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 DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES

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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:53 am

Monday, August 18, 2008
Orioles 16, Tigers 8
Another barrage for the Birds
Mora homers twice and drives in six runs in 22-hit attack that sends Tigers fans home early.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- On the scale of reacting to disappointment, there's something more disturbing than fans' caring but booing.

It's called quietly leaving early, like after five innings.


Leaving early because the sun is hot and the pitching is bad or because, to put it plainly, why not take off when it's the Orioles by eight midway through and there's no sign the Tigers will find anyone who'll get hitters out?

The Birds eventually won, 16-8, on Sunday, getting 22 hits to cap a Melvin Mora hitting clinic. But after five innings, it looked like the crowd of 40,566 had just been told it left the iron on at home.

A large percentage of it filed out at that point.

Maybe those departing just went up to the merry-go-round or to get a burrito, or simply to seek some shade until, per Sunday custom, the kids were allowed to run around the bases after the Orioles did.

But there haven't been many textbook head-for-the-hills games like this one was.

For one thing, on both sides, it was an absolutely horrid day of pitching. For another, when the Tigers erased a 5-1 deficit with four runs in the second inning, their next chess move was to give up four in both the fourth and fifth.

"It was a total wipeout day for the pitchers that pitched," manager Jim Leyland said. "A tough day for all of them. Consequently, we got embarrassed. Everything we threw up there, they hit it hard.

As Tigers starter Zach Miner said of his cameo appearance, "They got a couple of hits, then a couple more. It was kind of over before it even began."

Leyland said of Miner, who lasted 1 1/3 innings, "He threw a couple of good pitches that got smoked, and he threw some (really bad) pitches that got smoked. He didn't have much. But both starters were terrible."

Lost in the rubble was the fact that Edgar Renteria had a four-hit game. Not lost, nor overlooked, was the outstanding series that Mora had. The Orioles' third baseman went 5-for-6 on Sunday with two home runs, two doubles and six RBIs. He also scored four runs.

For the three games, he went 10-for-13 with 10 RBIs. Leyland wishes it hadn't been such a "comfortable" 10-for-13, however.

"I'm not talking about getting inside to where you're hitting people or any of that stuff," he said, "but when you have really hot hitters and you don't make them uncomfortable, they'll wear you out, and that's what he did to us."

The Orioles, of course, marveled at it.

"He hit the ball like he knew what was coming," manager Dave Trembley said, "and he probably did, too. But this was just an unbelievable game. I'm going to get a tape and play it over and over during the winter."

Chances are he'll skip the part where his starter, Garrett Olson, fritters away a four-run lead by walking three in the second, including Placido Polanco with the bases loaded.

Despite 15 hits of their own, including an infield single by Dane Sardinha that ended an 0-for-17 slump, the loss for the Tigers ended a home stand that wasn't as bad at its final game, but a far cry all the same from being even close to good.

In 10 games against teams they needed to mop up against, the Tigers went a blah 4-6. If anything got mopped up, it was the slim chance they had when they got back home of making some noise in the American League East.

"Obviously we wanted to make up some ground," said Brandon Inge, "but it didn't happen. You can't harp on it. You really can't. Play hard the next day, there's not much else you can do."

True.

"But it's happened way too many times," said Leyland, "that we've not been able to maintain a streak because of pitching."

The fans know that. They're smart. In fact, it could have been what they were thinking when they decided they'd seen enough.


You can reach Tom Gage at tom.gage@detnews.com


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Tue Aug 19, 2008 12:53 am

08/19/2008 1:51 AM ET

Box >

Tigers surge late to beat Rangers
Sheffield's career homer No. 493 starts comeback
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Nobody has won more games at Rangers Ballpark than ex-Ranger Kenny Rogers. He feels a lot better doing it as a visitor.

Games like Monday night's 8-7 Tigers win are a pretty good example why.

"Every game I pitched in this park, I would expect to give up three or four runs, even if you pitched well," Rogers said. "Because it's that explosive of a ballpark for offense. You're going to give up some runs. You're not going to shut many guys out here. I know that going in.

"It's just a park where you never know what's going to happen. Pitching here for a full season is extremely difficult, mentally, if not more physically."

The physical challenge was evident in the extreme humidity that had Rogers changing shirts every inning. The mental challenge was also evident in a game whose twists might've fit the rides down the street at Six Flags.

Rangers starter Scott Feldman gave up a 10-run first inning in his last start six days earlier at Boston. On Monday, he carried a two-hit shutout and a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning. Three batters later, he was out, and the Tigers had the tying run in scoring position.

Gary Sheffield's 493rd home run started the rally that eventually had the Tigers carrying an 8-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning. By the time Fernando Rodney struck out American League MVP favorite Josh Hamilton to end the inning, the Rangers had the potential tying run on second.

"I think there were two good things about tonight: The fact that we came back after being down, and it looked like we could've given it up," manager Jim Leyland said. "We could've come in a real sad bunch tonight, but we didn't. We came in the right way."

Considering the conditions, they weren't sure they were going to get a chance to go out and play in the first place. Rain came down virtually all afternoon until letting up soon before game time, leaving a draining, humid night in its wake. With the Tigers having come off a long Sunday afternoon loss at home, they went through the first six innings looking like they had the "blahs," as Leyland likes to call them.

Sheffield's second-inning soft line drive and a Brandon Inge ground ball accounted for Detroit's hits through six, both of them singles. Meanwhile, Rogers was simply trying to keep the game close, while RBI doubles from Gerald Laird in the fourth and Michael Young in the fifth began building out the lead.

"It doesn't matter if you're a finesse guy or a power guy," Rogers (9-10) said. "The difficulty to pitch deep into ballgames and give your team a chance [here], it's harder."

The humidity drained Rogers physically, but also helped keep the ball from flying as much as it can in this park. That, and a sharp sinker, worked in Rogers' favor while he racked up seven strikeouts over six innings.

Still, he was trailing when he delivered his final pitch. Carlos Guillen's infield single leading off the seventh didn't do much to change the flow. The 2-2 sinker that Sheffield drove down the left-field line and inside the foul pole for his 13th home run of the year did.

"He's a big guy -- he hides the ball well," Sheffield said of Feldman. "It looks like a pitch right down the middle until you swing at it, and it's in on your hands a little bit. Basically, I just made an adjustment."

The game took a dramatic turn from there. Once Matt Joyce followed with a double into the right-field corner, Feldman was out. Frank Francisco entered to strike out Edgar Renteria and nearly did the same to Brandon Inge. Left with a full count, Francisco (2-5) went at him with an offspeed pitch, which Inge lined to left for the game-tying single. Another full count to Granderson ended with a fastball lined into the gap in right-center field and the Tigers suddenly in front.

With the bases loaded an inning later, Granderson found the opposite gap for another triple to clear the bases and build an 8-3 lead. A Texas-sized rally off Kyle Farnsworth in the bottom of the inning essentially nullified that rally.

One night earlier, Rays manager Joe Maddon made headlines with his decision to intentionally walk Hamilton with the bases loaded and a four-run lead. With Detroit's lead down to one and Milton Bradley waiting on deck, the Tigers never considered that option. But it was drastic enough to go to Rodney in the eighth, hoping his change of speeds could fool one of baseball's most dangerous hitters.

It worked. After Hamilton fouled off back-to-back two-strike fastballs at 97 mph and watched a changeup in the dirt, he went down swinging at another offspeed pitch. It was just Hamilton's 11th strikeout with two outs and a runner in scoring position this season, a situation in which he was hitting .375 entering the night.

" tried to make a good pitch to him and not leave anything hanging," Rodney said. "I know this is a good hitter. That's what I worked on tonight."

A hit-by-pitch to Byrd and a wild pitch moving him into scoring position created a little more drama in the ninth, but Rodney set down Gerald Laird swinging out of the zone at a four-seam fastball before Chris Davis flew out to finally end this wild affair.

The Tigers shook off their blahs, and Rogers shook off his personal four-game losing streak. In the process, he stretched his career wins lead here to 17 over Rick Helling. He could get another shot here when the Tigers visit in September.

Still, he'll be glad to make his next start in Kansas City.

"When you're pitching here, you just want to hang around long enough to where your offense can get going," Rogers said.

[i]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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:49 am

08/19/2008 11:15 PM ET

Box >

Nine-run inning equals big win for Tigers
Joyce homers twice; Galarraga earns victory over Rangers
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Armando Galarraga got the message. So did Matt Joyce. The Tigers, in turn, got the win.

Galarraga didn't try to prove to the Rangers that they made a mistake in trading him. That case had long since been proven. Instead, Galarraga pitched his normal game Tuesday before Joyce pounced on Rangers mistakes for two home runs and another three-run play to make a winner out of him.

It was the same steady, level performance as always from Galarraga, but it was the same sudden scoring outburst as the night before that put the Tigers on top. In the end, Detroit's 11-3 win at Rangers Ballpark was almost as much about hustle as it was about focus.

For Joyce and his fellow hitters, hustle proved huge. For Galarraga, it was all about the latter.

"This was like the same [as any other] start," Galarraga said afterward. "I'm not trying to change anything. I'm not trying to think too much. I didn't have any pressure. It's the same old thing."

It meant a little more than that. After all, this was the team for which Galarraga struggled to try to crack the big leagues, only to be sent to Detroit in a Minor League trade just before Spring Training. His performance all season has been enough to torment Texas for the move, and he said on Monday that if he had still been with the Rangers, he'd be having this kind of season at Double-A or Triple-Arather than getting a chance in the Majors.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland also had his comments Monday, saying it would be "the biggest mistake of his life" for Galarraga to pitch this game like he was trying to prove something more to the Rangers. On Tuesday, he saw the usual Galarraga form.

"I thought he had very good poise," Leyland said. "I thought he had concentration on the task at hand. I thought he tried to pitch to hitters with a game plan, and I thought he handled it very, very well."

Same old performance, just a slightly different reaction afterward.

"It's a little special," he said. "I'm not going to say no. It's special, because the other team traded me."

Galarraga didn't retire the side in order in any of his six innings, but limited his damage to singles and walks to take a 1-0 lead into the sixth before one big swing changed his game. Milton Bradley's one-out walk and Marlon Byrd's single put the go-ahead run on base to give Texas its first real threat of the night. Galarraga retired Gerald Laird for the second out and put Chris Davis in an 0-2 hole, but he hung a 1-2 slider to Davis.

"It looked like he tried to backdoor a slider that just flattened out and stayed up," Leyland said.

Galarraga was a teammate with Davis for a brief while last year at Double-A Frisco, where Davis homered 12 times in just 109 at-bats over 30 games. He knew what Davis could do with a mistake pitch, and the drive to left-center field made it a reality for a 3-1 Rangers lead.

"Yeah," Galarraga said, "it was a bad pitch. Not the right location."


That gave Rangers starter Vicente Padilla a chance to take out his frustrations on the Tigers for a bad loss earlier this season in Detroit. Three batters later, the Tigers had taken the game back, thanks to Joyce.

Leyland had recently talked with his rookie outfielder about the promise he saw in him as a prospect. Leyland also said that he wanted to see more "tenacity," as he put it. Joyce said that he could do that.

"He's a young player that obviously has some pop in his bat," Leyland said. "He's just going through the process, learning what it's about up here. You have some good days, and you have some bad days."

He had shown that in recent days, Leyland said. Still, tenacity had little to do with the bulk of his damage on this night. His fifth-inning solo homer down the right-field line had been the only run of the game until Davis' blast. With Detroit trailing, he (Joyce) came up in the seventh as the go-ahead run after Carlos Guillen's leadoff walk and Gary Sheffield's single.

