemed set to go to whoever batted last before a crowd of 34,646, the largest for the Tigers since their April 10 home opener.

"I felt I handled DeRosa pretty good," Miner said, "probably threw the best pitch I threw all day to strike him out. It kept us in it, and we were able to come back and win one. When it all comes down to it, that's what it's about, winning games."

The winning hit went to Granderson, who pounced on the first-pitch fastball from Rafael Betancourt (0-1) and drove it deep to right for his team-leading eighth home run of the year. The win itself went to Joel Zumaya, who entered with a two-on, one-out jam in the seventh and escaped with only DeRosa's game-tying sacrifice fly as damage. Zumaya's scoreless eighth, capped by a changeup for a called third strike on Sizemore, set up Fernando Rodney for his fifth save.

The late-inning duo Detroit hoped to eventually have finally teamed up. They just couldn't have figured to do so in a game this chaotic before they settled it down. The shutdown innings, it turned out, were theirs.

"If you want to keep close in the division, you have to win these games," Rodney said.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun May 03, 2009 5:36 pm

Sunday, May 3, 2009
Tigers 3, Indians 1
Verlander's 11 strikeouts help Tigers take series from Indians

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander struck out 11 and Curtis Granderson delivered another go-ahead hit as the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Sunday.

Verlander (2-2) allowed one run and two hits in seven innings, finishing up by escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam. Last Monday, he fanned nine in seven shutout innings against the New York Yankees.

Granderson's RBI double in the seventh put Detroit ahead 2-1. On Saturday, Granderson hit a two-run homer in the eighth to beat the Indians.

Cliff Lee (1-4) already has lost more games this season than he did last year, when he went 22-3 and won the AL Cy Young Award. Lee gave up three runs and 12 hits in seven innings, and left with a 3.92 ERA -- last year, it was 2.54.

Dane Sardinha and Granderson started the seventh with consecutive doubles. Granderson later scored on Magglio Ordonez's single through the drawn-in infield.

The Indians put two runners on against Bobby Seay in the eighth, but Joel Zumaya came in to retire Mark DeRosa. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

Detroit missed out on a scoring chance in the first when Placido Polanco was thrown out at the plate on an infield grounder, but the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the next inning on Brandon Inge's long homer, his eighth.

Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI single -- Cleveland's first hit -- tied it in the third.

After Shin-Soo Choo walked to start the Indians' seventh, DeRosa lined a double down the right-field line. The Tigers intentionally walked David Dellucci to load the bases with no outs.

Kelly Shoppach popped out to shallow right, Matt LaPorta took a called third strike in his third major-league at bat and Verlander got Luis Valbuena to ground out on his 121th and final pitch.

Notes : LaPorta made his major league debut, playing right field and taking a called third strike in his first at-bat. ... Victor Martinez thought he had an extra-base hit in the sixth, but Granderson ran it down in the right-center field gap, causing Martinez to slam down his helmet in frustration.


"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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun May 03, 2009 5:40 pm


05.03.09: Justin Verlander holds the Indians to one run in seven innings while striking out 11

Verlander fans 11 in win against Tribe
Right-hander rewrites personal history to dominate

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/03/09 3:48 PM ET
Updated: 05/03/09 5:59 PM ET

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DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland says it's in his history to load the bases with an intentional walk, all the way back to the Minor Leagues with a young pitcher. So when Justin Verlander had runners on second and third in the seventh inning of Sunday's tie game, Leyland didn't hesitate, even though it meant a bases-loaded, no-out situation.

It backfired on Leyland plenty of times in the Minor Leagues, he said. Verlander made it sure it didn't Sunday.

"To me, it's a development [for a player]," Leyland said after Verlander's seven innings of one-run ball eventually earned Detroit a 3-1 win over Cleveland.

"When a guy gets here, he should be able to throw strikes. And if you put him in that spot and load the bases, he's supposed to be able to throw strikes. Sometimes in the Minor Leagues, it would backfire time after time, but you're sending the right message: 'This is what you've got to do.' I think that's real important."

Verlander's development has been a well-publicized process the last couple years. Sunday felt more like a reinforcement to the Tigers, and a proclamation to the rest of the league: Verlander is back.

"That's probably the best we've seen him," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Six days earlier, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira called Verlander's last performance, "by far the best I've seen him."

As much as early season momentum seemed to go against Verlander last year, he has spent the last couple weeks picking up speed the other way. But Sunday's seventh-inning jam -- and Verlander's way out of it -- felt more like a leap.

It wasn't just the situation, but the opponent. Verlander owned a 4-10 career record and 6.70 ERA against Cleveland, which accounted for five of his 17 losses last year. The Indians hit just .237 against Verlander last season, but turned those hits into runs with efficiency.

Sunday's seventh inning looked much the same, with the first two runners on and Verlander already at 109 pitches in a 1-1 battle with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee. When Shin-Soo Choo drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on Mark DeRosa's double, Leyland had David Dellucci intentionally walked, even though Dellucci struck out both of his previous times up.

Verlander wasn't thinking quick outs as Kelly Shoppach stepped in. At first, Verlander was simply thinking Leyland might come out to pull him.

