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 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:46 pm

Tigers go on the offensive, hand Moore first loss
Fielder plates four and Infante three behind an effective Sanchez

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/5/2013 12:31 AM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Matt Moore came to town unbeaten. He hadn't even left a start trailing since last September.

But by the time the Tigers chased him on Tuesday, he not only had a five-run deficit, he'd made the second-shortest outing of his career. It was still the third inning.

By the time Anibal Sanchez had finished his seven innings of one-run ball, the gap had grown. And with Tuesday's 10-1 win, the Tigers' offensive struggles behind five losses over their previous six games seemed to have abated.

It was exactly what manager Jim Leyland was looking to see.

"We're not scoring runs," Leyland said before the game. "We scored them in that one lopsided game [on Saturday in Baltimore], but we're not scoring runs. I mean, that's one thing that we're supposed to be able to do."

They scored them early, but with at-bats that soon stretched Moore's outing into a long night.

"I do think we have a very good offense," Leyland said afterward. "We had some good at-bats up and down the lineup tonight."

It was part of the game plan they had against Moore, they just might not have anticipated it going this well.


The idea, players said, was to make Moore work and make him throw pitches over the plate. They soon realized he couldn't do it with any consistency.

"The video we watched, he was throwing strikes, he was getting ahead of guys," Torii Hunter said. "And today he just didn't have that touch, that feel. And we could see that, so we had to tell ourselves to be patient and wait for our pitch. We worked him pretty good early on."

Moore realized it as well.

"I wasn't throwing a lot [of pitches] close," Moore said. "So it was more, 'Wait until he throws a strike' and then, if I was doing that, they were geared up to hit."

Moore (8-1) overcame back-to-back two-out singles from Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder to hold Detroit scoreless in the opening inning, but he used 30 pitches to do it. By the time he got out of the second, he had thrown 34 more and had a three-run deficit.

"I don't know the difference for him, but I think that his control on the ball today was not too good, not too consistent today," Jhonny Peralta said. "He threw a lot of balls. After that he needed to come in right to the middle of the plate. So we had a good approach."

Peralta and Matt Tuiasosopo had back-to-back hits on 0-2 pitches, the latter an RBI double into the gap in right-center. Moore briefly recovered for a Brayan Pena groundout but walked three of the next four batters, the exception being an Omar Infante sac fly.

Back-to-back walks to Hunter and Cabrera extended the second inning for Fielder, who delivered a two-run single to center, punishing yet another opponent for giving Cabrera a pass. Fielder has followed Cabrera's last 10 walks by going 8-for-9 with a walk and 10 RBIs.

Moore didn't retire any of the five batters he faced in the third, including Avisail Garcia, who hit an RBI single. Infante escaped an 0-2 count for a bases-loaded walk and Moore's evening was done, having thrown 86 pitches for just six outs and a five-run deficit.

"I thought we did a good job on the man, who has been terrific to this point and will probably be terrific after this point," Leyland said. "It's one of those things sometimes, where the guy is so good he is due to lose at some point, and thankfully, it was against us."

Infante escaped another 0-2 hole to deliver a solo homer off ex-teammate Kyle Farnsworth in the fifth. Fielder padded the margin with a sacrifice fly in the sixth after Cabrera went from first to third on a wild pitch, and extended it further with a solo homer in the eighth.

The Rays' best hope for a comeback was another sudden Sanchez collapse, like the four-run seventh inning the Pirates posted on him last Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Instead, Sanchez pretty well cruised through his evening, allowing a run on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. Nobody reached scoring position against him after the third inning.

"They're pretty aggressive, so I tried to keep the ball down, throw the ball for strikes, mix it up," Sanchez said. "We talked about how aggressive they are, especially the righties, so I tried to make some pitches down that looked like a strike."

Or as Rays manager Joe Maddon put it, "We expanded our zone against Sanchez today, which we have not been doing. Whereas they were not expanding against us."

Evan Longoria tripled past a diving Hunter and scored on a Desmond Jennings sacrifice fly to send home Tampa Bay's lone run.

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jun 06, 2013 2:00 am

Fister tosses eight scoreless frames in losing effort
Righty quiets Rays most of the way, but Tigers' offense silenced

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/6/2013 12:08 AM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Doug Fister says that he approaches every inning like it's part of a scoreless game, regardless of the actual score. He's had a lot of innings in actual scoreless games lately.

He had eight of them on Wednesday night until the Rays put up a three-run ninth inning in a 3-0 Tigers loss. He had seven of them in his start before that.

"The starting pitcher's job is to keep you in the game, give you a chance to win it, and sometimes that's the luck of the draw," manager Jim Leyland said. "Last night we scored 10 runs, and tonight we didn't get any."

Six days after Fister tossed seven scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts in a no-decision -- becoming the first Tigers pitcher since at least 1916 to do that -- he topped that in a duel with Tampa Bay's Alex Cobb. Fister disposed of Rays hitters so easily that he had thrown just 91 pitches when he came back out the ninth.

He should have been trying to protect a lead and finish a complete-game win. Once again he was just trying to hold up his end. The Rays, needing just a little offense to win, finally got to him.

Add up the zeros, and Fister threw 21 scoreless innings in between the Twins' three-run opening inning against him on May 25 and the Rays' three-run ninth against him on Wednesday. The Tigers have scored two runs of support for him in that time.

This is the same Tigers offense that leads the Majors in hitting and entered Wednesday trailing only the Red Sox in runs scored. Yet Detroit has now been shut out three times in eight games, and six times on the season. The last three shutouts have been decided in the final inning.

Include the postseason, and last year's Tigers team was still blanked just five times. The 2011 Tigers were shut out five times in the regular season.