Like Davis, Joyce pounced on a slider and hit the ball a long way. Unlike Davis, Joyce's shot went more towards right field than center, ending up on a 422-foot trip into the right-field upper deck to give Joyce his first multi-homer game as a Major Leaguer, not to mention his first home runs since July 21.

"I haven't really had a bunch of big home run games," Joyce said. "I never really considered myself a power hitter. I just try to hit line drives. Coming up through the Minors, you're taught to hit line drives and keep learning, keep progressing and getting better. I'm still learning."

Edgar Renteria's seventh homer of the year in the next at-bat knocked Padilla (12-7) out of the game, but the change only temporarily halted the onslaught. Joyce was the 12th batter of the inning when he came back up, this time with the bases loaded against Josh Rupe.

Joyce seemingly was jammed into the third out on a fly ball. However, left fielder Brandon Boggs had stopped en route to the ball, which fell in between him and center fielder Josh Hamilton while all three runners came around to score. Joyce, running out the fly ball, ended up on second.

"I was still a little frustrated that I popped it up," Joyce said. "I probably could've run a little harder, but I still ran it out. Things like that, even when you're frustrated and the game gets to you, that's still putting the effort in and running things out."

Galarraga (12-4) took over the Major League rookie wins lead over Braves hurler Jair Jurrjens, the subject of a well-critiqued Tigers trade from last fall. The long seventh inning helped end his night, but he had nothing more to prove.

"I've proven myself, that I can pitch in the big leagues," he said. "That's important for me. I got traded. I'm not the first one. I'm not the last one."

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:13 am

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tigers 11, Rangers 3
Joyce homers twice in Tigers' win
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

ARLINGTON, Texas -- They rank one-two.

At this stage of the Tigers' season, their postseason chances shriveled like a raisin, not all is lost.

Too many games have been, of course, no one is disputing that. But the Tigers have found some recent solace in individual exploits, plus two consecutive victories including Tuesday night's 11-3 outcome, buoyed by a nine-run seventh over the Texas Rangers.

You know, the team that let Armando Galarraga get away.

And that gets us back to one-two.

With Galarraga beating his former team to improve his record to 12-4, and with Matt Joyce hitting two home runs, one is again reminded of the answer to this question: Which two players have landed in the Tigers' lap this year as their most pleasant surprises?

Galarraga and Joyce, of course. One and two.

Galarraga was among the first cuts in spring training. Joyce was supposed to be in a developmental year at Triple-A Toledo. He has developed all right, but at the major-league level, not the minors.

There has not been a game this year more than this one, however, that has showcased the combined value of the two. Galarraga pitched six innings for the victory. After six, he was down 3-1 because of Chris Davis' three-run home run in the sixth, After 6 1/2 innings, he was up 10-3 and headed for the victory.

Joyce accounted for the first run of the game with his 11th home run of the season, a drive down the right-field line off losing pitcher Vicente Padilla (12-7). His 422-foot, three-run shot in the seventh put the Tigers back in front to stay.

Joyce would have had seven RBI if his bases-loaded fly ball to left-center, one that dropped between hesitant outfielders, had been called a hit instead of an error. But the scorer ruled it an error on left fielder Brandon Boggs, who called for the ball, but pulled back at the last moment.

Before the game, manager Jim Leyland was asked about Joyce.

"He looks like a rookie at times, other times he doesn't," Leyland replied, "That's what this game is all about. I like him a lot.

"They work him over once in a while. They do that to everybody. He'll be fine. As long as he doesn't outthink himself, he'll be good."

Suffice to say that Joyce didn't outthink himself Tuesday night and neither did Galarraga, who didn't take to the mound the mind-set that he was going to get even with the Rangers for trading him. Leyland hadn't even liked Galarraga's comments that he was looking forward to this start, saying they were excessive. So he was pleased that he pitched his normal game after all.

All was going smoothly for Galarraga before Davis gave the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a three-run home run. Only once had the Rangers ventured past first base in the first five innings and that one time didn't do them much good.

That's not to say the Rangers hadn't hit anything hard. They hit some shots but they were catchable shots.

Case in point, the first inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Milton Bradley's laser was caught by second baseman Ramon Santiago, subbing for Placido Polanco, who has a sore right knee.

The threat, such as it was, ended when Galarraga struck out Marlon Byrd for the third out.

Santiago helped out with an outstanding play behind second in the fourth, flipping the ball to shortstop Edgar Renteria for the third out.

With the assistance of another liner that was caught in the sixth, it even looked as if Galarraga might get out the chance that the Rangers cashed in with for their brief lead. He didn't, but when the Tigers answered with a nine-run seventh, the impact of Davis' home run also shriveled.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:10 am

08/21/2008 12:31 AM ET

Box >

Tigers buried by homers in Texas
Robertson yields five roundtrippers in loss to Rangers
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Nate Robertson's last start here didn't see him retire a Ranger, and it landed him on the 15-day disabled list with a tired arm. His pitches in his return Wednesday landed all over the outfield seats of Rangers Ballpark, and left the Tigers wondering whether it's a tired arm, an injured arm, bad execution, a crisis in confidence or something else behind his rough outings.

Wednesday's 9-1 loss is the latest in a series of struggles Robertson has been having virtually all season. Forget about those struggles for a moment, however, and the latest outing is plenty to tackle in itself.

Just two Tigers in the last 53 years had served up five home runs in a game, none since the Red Sox put up five homers on Jeff Weaver July 24, 1999, at Tiger Stadium. Don Mossi was the other, in 1961.

All eight hits off Robertson went for extra bases, making Robertson just the seventh Major League pitcher since 1956 to give up five homers and no singles in a game, according to research on Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org. In that same span, only Florida's Ricky Nolasco has given up more hits in a game without yielding a single, allowing nine over 4 2/3 innings on April 17 of this season.

Add that damage to Robertson's stats to date, though, and his ERA jumped back over the 6.00 mark, to 6.09, second-highest among Major League pitchers with enough innings to qualify for an ERA title behind Seattle's Carlos Silva. Opponents' slugging percentage against the left-hander is up to .533, bettering only the .538 clip against Cincinnati's Aaron Harang for highest in the Majors.

By itself, Wednesday's outing could be brushed off in part to a night of bad pitches in a park where the ball can fly. Wednesday's game-time temperature was 75 degrees, well below normal for Texas this time of year, but the humidity remained high after late-afternoon rains.

"No place is a place for pitches in those areas," manager Jim Leyland said, "but this place is really dangerous. That's basically what happened."

Still, the stats of a summer-long struggle put the outing into context, and put both Robertson and the Tigers in a position of searching for answers on what to do. What wasn't evident in the stats was clear on the look on Robertson's face as he manned the mound.

"My slider was off tonight," Robertson said, "and it's been very inconsistent all year long. It's not doing much. It just spins, stays up and gets whacked."

Leyland did not want to discuss any decisions after the game, but he said he wants to check with Robertson and the team medical staff about his health and other potential clues. Robertson has said he's healthy up to this point, and Leyland said he doesn't think there's an injury. Still, he has to check.

"I'm going to look into it," Leyland said, "see if there's a problem somewhere, if there's something physically going on that I don't know about. I don't know. I'll look into it, because he's having a tough time. You don't like to see anybody get hit like that. You just don't."

That sentiment was echoed.

"I feel for him a lot," catcher Brandon Inge said. "When you go through a year like this, every single thing seems to compound your thoughts on how bad the year's going. Believe me, I've been there."

Like Robertson, Inge struggled his first season after signing a lucrative multi-year contract.

"You just got the contract and you feel like you're letting the team down," Inge said. "I understand how he's feeling. I've been through it. He's a good pitcher, and this is just a spell he's going through. It's a tough year for him, and hopefully he can put it right behind him and keep moving on."

The home run portion of the barrage began with Travis Metcalf's two-run drive to left to open the scoring in the second inning, driving in Marlon Byrd, who reached base after Edgar Renteria had dropped his popup behind second base. Metcalf entered Wednesday batting .158 (6-for-38) for the season, including 3-for-23 against left-handed pitchers, but he pounced on an inside fastball that caught too much of the plate and was left waist-high.

Brandon Boggs and Michael Young, both batting right-handed, hit back-to-back blasts to lead off the third inning. Both were opposite-field shots to right field -- Boggs on a hanging slider off the plate, Young on a fastball. Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley delivered their knockout combination in the fourth.

Hamilton's 29th home run of the season traveled an estimated 402 feet to right field before Bradley swung and missed at Robertson's next pitch, the second and final swing-and-miss Robertson induced in his outing. Bradley made up for it by driving the next pitch 430 feet to center.

That was it for Robertson, who gave up eight runs (six earned) over 3 2/3 innings with four walks. Metcalf added his second homer of the game with a seventh-inning shot off reliever Aquilino Lopez.

Fourth-inning doubles from Ramon Santiago and Miguel Cabrera accounted for Detroit's lone run off starter Kevin Millwood (7-7), who went the distance on a six-hitter.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Thu Aug 21, 2008 1:37 am

Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Rangers 9, Tigers 1
Rangers' power surge helps defeat Tigers
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Help, they need somebody. Help, not just anybody.

It does not appear to be on the way, however.

On a night Nate Robertson gave up five home runs, the first Tigers lefty to do so since Don Mossi in 1961, the Tigers still couldn't look to Dontrelle Willis for future assistance.

In his second start for Triple-A Toledo, Willis allowed five runs, three earned on eight hits and five walks.

And if it's Freddy Garcia you're thinking might provide some help down the stretch, he won't make his organizational debut until Friday. According to Dave Dombrowski, Garcia will throw "one or two innings" in Lakeland, Fla.

So what the Tigers have is what they'll go with and in Wednesday night's 9-1 loss to the Rangers, well, it wasn't good.

Maybe it's something between Robertson and this ballpark, though. The last time he pitched here, June 5 of last year, he allowed six runs on four hits and a pair of walks without retiring a hitter.

This time, he lasted five batters into the bottom of the fourth, or in the parlance of the night, two home runs into the bottom of the fourth.

The long ball hadn't been a problem for Robertson. Hits have been. Runs have been. But not home runs. Robertson hadn't allowed more than two home runs in any of his previous 45 starts, dating to last year.

So this bombardment came out of the blue.

As mentioned, Mossi was the last Tigers left-hander to give up five home runs in a game -- a game he won, by the way. Jeff Weaver was the last Tigers right-hander to do it, serving up his handful against the Red Sox on July 24, 1999.

Other than losing both games, plus Frank Catalanotto being a Tiger in that Weaver game and a Ranger in this Robertson game Wednesday common threads don't exist.

Perhaps this is a common thread, however. When Weaver gave up his five home runs, the Tigers fell further out of it -- 17 ½ games out of first. With this loss, compounded with victories for both the White Sox and Twins, the Tigers are 11 ½ games out with 35 remaining.

Hopeless situations both.

Robertson (7-10) gave up eight runs, six earned, on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He was, in a word, pounded. The Rangers did not hit for the cycle against him, though. None of the hits he allowed was a single.

The Rangers hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same game for the first time since 1989. They had never done it in their current ballpark

Robertson also allowed a double and two triples. The first triple didn't hurt him. He got out of the first inning without allowing a run. But a two-run home run on a 1-2 pitch with two outs by Travis Metcalf, a .158 hitter, prevented him from escaping damage in the second inning as well.

Then came consecutive home runs from Brandon Boggs and Michael Young to start the bottom of the third.

The Tigers scored their only run off Kevin Millwood (7-7) in the fourth on doubles by Ramon Santiago and Miguel Cabrera, cutting the lead to 5-1 meaning that with the way they'd turned the two previous games around in later innings, they still had a chance.

Not for long, though.

