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 Tiger bats come alive

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PostSubject: Re: Tiger bats come alive   Wed May 21, 2008 7:35 am

After Leyland preaches accountability in pre-game meeting, Tiger bats come alive

Before the Tigers hit any of their four home runs Tuesday night, they got their most impressive and unusual extra-base hit of the game.

It came when Edgar Renteria hit a bases-loaded line drive to centerfield, where Ichiro Suzuki missed a right-to-left running catch.

For the first time all season, the Tigers created this carousel-type sight: three runners speeding toward home plate as the ball rolled into some distant part of the yard, and the hitter himself dashing for extra bases.

Renteria's three-run triple in the fourth inning inflated the Tigers' lead to five and they cruised until the ninth, when Todd Jones was forced to nail down a suddenly tense 12-8 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park.

In the Mariners, the Tigers met a fellow bearer of woe. Like the Tigers and Yankees, Seattle entered the season with postseason expectations and now resides in last place in its division.

The Tigers jumped on the Mariners for as many runs in this home-stand opener as they did on a just-completed 1-5 trip to Kansas City and Arizona.

Until Renteria's one-out hit off right-hander Carlos Silva, the Tigers had produced one extra-base hit this season with the bases loaded: a Renteria grand slam. Manager Jim Leyland had noticed.

"We did what we've lacked -- when we got people out there, we hit some gappers and had some people running around the bases," he said.

Leyland also had noticed some public comments by players in recent days about clubhouse atmosphere. So he called a pregame meeting.

"The main point of the meeting was accountability," Leyland said. "We're 16-26 (entering Tuesday) because we haven't played or managed good enough. It has nothing to do with the clubhouse."

Leyland, who has grown more and more publically critical of his managing, added: "We've got a good team that hasn't performed up to capabilities. But I'm not going to put up with silly (stuff) where people say they have problems in the clubhouse. We don't have any problems except that we haven't won enough games."

Renteria batted with the bases loaded because rookie Matt Joyce rallied from an 0-2 count for a walk. Then Renteria's three-run triple accounted for more run support than Justin Verlander was used to this season. He began the night with the worst run support of any American League starter: 2.29 runs per nine innings.

Verlander often hasn't pitched like himself, but his offense hasn't bought him any high-scoring wins, either.

Verlander (2-7) pitched six innings and left after the first three homers had made it a runaway. He fanned seven, walked one and gave up four hits, one of them Adrian Beltre's homer in the first.

Cha Seung Baek yielded homers to Magglio Ordoñez, Renteria and Curtis Granderson. Renteria's solo gave him extra-base hits in consecutive at-bats after he'd gone four weeks without one.

In the seventh, Carlos Guillen homered to center off Mark Lowe for a 12-3 lead.

But the potential tying run was on deck when Jones arrived with one out in the ninth. He got his first batter, Miguel Cairo, to ground into a game-ending double play. Jones is 7-for-7 in save chances; the problem is that he hasn't had more.
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PostSubject: Re: Tiger bats come alive   Wed May 21, 2008 1:50 pm

Too bad the bullpen almost blew the game!

Thank You Todd Jones!

For getting the save!

Though it should never have come down to it!
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