"A lot of times, they'll leave a guy in there to intentionally walk and then take [him] out," Verlander said. "So I was thinking, 'Don't take me out, don't take me out, don't take me out.' Once I looked over and didn't see him coming out of the dugout, that's when I just kind of focused in and said, 'All right, here we go. Let's get this guy.'"

In fact, Verlander said, he started thinking about trying to strike out everybody. Shoppach ruined those plans, but all the Tribe catcher managed to do with the 98-mph first-pitch high fastball was pop out to shallow right.

Verlander wasn't thinking first-pitch outs, but he would take them.

"I think that allowed me to finish the seventh," Verlander said. "If [Shoppach] has a battle at-bat, and I'm up to 115-120 [pitches] before the first out of the inning's made, even if the guy from third doesn't score that leaves Skip in a pretty hairy situation [to decide] whether to leave me out there."

Said Leyland: "I thought the first out was the biggest, because it put pressure on the kid."

That kid was Matt LaPorta, the highly touted prospect making his Major League debut. He struggled to catch up with Verlander all afternoon, so both Verlander and catcher Dane Sardinha thought the same plan.

"His at-bat before, he was drilling balls into his own dugout," Sardinha said. "You don't want to speed up a guy's bat with an offspeed. I'd figure we'd go after him with fastballs."

LaPorta took the first two before fouling off three in a row. All were at 99 mph or higher, but LaPorta began catching up. The Tigers' battery was ready for it.

"Once he starts cheating, we'll throw curveballs," Sardinha said. "I don't think he was looking for it. It caught him by surprise."

Verlander missed in the dirt with the first curve, but spotted the second on the inside corner for strike three.

"We were pretty much on the same page the whole day," Verlander said.

Verlander and Sardinha had the same plan for just-recalled infielder Luis Valbuena, who fouled off back-to-back fastballs go into an 0-2 hole.

Verlander's 120th pitch of the day hit 99 mph. His 121st was an 85-mph breaking ball that Valbuena grounded to second to end the inning.

"I didn't leave anything on the field, that's for sure," Verlander said.

Once Sardinha and Granderson hit back-to-back doubles leading off the bottom half of the inning against Lee, they ensured Verlander (2-2) wouldn't leave without a decision.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue May 05, 2009 1:49 am

Tigers let one get away vs. Twins
Jackson's troubles in seventh inning send Detroit to loss

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/05/09 12:08 AM ET

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DETROIT -- Misery met company Monday, and Edwin Jackson wasn't the winner.

Manager Jim Leyland used the term "inconsistent" several times to describe his offense after his Tigers' 7-2 loss to the Twins at Comerica Park, but one big consistency seems to be their lack of runs for Jackson. He has pitched into the seventh inning with one run or none allowed four times in his six outings this season, and his 2-0 win April 18 was the only one Detroit has been able to pull out.

Jackson isn't going to feel sorry for himself. He certainly couldn't heading into the game, because opposing pitcher Francisco Liriano had plenty of the same woes. They entered the game tied for second among American League pitchers in lowest run support, behind only Oakland's Trevor Cahill.

Liriano's run support grew a lot more Monday. Jackson's was more of the same. Yet if not for two seventh-inning pitches, he still might've been able to make it work.

"You can't really worry about run support," Jackson said. "You have to go out and pitch your game. If it's a 5-0 lead, you want to go out and still pitch your game. You just have a little bit more room for error. But I don't really complain about run support. I just feel like if I go out and do my job, after that, I can't worry about what happens."

Jackson won't say anything about the offense, but Leyland will. And his concerns have to do with more than Jackson's starts.

"It's been going on really since the start of the season," Leyland said. "We've been inconsistent with our offense. We just haven't gotten enough guys going at the same time, same day, same night, whatever. We just haven't gotten our offense rolling yet. We've got too many guys not swinging well. So we have to get that going, but we will."

Other than Miguel Cabrera, whose sixth-inning homer comprised the Tigers' lone run while Jackson was in the game, there aren't many hitters going well. Magglio Ordonez is 5-for-25 through seven games of this eight-game homestand, and he didn't get the ball out of the infield Monday. He has two extra-base hits through 25 games, and no doubles.

Carlos Guillen ended an 0-for-12 slump with his second-inning single, but he struck out twice on the night and is 4-for-27 on the homestand. He admitted after the game that he's battling a sore left shoulder since crashing into the fence last month at Seattle, and it's a growing concern.

Curtis Granderson is 6-for-14 over his past four games despite a string of lefty starters, but he says he still isn't comfortable at the plate. Gerald Laird is in a 1-for-20 slump. Even Brandon Inge is 3-for-14 over his past four games; he didn't reach base safely Monday for the first time all season.

The offensive totals haven't been completely bad this homestand thanks to late-inning rallies from big deficits, but that didn't happen Monday.

The Tigers (13-12) are among the top teams in the league hitting with runners in scoring position, but they missed a golden opportunity for runs in the second inning Monday. With runners at first and second and nobody out, Liriano didn't allow them to put a ball in play.

After Guillen's single moved Cabrera into scoring position, Liriano (1-4) attacked the bottom half of Detroit's order, putting Laird, Inge and Adam Everett in 0-2 holes before striking all three out swinging.