With two outs in the fourth, Robertson gave up consecutive huge home runs to both Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley, the latter being the longest of the night at 430 feet, and that was pretty much it.

Robertson was relieved after Bradley's home run, the Tigers' bullpen allowing just one run the rest of the way.

In some ways, it had been a Don Mossi night. In other ways, not. Mossi improved his record to 8-1 in the game he gave up five. Help wasn't on the way. He was the help.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sat Aug 23, 2008 12:11 am

08/23/2008 1:18 AM ET

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Rodney, Tigers overcome KC's late rally
Series-opening win ends in mad dash at home plate
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Cabrera's drive to the Dodge Avenger beyond left field should have been the highlight of the night. Instead, the defining shot was a simple bounce off the backstop.

It ended up being another addition to the adventures of Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney this season. This time, it worked out in their favor.

"In most circumstances, you've got to close those games with a little less excitement than that," manager Jim Leyland said of Friday's 4-3 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.

He obviously wasn't referring to the tape-measure home run power of Cabrera.

On a night when Rodney struggled with his command, turning a three-run lead into a game that had the would-be tying run breaking for home, he couldn't have aimed his final pitch any better if he'd tried. For a changeup that nearly hit batter Ross Gload, who had four hits on the night, it was an ironic twist. It was also a very fortuitous carom off the backstop that allowed catcher Brandon Inge to throw out David DeJesus at the plate.

"There's two signs [at the backstop], and it hit directly in the middle," Inge said. "If it had hit an inch or two off to the right or left, it would've kicked sideways instead of coming somewhat back. I mean, it stayed in the warning track. It didn't come real far back. If it had kicked off to the side, we would've had no chance."

The circumstances that got him there were somewhat familiar for the mercurial Rodney, but he had been dominant of late, with nine innings of three-hit, scoreless ball and 13 strikeouts. Plus, he was entering with a 4-1 lead, thanks in part to two home runs from Cabrera and 6 2/3 scoreless innings from Justin Verlander.

Back-to-back doubles from Mike Aviles and Esteban German leading off the inning took care of the scoreless streak, both hits coming after Rodney fell behind in the count. Leyland came out to the mound to talk with him after German pulled an offspeed pitch down the left-field line for an RBI.

"I told him to bear down, don't worry about the runners and go after the hitters," Leyland said. "That was it. At that point, I wasn't the happiest camper."

Rodney pounded the strike zone with his first-pitch fastball to DeJesus, then missed inside with his next four pitches to put the potential tying run on base. Then, with disaster seemingly within reach, he seemed to bear down. He struck out Royals cleanup man Jose Guillen with fastballs, the last of them a 97-mph four-seamer that rose out of the strike zone and sent Guillen down swinging.

Up came Mark Teahen, and down he went with the same result, again chasing that fastball out of the zone. And just as quickly as Rodney had gotten into trouble, he was back in command of the game.

Billy Butler stepped in as the Royals' last hope, and Rodney missed on back-to-back fastballs before Butler lined another one into left-center field. Had Tigers outfielders not been playing deep to deny the extra-base hit, DeJesus might have scored. Instead, left fielder Matt Joyce cut off the ball before it could start rolling in the gap, forcing DeJesus to stop at third.

He didn't stay there long. Rodney started Gload off with a changeup but threw it well inside, forcing Gload to dodge the ball in order to let it skip to the backstop.

The bounce clearly went right for the Tigers, allowing Inge to charge directly back and pick up the ball on a slide play he practiced on bunts in front of the plate in his old days as a catcher. But the runner also did the Tigers an unintentional favor.

"We went and checked it on tape and saw I didn't get a big enough lead off the bag," DeJesus said after the game. "I could've got a little bit more, and that would've helped me out. I don't know if I'd have been safe or out but that would've given me a better opportunity to beat the ball home, so what can you do?"

In Inge's case, you fire back in the direction of home plate and hope that someone is covering.

"It's kind of a blind throw," Inge said. "You throw that on a whim, hoping that the pitcher did come back. I know where home plate is, so I'm running back and I slide, grab it and I'm flipping it, trying to throw it waist-high right over top of the plate. If he's there, he's there. If not, that's his problem. He's supposed to be there."

Rodney was there, and once he got the ball, he was left waiting for DeJesus to arrive.

"That's a Spring Training play," Leyland said. "You work on it in Spring Training."

That's how it's supposed to be executed. It's just not how a game is supposed to end -- a pitcher closing out a game on a ball.

"You won't see many games end like that," Leyland said.

For Leyland's sake, he hopes not. That's why he plans to talk with Rodney on Saturday about the outing. He wants to make sure that Rodney comes to a game ready to close out on any given night, throwing strikes.


"I'm not saying he doesn't," Leyland said, "but you have to come to the park every day thinking you're going to be pitching the ninth inning to close the game. You have to know who you're going to be facing. You've got to know what you're going to try to do, and you have to be prepared for that first hitter you face. And you've got to throw strikes. There's no such thing as a part-time closer. And I'm not talking about Fernando. I'm talking about anybody."

Lately, Cabrera's power has proven to be a full-time threat. His 26th and 27th homers of the season were both solo shots to open and close Detroit's scoring on Royals starter Brian Bannister. He put Detroit on the scoreboard leading off the second inning with an opposite-field loft to right, before Carlos Guillen doubled and scored on Joyce's groundout later in the inning.

Bannister retired nine of 10 batters after Placido Polanco doubled in Curtis Granderson in the third inning, but Cabrera struck again with two outs in the sixth. This time, he pulled a Bannister fastball with enough authority that it hit the netting in front of the aforementioned Avenger being displayed above the waterfalls in the left-field power alley, an estimated 416-foot ride.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 24, 2008 3:09 am

08/23/2008 11:41 PM ET

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Miner, Cabrera strike gold vs. Royals
Righty has strong outing; slugger hits another jack in win
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- Miguel Cabrera took another Royals pitch to the woodshed Saturday night. Then the Tigers brought the ball back.

The second part was almost as incredible as the first.

"It's amazing," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Cabrera's estimated 434-foot home run in Detroit's 4-0 win over the Royals Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium. "It all happened so fast."

For that matter, so did Saturday's shutout of the Royals.

The Tigers have challenged the depths of this ballpark through two days of this three-game weekend series. If not for some netting, Cabrera would've hit a Dodge Avenger on display above the left-field fountain Friday night on his 416-foot homer. During pregame batting practice Friday, he cleared another vehicle, this one a big blue truck, on a similar pedestal closer to left-center. Marcus Thames cleared the netting and hit the Avenger during early batting practice Saturday afternoon.

Cabrera's shot on Saturday night likely topped all of them. Kyle Davies' 1-0 fastball to him in the sixth inning went to the left of the vehicles, but it traveled far enough to land in a construction zone, where work continues on renovations to the ballpark. The land has been excavated, and there's a wooden structure out there.

"He wanted the ball," Leyland said. "I don't know how we're going to get it. We might need a backhoe to get it. I'd get it for him. I just don't know how to get up there."

Somebody must have. As Cabrera was talking with reporters after the game, third-base coach Gene Lamont walked up and handed him a ball -- supposedly the ball. Cabrera examined it and smiled.

"Thank you," he politely told Lamont.

Indeed, Cabrera wanted the ball -- not for how far it went, but for what it meant. It was his 100th RBI, marking the fifth straight season he has reached the century mark. He has kept the baseball from his 100th RBI in each of those seasons.

"I'll put it where I have the other four," Cabrera said.

To him, it's a sign of consistency. And at this rate, very few can match it. Only Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, Bobby Abreu and David Ortiz have longer active streaks, though none of them had reached 100 RBIs this season as of Saturday. But then, only three players -- Josh Hamilton, Ryan Howard and the injured Carlos Lee -- had 100 RBIs entering Saturday.

The fact that this 100 RBI season came in his first year in the American League, adjusting to a new group of pitchers, added to the honor. It's a sign of how quickly he has adjusted, since 43 of those RBIs have come in the 35 games since the All-Star break.

"I feel comfortable, like I felt in the National League," Cabrera said. "I have a better idea what I'm going to do."

His home run was actually the only run-scoring hit the Tigers had all night. Up until that point, the Tigers had built a 3-0 lead on some of the best manufactured offense they've shown all season.

Gary Sheffield's leadoff double in the second and a well-placed groundout to the right side from Matt Joyce led to an Edgar Renteria sacrifice fly to open the scoring. Carlos Guillen drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, then advanced on a wild pitch and a Davies balk to set up Joyce for a sac fly. Once Curtis Granderson walked leading off the fifth, Placido Polanco singled him to third for a Magglio Ordonez sac fly to right.

"We executed tremendous," Leyland said. "We got the guy over, got the guy in, hit the sacrifice fly. It really was a nice, clean game for us."

A lot of that, Leyland said, began with the efficient, effective pitching of Zach Miner (7-4), who rebounded from a second-inning exit from his last start to beat the Royals for the second time in seven starts. Not only did he scatter three singles while allowing only one runner in scoring position, he needed just 88 pitches to toss seven scoreless innings.

"I tried to go about my business the same way I had," said Miner, who now has 18 1/3 scoreless innings for his career at Kauffman Stadium. "It worked the first few times, and last time it didn't. I felt a little stronger today, so I was able to get away with some mistakes a little more."

Cabrera didn't let Davies get away with his mistake. And as Cabrera sat in the dugout following the home run, he flexed his arm to show off his muscles.

"That was for Leyland," Cabrera said.

Leyland thought it was for hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who had reminded Cabrera after his previous at-bat to stay on the ball.

Cabrera had been retired in his first two at-bats, both with a runner in scoring position and a chance to get to 100 RBIs. Instead, he drove in himself.

"It's a good number," Cabrera said of 100 RBIs. "[It means] you're consistent. You go every year and do the same job."

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:05 pm

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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:49 pm

08/24/2008 7:36 PM ET

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Lead, chance at .500 falls in KC
Tigers blow early three-run lead as Rogers allows seven
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- The Tigers had a three-run lead Sunday after an inning and a half and a chance to add on more. Even after giving up a couple runs, Kenny Rogers settled down to retire eight out of nine Royals.

They had a series sweep and the .500 mark seemingly within their grasp. Then, like a couple of hits and a couple of pitches, it eluded them.

Or more appropriately, like Joey Gathright on the basepaths, this 7-3 loss to the Royals changed direction in a hurry.

"We came out good today," manager Jim Leyland said. "Our guys were out there early getting ready. They were pumped up. We just let one get away. We gave them too many outs. We didn't add on some runs. We hit some balls hard, right at people. And what should've been a really good game for us turned out to be a not-so-good game for us. And that's a shame, because you can't really let those get away when you're fighting your tails off. You can't do it."

Just when Tigers fans allowed themselves to wonder what happened to that Royals team that swept them in Detroit to open 2008 and start them on their season of frustration -- then did it again in Kansas City the following month -- that team resurfaced. After Detroit had essentially dominated all but one inning of the first two games of this series, Kansas City took the momentum on this game and forced the Tigers to make plays. On this day, they didn't make enough, and the Royals ended a seven-game losing streak.

A potentially big opening inning ended up with a lone run and another runner thrown out at the plate for the third out. Left fielder Marcus Thames, starting for the first time in a week, saw a ground-ball single glance off his glove, setting up a game-tying sacrifice fly in the fifth. A Rogers fastball hit the dirt in front of home plate, skipped off catcher Brandon Inge's wrist hard enough to leave a black-and-blue mark and then soared over the backstop to let in the go-ahead run. A leadoff walk and a line drive over Thames' head set up a three-run sixth that broke open the game, including a potential rundown at the plate that turned into a run.

"A couple plays just didn't go our way," Inge said. "That's just how it goes sometimes. Not much you can do about it."

Or, as Leyland put it, "For whatever reason, we got a little case of the yips there for a while."

In terms of the postseason, the fate of the Tigers could pretty much fit the same description -- not much they can do. A winning record is still clearly in their control, though it's still very much in question over these final five weeks.

Sunday was the second chance for the Tigers to pull back to break-even in the three weeks since they fell under .500. The last time, they fell back into the hole with three straight losses to the Blue Jays at home, and they spent the last week and a half crawling back out. After largely dominating the Royals for the previous two nights, Sunday seemed to be their opportunity.

Ten of Detroit's first 16 hitters reached base safely off Royals starter Brandon Duckworth, called up from Triple-A Omaha to make his first big league start of the season, to put him in a 3-0 deficit. Other potential runs were left on the bases, but the opportunities hardly seemed scarce.

Once Duckworth finally got the third out of the third inning, however, the Tigers put just one runner on base in the middle innings. They didn't have another runner in scoring position until the seventh.

"You just felt like at the start of the game, we'd have more runs than we did," Leyland said. "We got three runs the first two innings, and no more runs. We don't feel like our offense would get shut down like that."

By the time that offense awakened, it was facing a Royals bullpen with which it had become all too familiar seeing early in the year to close out games. Thanks to two chaotic innings, Kansas City relievers had a healthy lead to protect.

Jose Guillen's second-inning solo homer and Mark Teahen's sacrifice fly had whittled the lead to one in the second, but it didn't feel like a rally. For that matter, neither did the tying and go-ahead runs in the fifth until a look at the scoreboards showed otherwise.

Rogers (9-11) retired eight out of nine Royals until Alberto Callaspo singled with one out in the fifth. Mike Aviles' ground ball through the left side moved him to second before Thames' error added one base apiece and set up Esteban German's game-tying sac fly.

After Rogers threw a first-pitch breaking ball in the dirt to David DeJesus, the next pitch was more velocity, more skip and a bad hop for Inge, allowing Aviles to score easily.

A Guillen walk leading off the sixth set up the rally that put it away. Billy Butler's line drive went right towards Thames, who struggled to get a read on it before backtracking too late.

"I messed it up. No excuses," Thames said. "I came on it, thought it was going to be hit a little shallower than it was, and it kept carrying over my head. It cost us some runs, and I hate that more than anybody."

It might've been nullified had pinch-runner Gathright's cutting ability not surprised everyone more than the line drive. Shortstop Edgar Renteria fielded Miguel Olivo's ground ball and fired to third to try to catch Gathright straying too far off the bag. By the time third baseman Carlos Guillen got the ball, however, Gathright and turned and taken off for home.

"He's very quick, fast," Guillen said. "He was coming back to third. I said, 'Throw me the ball,' and he was going to home plate."

Said Leyland: "It's like he was running a down-and-out pattern."

Instead, it was the Tigers left feeling a little down and out themselves.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:41 am

Monday, August 25, 2008
Royals 7, Tigers 3
Rogers' struggles continue
Team faces decision on veteran lefty, whose Tigers' tenure might be coming to end.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Are these the final weeks, if not days, of Kenny Rogers as a Tiger?

They could be either by his own volition, if at 43 he doesn't want to commit to another season after this one. Or if the Tigers feel they're out of it and there's a contending team out there who wants him.

Remember, there's another trade deadline Aug. 31.

Either way, the subject of Rogers' future has become increasingly pertinent with the unlikelihood of the Tigers' reaching the postseason. It was just as pertinent Sunday when the Tigers lost, 7-3, to the Kansas City Royals -- with Rogers taking the loss.

He didn't pitch as badly as his line indicated. In six innings, Rogers gave up seven runs, six earned, on eight hits. He didn't pitch a particularly good game, but neither did the Tigers play a particularly good one behind him.

If Marcus Thames hadn't made an error in left in the fifth or misjudged a flyball in the sixth, the Tigers might not even have lost. On the plus side, however, Thames made an outstanding catch to end the Royals' sixth with the bases loaded.

For those and other assorted blunders, it wasn't the Tigers' best defensive game, to be sure.

"We got the yips for some reason," manager Jim Leyland said. "We gave away too many outs. You can't let that kind of game get away."

Ordinarily talkative, win or lose, all Rogers said this time was, "I have nothing good to say."

Perhaps he was upset at the run-scoring wild pitch he threw or the two walks with no outs he allowed that led to runs. There's no indication he senses something might be in the works, and possibly it isn't, but several factors hiss -- age, salary and the Tigers being double-digit games out of first place -- that possibly it is.

Rogers is 9-11 with a 5.09 ERA. His base salary is $8 million, but he's earned $500,000 in addition to that by pitching more than 160 innings. Those payments are deferred until next year.

When he reaches 170 innings, the Tigers will owe him another $250,000. Based on the number of innings he throws, his performance bonuses could total $2 million.

When a pitcher is 43 with those numbers, do you bring him back? Or do you find a taker, if you can? That scenario will play itself out this week.

There are times Rogers pitches well with nothing to show for it. Six times this year, he's allowed fewer than three earned runs and not come away with a victory. In his last six starts, however, he's 1-5 with a 7.34 ERA, making it possible decision-time is approaching.

This isn't an easy time for the Tigers, though.

They're in No Man's Land. They don't want to admit they're out of it, but neither do they believe they're in a pennant race.

Leyland previously said that if they could be five games back by Sept. 1, anything still could happen. But they're not going to be five games back, and it's not looking, even after a 4-2 trip, that anything other than playing for pride will happen.

"I think you lose credibility with people if you starting saying we're going to still win this thing," Leyland said. "But playing hard and grinding it out, that's automatic. As bad a player as I was, I could still hustle. I'm not worried about that at all.

"This is a tough time of year. You have to push yourself. Even at that, you're whistling Dixie if you think that teams as good as (the White Sox and Twins) have been are going to lose eight or nine in a row. That's not going to happen.

"It's very unlikely both of them are going to go into some fantastic funk. You're better off saying, 'Let's have some fun and see how many you win.' "

Blowing three-run leads to the Royals, though, is neither fun nor fits the heading of "how many you win."

You can reach Tom Gage at tom.gage@ detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Tue Aug 26, 2008 1:22 am

08/25/2008 11:00 PM ET

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Bullpen falters late for Tigers
Glover serves up homer, as Detroit drops second straight
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Franklin Gutierrez hit a solo homer off Gary Glover in the top of the 10th inning, sending the Tigers to a 4-3 loss to the Indians on Monday at Comerica Park.

Two Grady Sizemore solo homers off Tigers starter Armando Galarraga helped Cleveland build a 3-1 lead after four innings and put the Tigers in position early for a series-opening loss. After Marcus Thames' 22nd home run of the season had accounted for Detroit's lone run, however, Edgar Renteria's leadoff homer in the fifth drew Detroit within a run.

Indians starter Zach Jackson retired seven in a row from there to take his one-run lead into the seventh, but Thames' one-out single knocked him out of the game. Masa Kobayashi allowed infield singles to both batters he faced, including a sharp ground ball from Brandon Inge down the third-base line that Andy Marte stopped but couldn't convert into an out as pinch-runner Matt Joyce came home with the tying run.

That took Galarraga off the hook for a potential loss. He salvaged a quality start with six innings of three-run ball and remained 3-0 in four starts against Cleveland this season.

The Tigers had a chance to pull ahead in the eighth with runners at second and third and two outs, but left-hander Rafael Perez did his job and retired Joyce. Tigers closer Fernando Rodney and Indians reliever Brendan Donnelly both retired the side in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings.

Casey Fossum began the 10th by sending down Sizemore, then manager Jim Leyland went with Glover (1-3) against the right-handed Gutierrez, who drove an 0-1 pitch into the left-field bullpen for his eighth home run on the season. With that, Detroit fell to 3-8 in extra-inning games this season.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:36 am

Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Indians 4, Tigers 3 (10 inn.)
Indians tighten Tigers' lead -- for third place
Lynn Henning / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- They are the Indians, of course. For all the bruises they've endured this year, the guys from Cleveland seem always to have a big home run in their quivers when it turns to the late innings against Detroit.

The Indians now have won eight games in a row and suddenly are just a half-game behind the Tigers following Monday's 10-inning, 4-3 victory in front of 39,196 who turned out on a cool, clear night at Comerica Park.

Franklin Gutierrez's 10th-inning home run off Gary Glover was enough to polish off the Tigers, who had come back from a 3-1 hole to tie it in the seventh. But a tough night for the first six batters in Jim Leyland's lineup -- 3-for-25 -- did in Detroit.

"We just haven't been able to muster much of an offense," Leyland said. "We haven't been able to get big hits, or to add (runs) on."

The Tigers not only fell to 64-67 as their lamentable season heads into the final month, they did little to help their steadiest starting pitcher, Armando Galarraga, or a bullpen that was airtight until the 10th, when Gutierrez drove a Glover pitch into the seats in left field.

The Tigers got home runs from Marcus Thames and Edgar Renteria. They also gave the warning track in left field a workout.

Placido Polanco led off the 10th with a drive to the track in left field. Brandon Inge had sent one to the fence in the fifth. Renteria had launched another ball to the warning track leading off the ninth. Ryan Raburn, who took over for Carlos Guillen after he left the game because of back spasms, also hit a ground-ball missile to first with a pair of runners aboard and one out in the eighth. But first baseman Ryan Garko made a nifty play to help shut down what might have been a big inning.

"Nothing you can do," said Magglio Ordonez, who has a 5-for-29 string going, which has been marked almost as much by bad luck (line drives caught, liners just foul) as by the first semi-slump he has endured in the past two seasons. "It's a streaky game."

One guy who definitely isn't in a slump: Grady Sizemore, the gifted Indians center fielder who accounted for two early runs on a pair of homers that, combined, traveled more than 800 feet. The home runs were Sizemore's 30th and 31st and made him the 14th player in American League history to reach 30 homers and 30 stolen bases in a single season.

He parked a Galarraga fastball over the left-center field fence leading off the first, then blasted another fastball three-quarters of the way up the right-field seats in the third inning.

Although he allowed eight hits and walked three in seven innings, Galarraga gave up only three runs. There were the two huge bombs by Sizemore, as well as a run in the fourth when Shin-Soo Choo's leadoff double and Garko's bloop single to left put the Indians ahead, 3-1.

"I thought he did really good job of pitching," Leyland said. "He gave up the solo homers, but it wasn't the end of the world. We just haven't been mustering much offense."

The Tigers scored their first run in the second on Thames' mammoth home run near the flagpole in deep left-center. They cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth on Renteria's eighth home run of the year, into the bullpen in left.

They tied it in the seventh by way of a one-out single by Thames, who made it to second on a wild pitch and to third on Renteria's line-drive single off the glove of second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Inge followed with a hard grounder past the bag at third that only could be knocked down by Andy Marte as the tying run scored.

Until the 10th, the Tigers bullpen pitched neatly after Galarraga departed. Kyle Farnsworth (eighth inning, one hit) and Fernando Rodney (ninth, two strikeouts) kept the Indians from doing what they so love to do at the 11th hour.

This time, they waited until the 10th inning to get the big hit the Tigers couldn't match.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Tue Aug 26, 2008 11:49 pm

08/26/2008 9:54 PM ET

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Tigers give up four homers in loss
Lambert allows two earned runs in Major League debut
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers have historically given All-Star starter Cliff Lee trouble more often than any other team in the Majors. This was not one of those games.