"The guy was good. You have to give him some credit," Leyland said of Liriano. "Obviously he had a good slider, threw a few changeups and his fastball moves. He's good, very good."

Jackson (1-2) not only recovered nicely from Michael Cuddyer's second-inning RBI single, he had some of his most deceptive stuff of the season. The young right-hander, whose success this year has come from attacking the strike zone and getting outs put in play, fanned six of the first 14 batters he faced -- all swinging -- on his way to a season-high seven strikeouts for the night.

"He's always had stuff," Cuddyer said. "He's always thrown 95-98 mph. He's always had a good slider. The rap on him is that if you wait long enough, you'll get a free pass. Tonight [against] a lot of guys, he was 0-2, 1-2, pounding the strike zone."

Cuddyer didn't wait for two strikes once he got his RBI opportunity in the seventh, nor did Joe Crede before him after Justin Morneau's leadoff single and Jason Kubel's walk put runners at first and second with nobody out.

Leyland visited the mound, but he had every intention to stick with Jackson. Crede went at a first-pitch fastball and lofted it into the right-field corner for an opposite-field double, giving the Twins (13-13) the lead for good.

"It was good placement on his part. He caught the corner," Jackson said. "I thought it was going foul, but it stayed fair. It's a game of inches."

After that, it was a game of runs. Cuddyer drilled a first-pitch slider over Granderson's head to score two more and knock out Jackson.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. 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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue May 05, 2009 11:46 pm

Cabrera, Thomas power Tigers
Right fielder, first baseman fall shy of hitting for cycle

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/05/09 9:35 PM ET
Updated: 05/05/09 11:26 PM ET

Box >

DETROIT -- Clete Thomas brought energy, as manager Jim Leyland had hoped. In return, he got a little bit of redemption.

As easy as Thomas' evening looked in what was one of those classic Tigers runaways for a 9-0 victory over the Twins, it was a long, difficult route for him to get to this point. After a solid midseason stint with the Tigers last year, he went from an offensive weapon at Triple-A Toledo to a struggling second-half player whose motivation was being questioned after a taste of the big leagues. He didn't say anything about that throbbing in his right arm until the end of the season, and ended up as one of the rare outfielders to have Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.

He hit like crazy with the Tigers in Spring Training, but basically had no chance to make the big club because of his arm recovery. He thought he could get back to Detroit, but he had to wonder, especially as Josh Anderson made his presence known as a speedy left-handed hitter who can rotate in the outfield.

After all that work to get back here, you'd better believe Thomas wanted to swing for the fences when he was a home run shy of the cycle.

"My last two at-bats, I had a knuckleballer [R.A. Dickey] and the lefty [Craig Breslow]," Thomas said. "If I connected, it would've been great."

Even though he didn't connect, seeing him try was great for his teammates.

"It was fun," infielder Ramon Santiago said. "Because when you see Thomas, he's always in a good mood. I like him a lot, because he's always ready to go and always fired up. He gives some energy to the team, and it's good for the team."

Leyland wasn't about to fault him for trying with that big of a lead.

"I'm sure he was aware of it," Leyland said, "and I don't blame him. You're supposed to be aware of it."

Thomas was supposed to bring energy, after all. That's part of the reason he was here, despite leaving Toledo with a .236 average. Leyland wanted an infusion of speed in the top third of the order, so while leading off with Anderson, he gave it an extra kick by hitting Thomas third. Slumping Magglio Ordonez moved down to sixth for a night, his first game batting lower than fifth in the starting lineup since 1998.

Thomas was just hoping to play. Seeing his name not only on the lineup card, but between Placido Polanco and Miguel Cabrera, was enough to give him a wakeup call after his morning flight from Pawtucket, R.I.

"I just kind of laughed," Thomas said. "Me in the three spot, in this lineup, with all these guys. It's great."

Seeing Nick Blackburn as the opposing pitcher probably didn't hurt, either. It was Blackburn who Thomas faced in his last game with the Tigers last July, connecting for a two-run homer and a double.

Blackburn (2-2) tried to bust Thomas inside with a cutter after he fouled a fastball off the corner. Thomas lined it off the right-field fence for a double, moving Polanco into position to score on Cabrera's ensuing groundout.

An inning later, he was one of six straight Tigers to reach base with two outs off Blackburn, who tried back-to-back changeups and paid for it with Thomas' sinking liner past sliding Michael Cuddyer for a two-run triple. A 2-0 sinker gave Thomas a chance to hit a liner for a single in the fourth.

He had three hits in three at-bats off three different pitches from the same pitcher. He had as many extra-base hits in his first two at-bats as Ordonez had all season.

The abundance of run support made for a relatively easy night for rookie starter Rick Porcello (2-3), who worked his sinker to efficient success for seven scoreless innings on four singles.

"Obviously, he had a big night," Leyland said of Thomas. "I'm not going to get overly excited about one night. But he brought us some energy when he came up last year. He actually probably looked a little better hitting up here [last year] than he did in Triple-A."

That was the elbow, which was bothering him while he was still with the Tigers last summer. He didn't want to say anything at the time, understandably, because he wanted to stick around. He beat himself up over that decision in the offseason.

"It was just kind of disappointment," he said. "Why didn't I say something sooner? I was second-guessing, why I didn't say something while I was up here instead of trying to play through it. It's just my fault. I can't blame it on anybody else. It was a learning experience, and you learn from everything."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed May 06, 2009 1:24 am

CLETE THOMAS - Video: Detroit dominates Minnesota

<br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?mkt=en-US&brand=foxsports&vid=7e2e3aa3-4158-470e-b2cc-58245f572f58" target="_new" title="Detroit dominates Minnesota">Video: Detroit dominates Minnesota</a>


"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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed May 06, 2009 9:56 pm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Tigers 9, Twins 0
Changes spark Tigers' win over Twins
Tim Twentyman / The Detroit News

Detroit -- Sometimes a good kick in the pants is exactly what a team needs to get things going. The Tigers received theirs from manager Jim Leyland on Tuesday and responded with an offensive explosion against the Twins.

Leyland made significant changes to the lineup in hopes of sparking and anemic offense. He pulled the right strings and pieces fell into place as the Tigers (14-12) finished their two-game series with a 9-0 victory at Comerica Park.

Tigers rookie Rick Porcello (2-3, 4.71) pitched his best game of the year allowing four hits and no runs in seven innings. He struck out three and walked three.

"Each start I'm getting a little more comfortable, learning a little bit more and I have a little better game plan," Porcello said. "Today I felt good and was doing my best to keep the ball down and get some outs."

Leyland said before the game it was time for a change and altered the lineup.

"This is what a manager does, this is my job, to try to be a little creative. I think if things aren't working and you have a couple guys struggling, maybe change it up a little bit," he said. "Billy Martin managed for you guys and he drew it out of a hat one time when he was struggling."

Leyland didn't go that far, but the changes had more than a few Tigers fans scratching their heads as the starting lineup was announced before the game.

Curtis Granderson moved from leadoff spot to fifth in the lineup and Josh Anderson took over leadoff duties. Anderson responded by going 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Granderson hit a home run in the fourth, his ninth of the year.

Magglio Ordonez, who has struggled, was moved from third to sixth in the lineup. Clete Thomas, who flew into town from Triple-A Toledo at 2 p.m. Tuesday, took over the third spot. He finished a home run shy of hitting for the cycle and added two RBIs.

"I wanted some energy and we had some energy," said Leyland referring to Anderson and Thomas at the top of the batting order. "People don't realize how much speed affects the game."

Ordonez finished with four groundouts.

"We have to get something going and get Magglio out of the focus," Leyland said. "Just let him settle in and relax a little bit. Some guys are going to suggest that you're panicking a little bit, so I explain that by saying we're 100 bats in. We've played quite a bit. I don't think you can keep waiting and waiting and waiting until 200 at-bats."

Placido Polanco remained at No. 2 in the batting order and Cabrera at No. 4. Brandon Inge, Gerald Laird and Ramon Santiago filled out the bottom three spots.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but busted the game open with a five-run second. A Santiago double, Anderson single, Thomas triple and Cabrera single accounted for the scoring output.

The Tigers knocked Twins starter Nick Blackburn out of the game in the fourth after Thomas singled and Cabrera and Granderson hit back-to-back home runs. Cabrera's homer traveled an estimated 440 feet halfway up the left-field seats.

Nate Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth and Juan Rincon a scoreless ninth.

tim.twentyman@detnews.com


"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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri May 08, 2009 12:13 am

Tigers have to tip caps to Buehrle
Detroit lineup struggles against veteran Chicago lefty

By David Just / Special to MLB.com

05/07/09 10:20 PM ET
UPDATED: 05/08/09 12:30 AM ET

Box >

CHICAGO -- Sometimes all you can do is tip your cap.

That was the sentiment inside the Detroit clubhouse after White Sox starter Mark Buehrle threw 6 1/3 innings of perfect baseball en route to a 6-0 victory over the visiting Tigers on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Buehrle (5-0) was at the top of his game, changing speeds, mixing pitches and fooling hitters. He retired the first 19 batters he faced before Placido Polanco lined a one-out double to left field in the seventh.

"He just carved us up," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Buehrle. "Evidently he's been carving some other teams up. You can't find a flaw in that performance tonight. He made us look bad."

The same wasn't true of Detroit starter Armando Galarraga (3-2). A dreaded leadoff walk to Chris Getz kicked off a five-run first inning that the Tigers were never able to recover from.

Galarraga managed to retire the next two batters after Getz, but he fell behind in the count to Jim Thome and decided to pitch around him.

He later regretted the decision.

"I threw him a first-pitch slider for a strike," Galarraga said. "It's not like I didn't go after him. The next pitch, I threw a sinker for a ball. Then I threw a slider for a ball. And I wanted to throw a sinker for a strike, but when I threw the sinker for a ball, now it was 3-1. I didn't want to go there. I said, 'OK, it's 3-1 and I have first base open.'"

"That's a no-no," added Leyland of pitching around Thome. "And it ended up costing him."

With runners on first and second, Jermaine Dye singled to left to plate one run. Paul Konerko then doubled to drive in two, and A.J. Pierzynski sent an 0-2 slider over the right-field wall to cap the damage.