On the day Major League Baseball unveiled its plans for instant replay on contested home runs, the Tigers fell to a barrage of Indians home runs that they'd rather not see again. Back-to-back solo shots from Jamey Carroll and Kelly Shoppach set up a six-run third inning on Tuesday night before Ben Francisco added a pair of two-run homers in a 10-4 loss that knocked Detroit into fourth place in the division.

All six third-inning runs came against Tigers starter Chris Lambert (0-1) in his Major League debut. He retired the side in order in the first two innings before Carroll led off the third with his first home run since Aug. 11, 2007. Four pitches later, Shoppach sent a Lambert fastball over the same area of left field.

Those were the lone earned runs of the inning. A ground ball that skirted through third baseman Ryan Raburn for a run-scoring error and a Jhonny Peralta line-drive single that bounced past left fielder Marcus Thames for another run, which turned the inning into a runaway rally. Four straight Indians reached base safely, capped by Carroll's RBI single to knock in another run, chased Lambert from the game.

Both Francisco home runs came off reliever Aquilino Lopez, giving Cleveland's young right fielder his first multi-homer game since he roughed up the Tigers for two solo shots on July 30 in Cleveland.

All that offense cleared an easy route for Lee (19-2) towards his fifth straight victory and his eighth in his last nine starts. The lone no-decision in that span came against the Tigers last month, when Detroit put up six runs in five innings off of him. He retired 10 of the first 12 Tigers he faced Tuesday before Thames' leadoff single set up a two-run fifth thanks to Raburn's RBI double and Brandon Inge's run-scoring single. Inge had two hits on the night.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:36 am

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Indians 10, Tigers 4
Cy Young fave drops Tigers to 4th place
Lee silences fading Detroit, improves to 19-2; Lambert struggles, but deserves better, in debut.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- They're not going to do this, are they?

The Tigers aren't going to turn a hugely disappointing year into a genuine hold-your-nose stinker by slipping into the complete oblivion of fourth place and staying there are they?

They could.


Because with Tuesday night's 10-4 loss to the Indians, they just switched spots with the Tribe and are back in fourth for the first time since June 16.

There are two schools of thoughts about the standings when it becomes obvious a team isn't going to win. Some believe the difference between third and fourth is not large enough to alter the bottom-line truth you're an also-ran. Others believe every game, every win, still is important, no matter what.

"Sure it matters," manager Jim Leyland said. "You want to finish as high as you can. That goes along with winning as many games as you can. That old stuff about if you don't finish first, it doesn't matter. I don't buy that. Hopefully those who do aren't in our clubhouse."

The Indians have ascended with a nine-game winning streak while the Tigers have fiddled around at 4-5. The Indians also have climbed with the help of Cliff Lee, who with this victory became just the fourth pitcher since 1969 to win 19 of his first 21 decisions.

And to do it for a team with a losing record is really a rarity.


"It's an amazing story," Leyland said. "This guy went back to the minors last year, worked his butt off, did what he had to do, and here he is. I hope he wins the Cy Young."

Meanwhile, the Tigers appear dead in the water again.

After winning four of five, they've now lost three in a row. With 30 games left, they'd have to go 17-13 to finish at .500. A 12-18 record in their last 30, however, doesn't make it look like they are about to do so.

If they finish in fourth and under .500, you're not going to have to wonder where that fertilizer aroma is coming from. You'll know.

"Pretty much all year long, it looks like we might get something going, then we get into these funks where we just look terrible," Leyland said. "It's hard to explain. We're too good to play the way we have."

Whether Tigers starter Chris Lambert deserved better in his major league debut is a moot point because even if he had pitched better, the defensive lapses behind him would have been his downfall.

"My fastball was just kind of flat," he said. "That can't happen at Triple A. That can't happen especially here."

Two of the six runs he allowed in 2 2/3 innings were earned. Granted, they were on consecutive homers by Jamey Carroll and Kelly Shoppach to begin the third after Lambert retired the first six batters.

And granted, Lambert allowed three more hits in the third while the Indians were making it a six-run inning, but the Tigers played terrible defense behind him, not just in the two errors they made but in some of the balls they simply didn't get to.

"He got a little fastball happy," said Leyland, "but we didn't help him much. It should not have been as bad as it looked."

But it was. The Tigers looked like a team sliding down the standings, which this time they were. Their only runs off Lee in his 7 2/3 innings came in the fifth. After the third, they never were in it.

And just to be sure, the Indians hit two more home runs, both two-run shots from Ben Francisco, and both off Aquilino Lopez -- making it three home runs by Francisco in his last three official at-bats against the Tigers reliever.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Wed Aug 27, 2008 11:55 am

yeah, we always deserve better...sigh
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Thu Aug 28, 2008 11:32 am

08/28/2008 12:35 AM ET

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Verlander, offense falter in finale
Tigers starter strikes out eight batters in six innings of work
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- How in the world did Justin Verlander get in this spot?

He was the American League Rookie of the Year two seasons ago and an AL All-Star last year. With the Tigers' 9-7 loss to the Indians on Wednesday night at Comerica Park, he's back in a tie for the AL lead in losses alongside Seattle's Carlos Silva and Jarrod Washburn. Silva and Washburn have the stats of pitchers who have been beaten up; Verlander hasn't even given up as many hits as innings pitched, and his ERA didn't cross the 4.50 mark until his latest defeat.

For the Tigers, the question of how Verlander got here is almost moot at this point. Manager Jim Leyland wants his young ace to focus on what he can get out of it.

"He's a great young pitcher, and I think this has been a tough experience for him," Leyland said, "but it can be a valuable experience if you take advantage of it. He hasn't really struggled throughout his career very much, whether it's college, high school or professional. This is something that you try to figure out and move forward."

The silver lining for Verlander on Wednesday was that he felt like he had some of the best stuff he's had this late in the season. The problem is that he keeps throwing so much of it.

With 115 pitches on Wednesday, Verlander became the first pitcher in the Majors this year to cross the 3,000-pitch mark for the season. He was already averaging more than 17 pitches per inning entering the game, and that pace went up after this outing, in which those 115 pitches covered six innings of work.

That kind of labor can't hold up if he's going to rebound from this.

"He's just got to start commanding his fastball better," Leyland said, "and everything else might fall into place after that. But you can't be at 100 pitches night after night. You just can't do it."

In Wednesday's case, Verlander threw 101 pitches over his first five innings before adding on 14 to strand two runners in the sixth. Yet his relatively efficient fourth inning was the one that became his downfall because of a few pitches.

Verlander gave up three runs over the first two innings, yet took a 4-3 lead into the third thanks to three straight RBI singles from the Tigers in the bottom of the second. He retired the side in order in the third and moved ahead of Ryan Garko to lead off the fourth. With a 1-2 count, however, he went with a fastball that crept in too far on Garko and bounced off of his front elbow.

Pitching coach Chuck Hernandez came out to talk to Verlander after his first-pitch curveball for a ball to Kelly Shoppach. Verlander missed outside with a fastball on his next pitch, then got over the plate on a fastball that appeared intended for the outside corner by how catcher Brandon Inge lined up.

"Falling behind Shoppach, the ball's right down the middle of the plate," Leyland said. "You obviously have to try to throw that pitch down and away on the outer half if you can."

Shoppach deposited it into the bullpen for his sixth homer against Tigers pitching this season. Add on some insurance runs against Detroit's bullpen, including Shin-Soo Choo's two-run homer in the seventh, and that was that.


"Obviously I don't want to give up a home run at any point," Verlander said, "but it's 2-0, he's feeding my heater and he got it. That's the game of baseball."

Verlander had more of a problem with what he called bloop hits in the two-run second inning.

"When I get in on a guy and break his bat, it would be nice to get the result to be an out," Verlander said. "But that's the way it's been going all year. Hang with 'em."

That was not so much Leyland's concern.

"I think sometimes he gets on fast forward," Leyland said. "Whether he's trying to overthrow it or whether he's in a hurry to see the results, I'm not sure. But I think he's got to get in a consistent groove, which we haven't been able to get him in, to where he's commanding his fastball. It all starts with that. ...

"I think early on [in his career], with fine stuff, guys didn't know him and swung at a few more balls. I think they're laying off of some of that."

Verlander understands the point about fastball command, but he feels like he can get it there.

"The control of my fastball dictates everything," Verlander said. "It's been here, and it's not been. It's been inconsistent. I don't want to say it's not hard to fix, but I know that it's there. It's not like I've been a guy that's come up my whole life and been wild from day one. I'll lose a couple pitches here and there, and in the long haul, a couple pitches here and there add up quickly, especially with a pitch count of 100-110 pitches."

The percentage of strikes thrown is down from last year, but only slightly, according to baseball-reference.com. The percentage of his strikes swung at is around the same, and his slugging percentage allowed is up just one point. But his batting average allowed is up seven points from last year, he already has more walks than all of last season, and his strikeout ratio is down.

Thus, here he is.

"I think every game's a learning experience," Verlander said. "You just take from it what you will. Tonight, I take from it as one of those games."

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:39 pm

Thursday, August 28, 2008
Indians 9, Tigers 7
Two-sided Verlander adds up to a loss
Tigers pitcher runs hot and cold again as Tigers drop fourth straight; Indians win 10th in row.
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Within the same start, Justin Verlander is often two pitchers.

The one he has been in the past, the one who makes hitters look foolish on occasion, the one who has the stuff of an established ace.

And there's the pitcher Verlander has all too often been this year: Sometimes good, sometimes not, in command at times, but frequently struggling in an inexplicably puzzling way.

Verlander's record dropped to 10-14 on Wednesday night in the fourth-place Tigers' 9-7 loss to the third-place Cleveland Indians. Instead of bouncing back and reclaiming the position in the standings they had for more than two months before switching spots in this series, the Tigers lost another.

That's four in a row they've lost, compared to 10 in a row the Indians have won, their best streak since April, 2002.

Five under .500 for the first time since June 20, meanwhile, is what the Tigers have dropped to overall. They are 11-17 in Verlander's starts. Last year they went 22-10 when he started.

It's not all his fault, of course, that he has not been a winning pitcher this year. Nor is it all his team's fault. It has been an endlessly odd combination of too little going right, too much going wrong.

How, for instance, can a pitcher with a .238 opponents' batting average, 10th best in the American League, struggle so much? No one has the answer.

Wednesday, for instance, he struck out eight Indians in six innings.

But because his pitch-count was high again (115), Verlander didn't pitch into the seventh. Way back before the season started, one of manager Jim Leyland's objectives was to coax an extra inning out of his starters. It's not always worked that way.

What hurt Verlander in this game were leadoff mistakes and two-out hits.

In the first inning with two outs and a runner on second, he gave up a run-scoring single to Jhonny Peralta.

In the second, after the Tigers tied it on Curtis Granderson's leadoff home run, Verlander's leadoff walk to Ryan Garko led to the first of the Indians' two runs in the inning.

The Tigers countered with three runs off Fausto Carmona in their half of the second, and Verlander retired the side in order in the third. Maybe he was settling down.

Then again, maybe he wasn't.

He hit Garko to lead off the fourth and promptly gave up a two-run home run to Kelly Shoppach.

Verlander also hit David Dellucci to lead off the fifth, and eventually encountered a bases-loaded jam which helped to drive up his pitch count, but this time he got out of the jam when Shoppach flied out to center.

Not at all.

It wasn't Verlander who gave up a long, two-run home run to right in the seventh to Shin-Soo Choo that stretched the Indians' lead to three runs in the seventh. That came off Gary Glover.

Nor was it Verlander who gave two runs in the ninth. That was off the duo of Bobby Seay and Kyle Farnsworth, which gave the Tribe enough runs to withstand a two-run home run by Magglio Ordonez in the ninth.

But it was Verlander who again took the loss.

You can reach Tom Gage at tom.gage@detnews.com


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–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:44 pm

08/29/2008 11:40 PM ET

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Big inning, Miner bring Tigers a win
Six-run outburst supports right-hander's strong start
By David Just / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Through four innings of Friday's series opener against the Royals, the Tigers appeared as though they were ready to take their fifth straight defeat without much of a fight.

But a six-run fifth inning, combined with another stellar effort from Zach Miner, propelled the Tigers to a 6-3 victory at Comerica Park to snap a four-game losing streak.

Miner has thrown the ball so well of late that he may have pitched himself into the starting rotation in 2009. But Tigers manager Jim Leyland was reluctant to make such a promise.

"Coming into the season, you didn't really consider him for that spot because we thought we were going to have [Jeremy] Bonderman, [Justin] Verlander, [Kenny] Rogers, [Dontrelle] Willis and [Nate] Robertson," Leyland said.

"[Miner] filled in in '06 and did a good job. I think he's a big league pitcher, and it's way too early to start making commitments that you don't know if you can keep or not, because nobody knows what's gonna unfold for 2009."

Miner echoed his manager's sentiments.

"I don't know. You hope [you can start]," Miner said. "But we could go sign some other guy and all of a sudden it doesn't mean anything. You never know. Everybody understands what the situation is with the guys we have here, and you just try to put yourself in a position to succeed and get an opportunity. If it doesn't come to you, you deal with it and adjust."

Miner's start must have felt like déjà vu after taking it to the Royals last Saturday with seven shutout innings. He was almost as good this time around, pitching six innings and allowing just one run.

"He's got some confidence now and some good concentration," Leyland said. "He's very good at having an idea of how to execute a game plan. [Pitching coach] Chuck [Hernandez] gives him a game plan, and he's pretty good at staying with it."

The Tigers mustered just two hits, both singles, off Royals starter Kyle Davies through the first four innings. Trailing, 1-0, in the fifth, Marcus Thames led off with a ground ball to shortstop. Mike Aviles fielded the ball and threw it into the dirt in front of first baseman Ross Gload.

The Tigers had stranded their leadoff hitter at first in the previous inning, but they weren't about to let that happen again.

"I think the biggest part of that inning was the fact that Marcus Thames was busting his tail to first base," Leyland said. "If he's not running to first on that play, then Gload picks it up and he's still out. But the fact that Marcus was hustling and busting his tail opened up a big inning for us. I think it probably frustrated Davies a little bit and made him make a few mistakes."

Indeed, it did. Edgar Renteria singled, and Curtis Granderson hit a two-run triple into right-center field. Four singles and four runs later, the Tigers had batted around and all but sealed the win.

Davies (5-6) was knocked around for six runs -- two earned -- over 4 2/3 innings. He was relieved before Thames came up to bat for the second time in the fifth.

Miner (8-4) reached a career high with his eighth win. He is 8-2 with a 1.93 ERA in his last 27 appearances. Since he took over a starting role, he's gone 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA.

"[My sinker] was good at times," Miner said. "I felt good. I felt a little stronger than usual. My slider was pretty good at times, and it was terrible in the bullpen. My breaking balls were pretty good today, and I threw a whole lot of changeups."

"He's basically a four-pitch pitcher when he starts -- probably more of a two-pitch pitcher when he relieves," Leyland said. "He's using all his pitches. The curveball [and] slider are getting better -- changeup, sinker, [too]. He's pitched really well."

The Tigers took the series from the Royals in their last meeting, and they hope to clinch this one on Saturday.

"There's not a lot of momentum in baseball," Leyland said. "You're only as good as your next day's pitcher. That's just the way it works."

David Just is an associate 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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Fri Aug 29, 2008 11:51 pm

Friday, August 29, 2008
Tigers 6, Royals 3
Six-run fifth boosts Tigers
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Don't even think about it. But they probably weren't anyway.

The Indians have passed the Tigers in the standings, but if the last-place Royals had any ideas of creeping up as well, the Tigers did a nice job of saying of "fat chance" with a 6-3 victory against them on Friday night.

Looking like it might be one of those "oh-no-not-again" nights when the Royals led 1-0 after four innings, the Tigers struck for six runs in the fifth with a barrage of six hits and the Royals, as often happens, were never heard from again.

With the victory, the Tigers restored the difference between the two teams to nine games.

Nine? So why be concerned that the gap could have gotten closer than wider?

For two reasons, neither of which is intended to convince you that the Royals were about to make a run at the Tigers, only that the Tigers had put themselves in the position for them to do so.

First of all, the Tigers were 12 games out of first with three teams in front of them before this game was played, but only eight games out of last.

And as surely as the Tigers are hoping to get closer to the top because winning as many games as they can, despite a lower ceiling, is still their goal the Royals were probably pondering that if the Tigers fell apart completely, as in completely, striking distance was still possible.

Well, it doesn't appear that it is. The Tigers will fall no farther.

They have too much hitting, although Miguel Cabrera left this game with a mildly strained left pectoral muscle, and even too much pitching to compound their already disappointing season with a freefall in the final month.

Against the Royals, at least, the Tigers are still capable of striking at any time and any time this time occurred in the fifth.

With the Royals leading on the strength of a leadoff home run in the second by Mark Teahen off impressive-again Tigers starter Zach Miner, the bottom of the fifth began when Royals' shortstop Mike Aviles, on what should have been a routine play, threw the ball in the dirt at first for an error.

Royals' starter Kyle Davies had thrown four scoreless innings, but wasn't about to throw a fifth. With runners at first and second and one out, Curtis Granderson tripled to put the Tigers in front.

Granderson isn't going to match last year's triple-total of 23, but did you really expect him to? His next triple will give him 12 for the year, however, so the encore's none-too shabby.

Except for those wondrous 23, no Tiger has had more than 11 triples since Larry Herndon's 13 in 1982.

The Tigers scored their other runs in the fifth on singles by Placido Polanco and Gary Sheffield, and a two-run single by Jeff Larish. The error by Aviles made three of the runs unearned.

Brandon Inge struck out in the big inning, but is being mentioned because he had some fun, anyway. Moving from behind the plate back to third when Larish replaced Cabrera at first, Inge was able to start a pair of 5-4-3 double plays, the first being fancier than the second.

It still makes you think that Inge is a third baseman catching, but periodic reminders of how well he plays his old position will have to suffice.

You can reach Tom Gage at tom.gage@detnews.com


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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 31, 2008 1:06 am

08/30/2008 11:24 PM ET

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Tigers fall to Royals on Butler blasts
Trio of KC homers dooms Rogers, Tigers to defeat
By David Just / MLB.com

DETROIT -- It was Kansas City's turn to have the big inning. Two of them, in fact.

Just one day removed from a six-run inning that propelled the Tigers to a 6-3 win, the Royals had their say in the sixth inning on Saturday. With two outs in the inning and a tie ballgame, the Royals rallied for four runs, capped by Billy Butler's second home run of the game, and went on to down the Tigers, 13-3, at Comerica Park.

As the final score would indicate, the Royals didn't let up there. A five-run outburst in the eighth inning off reliever Nate Robertson put the game away for good.

"We just couldn't stop the bleeding," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We made a lot of bad pitches tonight, and that'll always haunt you."

Kenny Rogers has been no stranger to the Royals this season. In four previous starts against the pesky, last-place team, Rogers allowed 17 runs in 22 innings. Two of those starts, including last week's finale at Kauffman Stadium, saw the Royals get to Rogers for seven runs.

This time around, Rogers fared no better, allowing six runs in six innings of work. The left-hander surrendered eight hits, three of which went home as souvenirs. It was the first time he's allowed three home runs in a game this season. He gave up four against the White Sox on July 25, 2007.

Rogers is 21-19 lifetime against Kansas City with a 4.31 ERA. Given that the Royals have been the cellar dwellers for most of this season, Rogers couldn't help but feel frustrated that he can't seem to get the better of them.

"It tells you where I'm at," Rogers said. "I don't think my record against them is very good at all. So it tells you where I'm at with my ability level right now. So that's extremely frustrating."

It appeared at first that Rogers might escape the sixth inning unscathed. After the first two batters reached, Rogers got the necessary grounder from Alberto Callaspo to turn a double play. But the Royals didn't quit, smacking back-to-back singles before Butler sent Rogers' 2-0 offering 393 feet over the left-field wall.

"I didn't make any good pitches when I had two outs," Rogers said. "So without a doubt, that was the turning point in the game. It would have been really good to keep [the score] at 2-2 going into the bottom of the sixth, but I didn't locate very well, made some very poorly located pitches in that inning. I didn't give us a chance to win tonight, which is really frustrating. Hopefully, next time will be a little better.

Leyland had gone out to speak to Rogers before Butler's at-bat, but decided to stick with his starter.

"He gave me a chance to get out of the inning," Rogers said. "As a pitcher, you appreciate that, without a doubt. I was extremely disappointed because I didn't, you know, do what I was hoping to do. But also [that I didn't] reward his faith.

"As a pitcher, that's what you want -- to have a chance to get out of there on your own. I had two outs. It's frustrating when you give up two-out runs. My lack of being able to locate the ball where I wanted to for a while in the game was frustrating."

Leyland blamed only himself.

"I was hoping Kenny wouldn't give in to Butler," Leyland said. "He was obviously trying to pitch around him a little bit, and [Butler] got one down and hit the three-run homer, which killed us. So I take responsibility for that."

The Tigers' offense wasn't much help, though, either.

Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco and Matt Joyce hit leadoff triples for Detroit in the game. But each came home on a groundout, hurting the Tigers' opportunity for a big inning of their own.

For Granderson, it was his league-leading 12th triple of the season. He fell a home run shy of the cycle. On the whole, though, it was an unspectacular effort from an offense that entered the game ranked second in the American League in batting average at home.

"We still didn't do much offensively, in reality," Leyland said. "I thought we could have mustered a little more offense than we did."

There was a near-replay moment in the ninth when Polanco hit a blast to left that third base umpire Tom Hallion ruled foul. Leyland came out of the dugout to speak to Hallion, who conferred with the other umpires briefly before sticking with the foul ruling.

David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:02 pm

08/31/2008 5:47 PM ET

Box >

Cabrera's four RBIs deliver the win
First baseman contributes two-run homer, two-run double
By David Just / MLB.com

DETROIT -- Faced with a bases-loaded situation, the game tied, 2-2, in the bottom of the eighth, Miguel Cabrera was in his comfort zone.

What could possibly be going on in that head of his to make him feel comfortable in a situation like that?

"I think differently because I say, 'I have to,'" Cabrera said. "I have to drive in the run."

And like that, Cabrera did. He lined a two-run double to left that cemented a 4-2 Tigers win at Comerica Park on Sunday, vaulting the club into third place in the American League Central standings.

Cabrera has been nothing short of sensational after a rough first half -- at least by his standards. Cabrera is batting .303 with 17 doubles, a triple, 21 home runs and 68 RBIs in his last 72 games.

If a second-half MVP award existed, it would surely be difficult to pass up Cabrera, who was named the AL Player of the Month for July.

"[Cabrera] is at his best when it really means something," said Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who was ejected in the eighth inning for arguing a call at third base. "He doesn't get tense. He's relaxed. That's the one thing about him. He's got the ability to concentrate and relax at the same time. That's a golden gift.

"Him and Albert Pujols remind me a lot of each other. They got a good feel for what guys are trying to do to them, and they know how to react to it."

Cabrera was at a literal loss for words when informed of the fact that his manager compared him to the best hitter in the National League, but he nodded his head in humble gratitude.

The Tigers were down, 2-0, going into the sixth inning. Royals starter Gil Meche had kept the Tigers quiet to that point, including Cabrera.