Galarraga only gave up three hits after the first inning, including a solo home run to Jayson Nix, the first of his career. Overall, though, there was plenty for Leyland to like about the start.

"He hung in there, and I think, to his credit, he continued to battle," Leyland said of Galarraga's six-inning performance. "He did get better. I give him a lot of credit for that. I lot of guys would cave in. He did not do that."

The Detroit lineup had some opportunities to narrow the gap. After Polanco's single in the seventh, Buehrle walked Clete Thomas and Magglio Ordonez to load the bases. But Gerald Laird flew out to center to end the threat.

Coincidentally, Laird was in the visiting Rangers lineup on April 18, 2007, when Buehrle tossed a no-hitter. Thursday night was like déjà vu for the veteran backstop.

"I saw a glimpse into the same kind of thing," Laird said. "He's one of those guys who works real fast and kind of gets you into a corner. When he gets in a rhythm, he's go, go, go, go. Next thing you know, you're in the box and it's 0-2. Tonight I saw a lot of similarities to that game.

"I was thinking, 'I'm going to be in the lineup twice if this happens.' So we luckily got a hit, and that was the end of it."

The Tigers, who have lost eight of their last nine games at U.S. Cellular Field, were shut out for the first time this season. Detroit had just three hits, two of which came off the bat of Polanco.

"He threw three fastballs [to me]," Polanco said of his seventh-inning at-bat during which he broke up the perfect game. "He was working really fast, mixing speeds, in and out."

Bobby Jenks picked up the save for the White Sox, but the Tigers had one last chance to try to get a rally going. Curtis Granderson and Polanco led off the ninth with singles. However, Jenks retired the next three in order, striking out Ordonez to finish off the Tigers.

Ordonez is 0-for-11 in his last three games. Asked whether his starting right fielder might be pressing, Leyland had little to say.

"I can't answer that," the manager said. "He's just struggling. That's obvious."

Against Buehrle, though, there was little the Tigers could do.

David Just is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri May 08, 2009 10:58 pm

With help in field, Verlander denies Lee
Game-saving catch by Granderson preserves shutout win

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/08/09 9:20 PM ET
UPDATED 05/09/09 12:20 AM ET

Box >

CLEVELAND -- Curtis Granderson saved this game. Justin Verlander owned it.

Before Verlander took the mound in his first battle with reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee on Sunday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland predicted he was about to shake off his historic struggles against the Indians. As it turned out, Verlander did it twice.

Friday's 1-0 win over the Indians was far more dramatic.

"This is one of those games, really, where neither starting pitcher should lose that game," Leyland said. "Neither starting pitcher deserves a loss."

For the second time in six days, the Tigers handed a loss to Lee. This time, center fielder Granderson had the would-be game-winning ball to go with it.

But without Verlander, Leyland pointed out, Friday's game never would have reached the point where Granderson's highlight catch over the center-field wall became the difference.

Verlander entered last week with a 4-10 lifetime record against the Indians. At Progressive Field, his numbers were worse -- a 1-7 record and a 9.00 ERA across eight career starts in which he had allowed 42 runs in as many innings, with 53 hits. His lone win here in 2006 was also his only quality start of the bunch.

When he lost his first Major League start here on July 4, 2005, Verlander was armed with just a fastball -- none of his other pitches. On Friday, everything was on display. The fastball was the great deciding pitch.

Verlander's breaking ball caught Ben Francisco looking in the third, sent Victor Martinez swinging helplessly in the fourth and froze Kelly Shoppach in the sixth. Mark DeRosa couldn't catch up with a 97-mph fastball in the second inning, nor could Asdrubal Cabrera in the seventh. A rare slider in the dirt fooled David Dellucci in the second.

Verlander retired 17 of 18 batters between Cabrera's first-inning single and Martinez's seventh-inning double. Eight of those were by strikeout.

That, Leyland explained, was why he thought Cleveland wouldn't rock Verlander this year. After Verlander's seven innings of one-run ball with 11 strikeouts beat Lee and Cleveland last weekend at Comerica Park, Indians manager Eric Wedge said he thought Verlander might've been even better on Friday.

"I think when Justin Verlander pitches the way he's capable of pitching, I don't think there will be a team that's his jinx," Leyland said. "I just don't believe that."

Neither did Verlander, just as he didn't believe his April struggles were a sign of faulty pitching. He had no wins and a 9.00 ERA after his first four starts. Since then -- in his past three games -- he has allowed a lone run over 23 innings and struck out 31 batters.

"This is why I told you guys that I don't see how things can't turn if I continue to throw the ball the way I'm throwing it," Verlander said. "I knew how I felt. I knew my stuff was there. There were just a couple fluke things that were going on."

Somebody might have to convince Lee that there's no jinx. His downfall on Friday was a lone run manufactured by a team that not long ago seemed incapable of creating offense with its legs.

Lee (1-5) matched zeroes with Verlander for his first seven innings while scattering six hits. The deciding rally began with a one-out walk in the eighth to Granderson, who went in motion on a hit-and-run play and managed to slide just under Cabrera's tag.

"The fact that Cliff Lee's so fast to the plate, as soon as Polanco misses [on the swing], I'm like, 'Oh, man,'" Granderson said. "I saw Asdrubal jump to his feet. He put a perfect tag right on the top of my foot, but I got in by a cleat."

After Placido Polanco's groundout advanced Granderson to third, he got home on Clete Thomas. His ground ball to second seemed set to end the threat, but Thomas' speed down the line allowed him to take advantage when second baseman Luis Valbuena double-clutched the throw.

"He just kept going," Leyland said. "I think a lot of guys slow up when they see the guy catch the ball."

That was all the run support Verlander would need. The rest of the support came from Leyland when he came out to the mound following Valbuena's walk leading off the ninth.

"I finally decided this was his game," Leyland said. "There would be no relief in the ninth inning."

Yet the save still went to Granderson. After Grady Sizemore fouled off fastballs at 98 and 99 mph on Verlander's 113th and 114th pitches, the Tribe's center fielder connected on another 99-mph heater and drove it deep to center. Granderson sized it up for a leap at the wall, stretching his glove well over to bring the ball back.

A strikeout of Cabrera finished up Verlander's first shutout since his no-hitter two years ago. It also might have finished off the jinx talk for good.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri May 08, 2009 11:16 pm

Friday, May 8, 2009
Tigers 1, Indians 0
Granderson catch punctuates Verlander gem
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Cleveland -- The Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians by a run, a step, and a huge, huge catch Friday night.

Behind Justin Verlander's third consecutive dominating start, an eighth-inning run was all the Tigers needed to nip the Tribe, 1-0, at Progressive Field.

The catch that saved the game was made by Curtis Granderson, who robbed Grady Sizemore of what would have been a winning home run in the ninth.

But the step by which they won belonged to Clete Thomas whose speed, along with a double-clutch by Indians second baseman Luis Valbuena, meant the difference.

With Granderson at third after a walk, stolen base and a groundout, Thomas hit what appeared to be an inning-ending ground ball to second.

In most cases it would have been. In most cases it should have been. Cliff Lee, after all, had been almost as good as Verlander.

But Valbuena didn't throw the ball. He double-clutched, taking just enough time for the speedy Thomas to beat the throw with his final step.

As Thomas touched first, Granderson scored.

That's all Verlander needed. Finishing with 11 strikeouts, and becoming the first Tigers starter since Jeremy Bonderman in 2006 to record double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games, Verlander was in full command the entire way -- finishing with a two-hitter.

He allowed a single in the first and a double in the seventh, but nothing more except a pair of walks.

One of those walks, however, occurred in the ninth and would have ended up as the tying run -- if Granderson hadn't made his tremendous catch.

The Tigers had at least one hit in each of the first four innings -- in the process putting together two threats, but no runs.

In the third, Placido Polanco doubled Adam Everett to third with two outs, Polanco's line drive hitting high off the wall in left, but Thomas, batting third again against a left-hander, flied out to left for the third out.

In the fourth, with one out, Magglio Ordonez walked and Brandon Inge singled. Ordonez momentarily looked like he might go to third, but held at second instead.

There's no guarantee Ordonez would have made it to third on Inge's single, but if he had, he would have been able to score on Ryan Raburn's fly ball to deep-enough right.

The inning, and the Tigers' second threat, ended with Everett's ground ball to short.

Meanwhile, there was no such thing as a threat for the Indians. After Asdrubal Cabrera's single in the first, Verlander retired the next five hitters, but then began his more impressive streak of 12 in a row before Victor Martinez's one-out double in the seventh.

The streak would have been seven instead of 12 if not for Raburn's diving grab in left for the third out of the fifth. Granderson also made a fine running catch of Grady Sizemore's two-out bid for extra bases in the sixth.

It was Everett's grab of Shin-Soo Choo's bid for a single in the seventh that kept the game scoreless, however. With Martinez on second, Everett dived to his right to make the catch on Choo's liner while Martinez was running to third.

Had the ball gotten through, Martinez's head start would have turned into the first run of the game. Instead, it turned into a double play.

Punctuated by Granderson's play, defense played a huge role all night for the Tigers.

tom.gage@detnews.com


"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: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat May 09, 2009 11:58 pm




Late support enough for Jackson
Luck turns for righty as Tigers win duel against Carmona

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/09/09 10:13 PM ET

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CLEVELAND -- Every year, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said on Saturday afternoon, there seem to be a few pitchers who just don't seem to get much run support. Edwin Jackson has fallen into that category this season.

Just when it seemed like Jackson was doomed with another unrewarded effort, the Tigers provided the runs. And Jackson, like the rest of the Tigers pitching staff lately, kept rolling.

"We think we've got some pretty good arms we're throwing out there," Leyland said after Detroit's second successive shutout, this one a 4-0 win over the Indians on Saturday night at Progressive Field.

The Tigers felt like they had snagged a good arm when they pulled off the trade to acquire Jackson from the Rays at the Winter Meetings this past offseason. But this stretch is beyond that. Combined with the renewal of Justin Verlander, Jackson is fronting a pitching staff that is turning around the club's fortunes.

The Tigers pitched two shutouts all of last season. The back-to-back blankings here raised their total for the year to five, most in the American League and second highest in the Majors.