But that didn't last much longer. With Placido Polanco on first, Cabrera smacked a first-pitch home run to the opposite field to knot the score and keep the Tigers -- and the fans -- involved in the game.

Cabrera drove in all four of Detroit's runs, a feat that isn't too difficult when you're batting .467 with the bases loaded.

"There's no telling what this guy can do," Leyland said. "This guy has been one of the biggest forces in baseball for his first five years. And he's a young player yet."

Armando Galarraga gave the Tigers seven strong innings, and they needed every one of them. He gave up just two runs on eight hits and struck out seven hitters. Despite the solid performance, he didn't factor in the decision.

"This is important for us right now," Galarraga said. "I didn't get the win, but the team, we got the win."

"One thing Galarraga has done is, he's made adjustments for anything that [pitching coach] Chuck [Hernandez] has talked to him about," Leyland added. "He's got a real good feel for shutting down a running game and giving us a chance."

The hard-throwing right-hander, who has allowed three runs or fewer in his past eight starts, is 5-0 during that span and 8-2 with a 2.86 ERA in his past 16 starts.

And on Sunday, unlike Saturday night, the bullpen did its job. Gary Glover (2-3) picked up the win with a scoreless eighth, and Fernando Rodney earned his seventh save. Only one batter reached base between the two relievers.

Leyland made it clear after the game that even though Cabrera -- and several other Tigers, for that matter -- struggled in the early going, there was no excuse for how the team played, particularly during its 2-10 start to the season.

"I think what happened was all the expectations and everything [gave us an excuse]," Leyland said. "Everybody fell into that trap, and it was there for us if we wanted to use it. I'm not saying we abused it, but I think we used it a little bit and I think the fans used it a little bit. It's something we got to eliminate."

Belting in game-winning runs at home will, for now, allow Cabrera to forget about what struggles he may have experienced earlier this season.

In his own words, there's no better feeling than being the difference-maker when the game is on the line.

"It feels good," Cabrera said. "If you don't do it, you feel bad. I like to feel good."

David Just is an associate 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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 31, 2008 6:06 pm

Sunday, August 31, 2008
Tigers 4, Royals 2
Cabrera powers Tigers past Royals
Tom Markowski / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- Miguel Cabrera hit his 29th home run and his two-run double in the eighth broke a 2-2 tie as the Tigers defeated Kansas City, 4-2, Sunday at Comerica Park.

The Tigers won the weekend series, 2-1, but the Royals still lead the season series, 8-7, with three games left in Detroit (Sept. 22-24).

Cabrera lined a 3-2 pitch from reliever Ramon Ramirez down the third-base line, easily scoring Curtis Granderson from third and Placido Polanco from second.

Gary Glover (2-3) set the side down in order in the eighth in his only inning.

Fernando Rodney did not allow a hit in the ninth and struck out pinch hitter John Buck to end the game. It's Rodney's seventh save.

While Cabrera provided the punch, manager Jim Leyland supplied the fire. Leyland was ejected in the eighth by third-base umpire Kevin Causey.

With runners on first and second and no outs, Polanco bunted in front of the plate, and catcher Migual Olivo threw to third, where shortstop Tony Pena made the putout on Brandon Inge. The ball came out of Pena's mitt a second after Causey gave the out sign, prompting Leyland to race to Causey to plead his case. Two minutes later Leyland was ejected.

Armando Galarraga started for the Tigers and went the first seven innings allowing eight hits, two runs and one walk. He struck out seven.

Royals starter Gil Meche, who remains 7-4 lifetime against Detroit, also went seven. He allowed five hits, two runs, no walks and Meche struck out six.

Kip Wells (0-1) went 1/3 of an inning.

Kansas City took a 1-0 lead in the third on a leadoff triple by David DeJesus and a wild pitch.

Meche handcuffed the Tigers through five innings. He retired the first eight batters, four on strikes, before Dane Sardinha singled over second baseman Alberto Callaspo.

Detroit did put runners on the corners with two outs in the fourth when Gary Sheffield lined a 2-2 pitch to DeJesus in left to end the inning.

Galarraga got out of a jam in fifth thanks to a double play started by third baseman Jeff Larish.

Larish fielded the groundball hit by Mike Aviles and touched the bag just ahead of Callaspo, who was running on the 3-2 pitch. Larish's throw to first was wide to the outfield side, but Cabrera kept his right foot on the bag as he stretched as far as he could, falling.

The Royals took a 2-0 lead in the sixth as Jose Guillen hit the first pitch 405 feet into the stands in left for his 18th home run.

With two outs Cabrera homered with Polanco on base to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom half of the inning. Cabrera swung at the first pitch and lined it over the fence in right just to the left of the 330-foot sign.

Aviles left the game after hitting a groundball in front of the plate Sardinha made the putout on unassisted for the third out. The pitch hit Aviles' right index finger as he swung. Pena replaced Aviles at shortstop to begin the seventh.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Sun Aug 31, 2008 7:07 pm

Miggy, you saved your team again!
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Mon Sep 01, 2008 6:40 pm

09/01/2008 7:00 PM ET

Box >

Verlander's early struggles stand up
Tigers' rally can't erase shortest start of right-hander's career
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The game took three hours, 46 minutes. The first couple of innings seemed to take an hour alone. The summary lasted less than 10 seconds.

"I'll make this easy for you: We threw a lot of balls when we should've thrown strikes," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Monday's 13-9 loss to the Yankees, "and we threw some strikes when we should've thrown balls."

How appropriate, it turned out, that the Tigers and Yankees would make up this game on Labor Day. Tigers arms threw about 192 pitches in all, 64 from Justin Verlander. In terms of innings, it was the shortest outing of his Major League career, but it started a long day at work for pitching on both sides.

Not until Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter singled in two insurance runs in the sixth and lefty Phil Coke retired the Tigers in the seventh could New York feel somewhat safe in its lead. In the end, that was little consolation for the Tigers.

"That started out really rough," Tigers catcher Brandon Inge said. "It looked like it was going to work out, and all of a sudden, it just turned out to be a long day. It is what it is."

Verlander couldn't sum up this game as quickly, but he tried as best he could to sum up his season.

"Disappointing," Verlander said. "It's been erratic, and I think some of it has to do with it just being baseball. But I think it's the game of baseball. I think there's been a lot of misfortunes that have come my way this year. That's not to make an excuse. That's just baseball. Sometimes things just don't go your way."

The turning points, Verlander said, are frequently the points that have gone against him. In Monday's case, he said, it wasn't a particular point so much as his entire outing, which lasted just 1 2/3 innings.

"The whole game was pretty frustrating, really," Verlander said. "There's not one particular thing I could point to and say it was the most frustrating. It was an all-around tough one for me."

Though neither of these teams started the season particularly strong, few could've imagined when rains postponed this matchup from its original Mother's Day start that neither team would've made up its gap in the standings by the time they made up this game. At least in the Tigers' case, this loss showed many of the struggles they've had to battle throughout much of the summer -- an offense that keeps them in games, but pitching struggles that haven't settled down long enough to take advantage, either through injuries or inconsistency.

Monday brought back the struggles of Verlander, who had lost five of his previous seven starts after creeping back to within a game of a .500 record. Back-to-back walks and back-to-back singles to start this game, however, set the tone for the afternoon.

"Not the way you want to start the game," Inge said.

Yankees leadoff man Johnny Damon fouled off three straight pitches on a 1-2 count -- all of them fastballs -- before Verlander missed the strike zone on three more fastballs to put him on. He lost Jeter from a 2-2 count to a walk to set up the scoring opportunity. Bobby Abreu lined a single to right to load the bases for Alex Rodriguez's two-run single in a four-run opening inning.

Damon's second-inning solo homer was the lone extra-base hit off Verlander (10-15), but three more singles surrounding a Jeff Larish error fueled another four-run Yankees rally. Xavier Nady's blooper to left brought Verlander's outing to an end.

Five straight Yankees reached base safely leading off the third to put New York in double digits.

After Gary Sheffield's second-inning solo homer put him alone in 25th place on the all-time Major League list, two-run homers from Inge and Miguel Cabrera paced a six-run fourth inning that pulled the Tigers back into the game.

Aquilino Lopez had quieted the Yankees' attack by retiring 11 of 12 batters from the third inning into the sixth, but Jeter's sixth-inning single provided the add-on runs that Detroit couldn't overcome. Verlander's struggles simply didn't provide any room for add-on tallies.

Tigers pitchers had just two 1-2-3 innings, and one of them was the ninth. But so did the Yankees, who were left in recovery work themselves after Detroit hitters roughed up starter Sidney Ponson for seven runs -- six earned -- on nine hits over three-plus innings. In the end, Brian Bruney (2-0) received the victory for 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth.

Verlander, meanwhile, took the American League lead in losses on his own, an unfathomable thought when the season began. Yet he's determined to take something out of this season.

"When it's all said and done, I'll be able to look back and locate things I can build upon," Verlander said. "I think, really, the main thing this year has been the fastball. It hasn't been what it was the first two years, and in this game, you need it. At times, it was good ... but then it kind of faltered."

The effective period, Verlander said, was his streak of eight consecutive outings in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer. He has a 7.29 ERA in eight starts since, despite pitching six-plus scoreless innings in two of those outings.

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Mon Sep 01, 2008 8:25 pm

Monday, September 1, 2008
Yankees 13, Tigers 9
Yankees crush Verlander, Tigers
Larry Lage / Associated Press

DETROIT -- What could have been a September showdown between the teams with the two biggest payrolls in baseball instead had very little impact on the pennant races.

Thanks to a guy known as "Pudge," it wasn't devoid of emotion.

Alex Rodriguez sparked a scoring barrage with a two-run single in the first inning and added an RBI in each of the next two frames to help the New York Yankees build a huge cushion they needed in a 13-9 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Perhaps the only intriguing moment in the listless game that lasted nearly 4 hours happened in the second inning when Ivan Rodriguez came to the plate.

He was greeted with a standing ovation in his first game against the Tigers since they traded him. Rodriguez acknowledged the fans by taking off his helmet and waving to the sold-out crowd.

"That was special," he said. "I appreciated that very, very, very much. It was great. It means that in the four years I was here, I did a good job and the fans appreciated that."

The Yankees and Tigers played a makeup game after a matchup in May was rained out. The teams with the highest payrolls in baseball combined for a performance that seemed as significant and stirring as a Grapefruit League exhibition. New York's opening-day payroll, counting players on the disabled list, was $209.1 million and Detroit's was $138.7 million.

Both underachieving teams began the final month with double-digit deficits in their divisions. The Yankees began the day seven games behind the Red Sox in the AL wild card race.

"You can't take anything for granted," Ivan Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez signed with the Tigers after they lost an AL-record 119 games in 2004, then helped them reach the World Series in 2006.

He will be a 37-year-old free agent this offseason.

"Physically, I know he can sill play every day," Girardi said. "How many more years he can do it? I don't know."

Alex Rodriguez's four RBIs helped the Yankees take an 11-2 lead, but they were ahead by just two runs following five innings after giving up homers to Gary Sheffield, Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge.

Derek Jeter drove in one of two runs in the sixth, padding the lead to 13-9.

"The bottom line is that we won the game," New York manager Joe Girardi said.

Justin Verlander (10-15) lasted a career-low 1 2-3 innings and gave up eight runs -- five earned -- and seven hits with two walks.

"I'll make this easy for you," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said in a 9-second address to reporters. "We basically threw a lot of balls when we should've thrown strikes and we threw some strikes when we should've thrown balls.

"And, that's the end of the conversation. I'll see you later."

Verlander agreed with Leyland's assessment.