Not since June 27-28, 2006, against the Astros had the Tigers posted successive shutouts. And they did it Progressive Field, where -- until Friday -- they had just three shutouts in their history since its opening in 1994.

The Tigers have pitched 22 consecutive scoreless innings since the White Sox tacked on their final run in Thursday's 6-0 Detroit loss. Extend this stretch back to the five-run first inning Armando Galarraga gave up that night, and the Tigers have allowed one run in their past 26 innings.

Thus, having faced some of the AL Central's best starters in five of their past six games, the Tigers have gone 4-2 to move back to a season-high three games over .500.

"We've taken back-to-back-to-back-to-back shots from some pretty good guys," said third baseman Brandon Inge, whose sacrifice bunt set up the game's first run in the seventh inning. "You go [Francisco] Liriano, [Mark] Buehrle, [Cliff] Lee and [Fausto] Carmona."

Seemingly everyone has been stingy against the Tigers lately when Jackson has taken the mound. Except for one bad inning and another rough outing, Jackson has been up to it.

When Jackson racked up back-to-back strikeouts of Asdrubal Cabrera and Victor Martinez to end the sixth inning, he entered the seventh having allowed one run or fewer for the fourth time in his past five starts. Saturday was just Jackson's second win for his trouble.

"Edwin's been pitching like this all year," catcher Gerald Laird said.

The Tigers wanted a run badly enough to have Inge, second on the team in home runs and RBIs, bunt runners over in the seventh. When Laird's ensuing ground ball plated Curtis Granderson against a Cleveland infield that was seemingly conceding the run, it was the only run the Tigers needed. The way Jackson pitched, the next three turned out to be insurance.

"You can't think," Jackson said. "You just have to go out and keep the game close. You can't really worry about the score. You just have to go out and keep pitching your game."

Jackson's game Saturday centered on a mid-90s fastball that crept into the upper-90s as the game wore on -- up to 98 mph on his final pitch of the sixth -- and a slider that Indians hitters consistently had trouble laying off.

The result was seven strikeouts, which matched Jackson's season high from his last outing. Only one of his five hits went for extra bases, and 69 of his 102 pitches were strikes.

It's the last statistic that Leyland has focused on with Jackson this year.

"He's got a great arm," Leyland said. "When he throws strikes, he pounds the strike zone with a nasty breaking ball, good changeup. Strikes are key for any pitcher, but a lot of pitchers don't have the stuff he has."

The Tigers' scoring troubles led to an AL-low average of 1.89 runs per nine innings during Jackson's starts. The bottom of Detroit's order topped that average in the decisive seventh inning.

For the second successive night, the Tigers pulled out a win by manufacturing offense when they couldn't power their way past Indians pitching. Held to three singles over Carmona's first six innings, Detroit received its opportunity when Carmona (1-4) walked Granderson and Jeff Larish successively to start the seventh.

Leyland gave Inge a green light on the first pitch to see if he got a pitch to drive. When he didn't, his sacrifice bunt set up not only Laird's go-ahead grounder, but Ramon Santiago's single to plate Larish for Santiago's 13th RBI of the season.

By comparison, the Indians couldn't do the same after Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff walk and Mark DeRosa's single gave Cleveland a chance to answer. David Dellucci popped up one bunt attempt foul, just out of Laird's glove, then bunted another foul before he lined into a double play. A running catch by Granderson in right-center field completed Jackson's gem.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun May 10, 2009 5:26 pm

Stingy Tigers sweep behind Porcello
Detroit starters allow a combined one run in series

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

05/10/09 4:08 PM ET
UPDATED: 05/10/09 6:29 PM ET

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CLEVELAND -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland was out to the mound almost as soon as Jhonny Peralta had crossed the plate Sunday with the Indians' first run of the series. His message wasn't disappointment, or counseling, or too much instruction.

Instead, after Detroit's first run allowed in 22 innings since Thursday at Chicago, Leyland came to 20-year-old Rick Porcello with encouragement.
"Take your time," Leyland recalled saying after Sunday's 5-3 win completed just their second three-game sweep here in the last 18 years. "Pitch above it. You're doing fine."

Leyland didn't expect Porcello to fall into the trap of trying to match zeros with Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, who had thrown shutout ball the previous two nights. He's too mature for that. Still, Leyland wanted to make sure his young starter's three little two-out singles didn't turn into a big inning, either.

Thanks to Detroit's four-run second inning, this was no longer a pitching duel. Porcello had the chance to ensure it didn't become a slugfest.

Porcello retired 10 of his final 12 hitters from there. In the process, he showed again why the Tigers feel so strongly about sticking with him.

"He's special," Leyland said. "He's not going to fall into those traps. He's very young, and not real experienced, and very good. We're not going to get away from our plan."

Detroit couldn't possibly have planned on this kind of Mother's Day weekend. Until the Indians tacked on two runs in the ninth and brought the potential winning run to the plate against closer Fernando Rodney, the Tigers were on track to allow a lone run for the entire series. The last time the Tigers were that stingy for three games was their sweep of the Braves two years ago at Atlanta, holding the Braves to a run.

Another then-rookie, Andrew Miller, pitched the finale of that series and tossed six scoreless innings to finish the sweep. Porcello didn't match that statistically Sunday, but he wasn't far off.