"The bad pitches I threw got hit and the good ones got hit as well," said Verlander, who was booed as he walked to the dugout when Leyland replaced him. "It's one of those days you've got to get behind you."

Verlander has had a lot of starts he'd like to forget this season after being the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter, start a World Series game, and be Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in his first two full seasons.

He won 35 games the previous two years and trailed only Dwight Gooden's 41 victories among pitchers in their first two full seasons since 1970.

Brian Bruney (2-0) was credited with the win for pitching 1 2-3 scoreless innings in the middle of the game. Sidney Ponson started and gave up seven runs -- six earned -- and nine hits over three innings.

"I didn't do what I was supposed to do," Ponson said.

In his major league debut, Phil Coke struck out two, including Cabrera with one on to get out of the seventh inning to maintain New York's four-run lead.

Notes: The Yankees expect to activate RHP Joba Chamberlain (rotator cuff tendinitis) from the DL on Tuesday. They plan to use him in the bullpen for the rest of this season, letting him build up arm strength before becoming a starter again in the future. ... The Tigers will pitch LHP Dontrelle Willis and RHP Freddy Garcia against each other in a simulated game before Tuesday's series opener against the Los Angeles Angels. ... Johnny Damon hit his 12th homer for the Yankees. ... Sheffield's 494th homer moved him past Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff for 25th on baseball's all-time list. ... In a six-day stretch, the Yankees will have played in New York, Detroit, Tampa Bay and Seattle. ... Cabrera has hit 22 of his 30 homers since June 10. ... The Tigers traded Rodriguez to New York for RHP Kyle Farnsworth at the non-waiver trading deadline. ... Retired Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr threw the ceremonial first pitch, then pumped his fist.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:38 pm

09/03/2008 12:58 AM ET

Box >

Tigers drop series opener to Angels
Cabrera connects for three RBIs, ties game twice in loss
By Jason Beck / MLB.com


DETROIT -- The Angels turned a hint of trouble from Tigers closer Fernando Rodney into the winning run without the benefit of a hit. Francisco Rodriguez turned the makings of a Tigers rally into his 54th save of the season.

The Angels churned out early runs out of two Tigers errors and a fly ball that fell in between three players. Eventually, they overcame three RBI hits from Miguel Cabrera, including a game-tying home run in the eighth.

It wasn't anywhere near the onslaught the Tigers faced on Monday, but it was still the same result.

"That's why they're going to the playoffs," manager Jim Leyland said after Tuesday's 5-4 loss, "and we're going home."

It wasn't a criticism, Leyland pointed out later. It was simply a statement of fact.

"They did just enough," he said, "and we didn't do quite enough. They're doing some of the little things. They made a couple of mistakes. We didn't really capitalize on them. We made a couple of mistakes, and they capitalized on them."

No team in the Major Leagues has won more one-run games than the Angels, who are 27-19 in that department. The Tigers, by comparison, are 15-21. The Angels have won 17 games in which they've been outhit by their opponent, 10 more than they've lost when outhitting the other team. Tuesday was the Tigers' 13th loss when outhitting their opponent, compared with 10 wins when being outhit.

At 41-25, the Angels own the best road record in the big leagues. Tuesday's loss dropped Detroit to 35-34 at Comerica Park, pulling it perilously close to joining the ranks of a half-dozen teams in the Majors this year with a losing record at home.

That's why, though the Angels' run differential on the season would suggest a 75-62 record, they're fighting for the Majors' best mark at 84-53. And the Tigers, even with no shortage of offensive displays and blowout wins this year, are now six games under .500 for the first time since June 14.

Detroit needs to go 15-9 over the home stretch to finish at .500 for the season. The Angels have a 17 1/2-game lead in the American League West and a magic number of seven to clinch a postseason berth.

Little things mean a lot. That's why one Rodney walk was enough for the Angels to pounce.

Rodney entered in the top of the ninth tasked with keeping the game tied going into the bottom of the inning. He had allowed just seven hits and four walks against 20 strikeouts over 13 innings in his previous 10 outings, but he missed on four of five fastballs to Chone Figgins for a leadoff walk.


"That was the kiss of death," Leyland said.

Leyland went to the mound to advise Rodney not to worry about a sacrifice bunt from Garret Anderson and instead worry about holding the runner, but Figgins didn't waste time taking off. His jump on a fastball earned him second base without much of a chance for Brandon Inge to throw him out.

Once Anderson's groundout to the right side moved Figgins to third, Rodney had to hope for a strikeout of the dangerous Mark Teixeira. He nearly got it.

Changing speeds, Rodney put Teixeira in an 0-2 hole on two bad swings. Rodney went to his new favorite strikeout pitch, a four-seam fastball that sometimes rises out of the strike zone. This one didn't rise out, but it came in at 97 mph.

"It was a good pitch," Rodney said. "He just extended and hit the ball."

The fly ball sailed into medium-range center field. Curtis Granderson got a couple of steps of a charge toward it in preparation for a throw home, but the speedy Figgins beat it easily.

For all the hitting talent the Angels have acquired, it's that kind of manufactured offense that they've executed well for years under manager Mike Scioscia. And for all the Tigers' offensive firepower, Rodriguez rarely relinquishes that kind of lead once he takes the ball in the ninth.

Cabrera's opposite-field shot in the previous inning was the first run surrendered by the Angels bullpen since Aug. 22, against the Twins. The relievers hadn't been charged with a score in 29 1/3 innings, and Rodriguez hadn't given up a run over his previous eight outings, so getting another one was asking a lot of the Tigers.

They still earned their chance. Renteria fouled off a Rodriguez breaking ball on an 0-2 count before hitting a fastball on a soft line drive into center field for a leadoff single and his third hit of the night. Inge did not move him over, fouling off two bunt attempts before striking out swinging. Jeff Larish, pinch-hitting for Mike Hessman, popped up for the second out.

With Granderson up as the Tigers' last chance, Leyland took a chance and sent Renteria, who stole second to move into scoring position. Granderson took a walk to extend the game for Placido Polanco.

Rodriguez responded by showing why he's threatening the Major League single-season saves record and will unquestionably garner a huge amount of interest around baseball in free agency this winter. Polanco fell into an 0-2 count, took two pitches to even the count, then grounded a changeup to third.

Whether Detroit pursues a closer like Rodriguez is a matter for the offseason. But the Tigers never had a lead to close in this game, and the more important concern for them this year is their inability to make the plays to take these sorts of contests.

"They did just enough to win the game," Leyland said, "and we did just enough to lose the game."

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: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Wed Sep 03, 2008 9:38 am

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Angels 5, Tigers 4
Tigers fall as crowd thins
Cabrera has home run and three RBIs in defeat
Tom Gage / The Detroit News

DETROIT -- With a dip instead of a nip, the first sign of fall arrived on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.

A dip in attendance, not a nip in the air. It was 83 degrees when the first pitch was thrown, so it wasn't the mercury that dropped.

For a game against the Los Angeles Angels that the Tigers lost 5-4 when a leadoff walk in the ninth off Fernando Rodney led to the winning run and made it possible for Francisco Rodriguez to earn his 54th save -- the number of tickets sold was 35,320.

Not bad at all. There have been years when the Tigers wouldn't have drawn that many for a weekend game in July. There have been years it would have taken them three weeknights to sell that many tickets.

It was a telltale sign of a meaningless September, however, because it was the smallest home crowd the Tigers have played before since April 23.

Make no mistake, this has been an outstanding year for the Tigers at the gate. They passed the 2.75 million mark with this game, but with sections upstairs sparsely populated and good seats in the lower deck probably paid for, but not occupied, this game was a foreshadowing of the month ahead.

The Tigers' season is playing itself out. Interest has waned. It won't be different next week with Oakland in town. Nor two weeks after that with Kansas City coming back for its third visit.

That said, this was a close game between teams that were preseason favorites to win their division. The Angels followed through, coming into this game with a 17 1/2 -game lead over the Rangers.

The Tigers, however, didn't. In fact, they're having the same kind of season as those Rangers, who trail the Angels by light years. That doesn't mean there isn't good baseball still to be played, and in keeping this game tight, the Tigers at least pitched better than in that slugfest against the Yankees on Monday.

Gary Glover, in particular, was excellent for the Tigers, not allowing an earned run in his four innings of work. But it was the unearned run off him in the fifth that kept the Angels in front until Miguel Cabrera tied it on a two-out home run in the eighth.

After 31 RBIs in July, Cabrera had 25 in August, and already has five in September. With 109, it's possible he will reel in league-leader Josh Hamilton (121) of the Rangers by the end of the season.

Cabrera singled in a run in the first, doubled in a run in the third and hit his 31st home run in the eighth, the first run off the Angels' bullpen in 11 games.

"He's hitting them out like it's nothing," Leyland said. "There aren't many guys who can do that."

However, Rodney walked Chone Figgins, the first batter he faced after the Tigers tied it.

"The kiss of death," Leyland called the walk, "because Figgins has great speed."

Figgins stole second, went to third on a grounder to second and scored on Mark Teixeira's sacrifice fly to center, on an 0-2 pitch.

"Give Teixeira some credit, Rodney threw the ball 98 miles an hour," Leyland said.

The Tigers threatened in the ninth with a leadoff single by Edgar Renteria, who stole second, and a two-out walk to Curtis Granderson before Placido Polanco bounced out to third, allowing Rodriguez to pull within three of Bobby Thigpen's single-season saves record (57).

"They did enough to win, we did just enough to lose," Leyland said.

And that's a sign, not of fall, but of how the Tigers have fallen.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:32 am

09/03/2008 11:16 PM ET

Box >

Tigers rally against Angels bullpen
Granderson, Polanco, rookie Hessman deliver big hits
By Jason Beck / MLB.com

DETROIT -- The Tigers couldn't convert their rally against Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez on Tuesday, but they hit his potential successor one night later. Curtis Granderson's game-tying triple fueled a go-ahead, two-run rally off rookie Jose Arredondo in the seventh before Mike Hessman's two-run homer in the eighth sealed a 9-6 win Wednesday night at Comerica Park.

Starting pitchers Jon Garland and Zach Miner dueled to a 5-5 game through six innings -- after a 74-minute rain delay at the start -- before tests for both bullpens decided the game in the seventh. Three consecutive baserunners loaded the bases against left-hander Clay Rapada. Kyle Farnsworth jammed Vladimir Guerrero into a pop fly, but the fly ball fell out of the reach of shortstop Ramon Santiago and left fielder Matt Joyce for an RBI bloop single.

Farnsworth stranded the bases loaded from there, sending down Torii Hunter swinging at a high fastball before Kendry Morales flied out to deep center field. That kept the Tigers close enough to rally in the bottom of the inning.

Arredondo (7-2) earned his first Major League victory with two scoreless innings against Detroit on May 26 and has been generally dominant from there. On this night, however, he gave up hits to the first three Tigers he faced, with Granderson's 13th triple of the season essentially deciding the game.

Arredondo missed the strike zone with his first three pitches before leadoff man Brandon Inge hit a ground ball that took shortstop Brandon Wood deep into the hole for an infield single. Once Granderson worked the count full, he laced an Arredondo fastball off the fence in left-center, plating Inge to tie the game and putting the go-ahead run on third for Placido Polanco's ensuing RBI single.

Farnsworth (2-2) escaped an eighth-inning jam with an inning-ending double to earn his first victory since joining the Tigers on July 30. Hessman's homer off Justin Speier in his first start since the Tigers called him up Tuesday provided insurance for Fernando Rodney's eighth save.

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: DET. TIGERS 2008 REG SEASON SCHEDULE & SCORES   Thu Sep 04, 2008 9:58 am

I think Hess wants to be El Tigre more than a Mudhen! He's gotta show it!
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