Considering the way Porcello felt early in the game, his five innings of one-run ball were a battle with himself. His sinker, the pitch he spotted so well for strikes over his seven scoreless innings five days earlier against the Twins, was erratic. He succeeded by eventually throwing everything else.

"I think it was a better mix, to be honest with you," Porcello said. "Obviously, my fastball, I didn't have the control that I normally have with that. But I think being able to mix up pitches and throw some breaking balls for strikes definitely helped me come back and get a fastball in there and get them to ground out.

"If I had gone out there and just kept throwing fastballs and trying to throw strikes, they're a good hitting team and they would've pounced on it."

Even when the Indians hit, they never really pounced. None of the five hits Porcello allowed went for extra bases, and he managed seven ground-ball outs. Five of his final 10 outs were by strikeout.

After going to three-ball counts with five of Cleveland's first 12 hitters, Porcello allowed just two more the rest of his outing.

"It just took him a while to get some of his offspeed pitches going," catcher Gerald Laird said. "Early in the game, he was just missing with his offspeed stuff. They were trying to make him throw the sinker and get it up. But he was able to calm down, throw some offspeed pitches and set up his sinker for the last couple innings."

That included the curveball, Porcello's breaking pitch of choice. Leyland called it the best he's seen from Porcello so far. Porcello said he was spotting it better than his fastball. It sent Shin-Soo Choo swinging and missing in the third inning, settling down Porcello after a four-pitch leadoff walk. An inning later, he used a 74-mph bender to get Grady Sizemore to miss, striking out the side after a leadoff single.

Porcello (3-3) didn't try to match Verlander and Jackson, but he completed their performance. Tigers starting pitchers combined for 21 innings of one-run ball this series, scattering 12 hits while striking out 23 Indians.

"We're all three different pitchers," Porcello said. "Edwin and Justin are more power guys who throw 98-99 [mph]. I'm a different pitcher, more of a ground-ball pitcher. Those are tough acts to follow, whoever you are. So I just focused on what I had to do and just kind of put us in the position to win."

By the time Cleveland scored its run, the Tigers were already in command thanks to their four-run second inning off Indians starter Anthony Reyes (1-1). Jeff Larish hit a solo homer before Magglio Ordonez hit his first double of the season and scored on Adam Everett's sacrifice fly. Curtis Granderson added a two-run single.

Not until two walks and two singles off Rodney, getting an inning of work for the second straight day, did the Tigers allow any sense that the sweep was in question. Choo's flyout to right ended that brief hope.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2009 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon May 11, 2009 1:26 am

Sunday, May 10, 2009
Tigers 5, Indians 3 Broom
Tigers complete sweep of Indians
Shutout streak ends, but Detroit's pitching still prevails.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

Cleveland -- It never lasts -- because it never can.

No team pitches like this forever. Then again, few teams pitch like this for as long as the Tigers just did.

In a three-game sweep against the Cleveland Indians, the Tigers allowed three runs.

Two shutouts (the first time they've done that back-to-back in Cleveland since 1908, according to Elias Sports Bureau) followed by Sunday's 5-3 victory.

If you're thinking it's the best three-game stretch the Tigers have ever had here, you're almost right. But in 1908, the Tigers allowed one run in the game before their two shutouts against the Indians. This time, they allowed one through eight innings after the shutouts.

But along came two more on Asdrubal Cabrera's two-out RBI double in the ninth off Fernando Rodney, who then threw a run-scoring wild pitch.

Either way, this was a fantastic series for the Tigers, and nothing less than sensational for their starters. Rick Porcello on Sunday wasn't as good as Justin Verlander was on Friday night in his two-hitter -- or as good as Edwin Jackson was on Saturday night in seven scoreless innings.

Allowing just one run in five innings, however, Porcello (3-3) was more than good enough to make the Indians look absolutely lost at the plate.

The Cleveland players, by the way, had a long closed-door meeting following Saturday night's loss. They didn't say what it was about, but it produced no big change in how their hitters fared.

With nine more while completing the sweep, the Tigers ended up with 29 strikeouts in this three-game series.

The Tigers don't look sick, however. In fact, they might have one less ailing hitter than they did, what with two hits -- including his first double of the season -- from Magglio Ordonez.

With four runs in the second, the Tigers took a commanding lead. Jeff Larish got it going with his second home run of the season. Adam Everett chipped in with a sacrifice fly, but it was Curtis Granderson's two-out, two-run single that turned it into a big inning for the Tigers.

Hitting .135 in his previous 14 games, Ordonez doubled down the third-base line following Larish's home run and eventually scored. He also scored after a leadoff walk in the fourth and singled to center in the sixth.

Granderson, incidentally, made another outstanding catch in center. He didn't rob anyone of a home run this time (as he did when he hauled down Grady Sizemore's drive to center on Friday night).

But by hauling down a ball near the wall in center in the eighth, he took extra bases away from Shin-Soo Choo, who also flied out to center to end the game with two runners on.

Everett drove in the Tigers' final run with a two-out single in the fourth off losing pitcher Anthony Reyes (1-1).

The Indians scored their first run in the second on three consecutive two-out singles off Porcello, ending a stretch of 23 scoreless innings for the Tigers.
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