Yet this Tigers team with six shutouts this year has scored in double digits eight times, including two of the last four games. They entered Wednesday with four starters ranked among the American League's top 14 in run support. Fister was 14th.

The Tigers have been blanked by some lesser pitchers over this stretch. Cobb, however, was not one of them. And after a pair of 1-0, 11-inning losses to the Pirates last week, this one didn't take quite so long.

"Sometimes you get a little frustrated," Leyland said, "because you're seeing a pitching performance against you and you think he's not that good and you think you should score some runs. But in tonight's case ... I mean, we had a couple of shots, but this guy was terrific."

One night after the Tigers handed the previously unbeaten Matt Moore the worst outing of his career, Cobb posted the kind of outing many expected of Moore. And the same Tigers lineup that had patient, tenacious at-bats to wear down Moore early never got anything going against his teammate.

"It felt like Bugs Bunny was pitching today," Torii Hunter said. "When you swing the ball just drops out of the zone. It's like it didn't want to get hit."

Hunter was 6-for-9 off Cobb entering the game. He went 0-for-4 against him on Wednesday.

Alex Avila, who had a double and a walk off Cobb, said much the same.

"He's got a good split-finger fastball that drops off the table at 87 mph. It's tough to pick up, tough to hit," Avila said. "It got quite a few of us chasing."

Not only did Fister (5-3) hold the Rays scoreless on four hits over his first eight innings, the only time runners reached scoring position over that stretch came in the third. A bizarre double play erased them both.

Jose Lobaton's ground-rule double and Yunel Escobar's single put runners at the corners with one out for leadoff man Sam Fuld, but Prince Fielder's diving stop and throw home forced Lobaton to reverse course and try to scramble back to third. Avila ran him down just in front of the bag, then lunged to tag out Escobar trying to take the base. It was scored as a 3-2 double play, with both putouts going to Avila.

"When I tagged [Lobaton], I just reacted and got lucky," Avila said

The Tigers put a runner on third base with one out in the bottom half of the frame, but Avisail Garcia made a mistake of aggression trying to get into scoring position. In getting caught trying to steal second, he removed the sacrifice fly opportunity for Andy Dirks, who hit an inning-ending comebacker.

Detroit put runners on second base in the sixth, seventh and eighth, but the Rays escaped all three threats with a strikeout, two of them against Fielder after intentionally walking Miguel Cabrera.

Fielder had been 8-for-9 with a walk and 10 RBIs over Cabrera's previous 10 walks, intentional or otherwise, but Rays manager Joe Maddon was willing to take his chances with Dirks on second and first base open in the sixth. Cobb fanned Fielder on three pitches.

After Cobb stranded Avila by fanning Omar Infante in the seventh, his errant throw in the eighth put Dirks on second with one out. Again, Cobb retired Hunter with first base open for Cabrera, and he promptly put him there.

Instead of matching a lefty reliever against the left-handed-hitting Fielder, who had been batting .373 against lefties this year, Maddon went to righty Joel Peralta (1-2), who has retired lefties and righties at virtually the same rate over his career. He struck out Fielder again.

Fuld's bunt single in the ninth and Ben Zobrist's single through the right side set up Fister's demise. Matt Joyce's sac fly broke the deadlock before RBIs from Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings added insurance runs for Fernando Rodney's 12th save.

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:59 pm

Scherzer dominates Rays for eighth victory
Right-hander allows one run on four hits; V-Mart hits two-run homer

By Anthony Odoardi / Special to MLB.com | 6/6/2013 6:35 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- It was another day, another quality outing by Max Scherzer. This time, however, the offense provided some run support to get Scherzer the eighth win of the season that narrowly evaded him in his last start.

The Tigers' pitcher of the month for May wasted no time in establishing himself as a candidate to win the award in June, throwing seven innings of one-run ball along with nine strikeouts in a 5-2 victory over the Rays in Thursday's three-game series finale.

Scherzer pulled into a tie for the most wins in the American League, has the second-most strikeouts (100) and the 14th-best ERA (3.24). He's allowed just 54 hits in 83 1/3 innings and no more than four in any of his last seven starts.

Since last year's All-Star break, Scherzer is 16-2 with a 2.95 ERA and 210 strikeouts in 173 2/3 innings. Those type of numbers, especially with his hot start this year, has his teammates looking at where Scherzer might be heading for this year's All-Star break -- Citi Field in New York.

"Somebody asked me that the last time we were [home]," catcher Alex Avila said after the game. "I think so. I think he's pitched well enough to get in there. There's still quite a few more games to the break, but 8-0 with a three-something ERA and as many strikeouts as he has, that's pretty good."

On Thursday, Scherzer became only the second Tigers pitcher since Vern Kennedy in 1938 to win his first eight decisions, joining right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who did it in 2007. Scherzer is one shy of the franchise record, held by Kennedy and George Uhle (1929).

He did it with his typical on-point command and overpowering fastball, mixed in with his dipping changeup, slider and newly-added curveball for lefties -- all of which were working.

Scherzer yielded three hits over his first two innings. He would yield just one more the rest of his outing, and not until he recorded two outs in the sixth inning.

"He's been consistent all year," Avila said. "He's gotten to the point where everybody knows he has great stuff and [he can] command it. When you're able to command it, you can set up hitters and stick to a game plan, rather than just throw like he used to do.

"Now he's a pitcher with really good stuff. It's impressive and I'm glad to be apart of it."

A one-out double by Ben Zobrist in the first was followed by consecutive strikeouts of Matt Joyce and Evan Longoria. A pair of two-out singles in the second were wasted with a Yunel Escobar fly out to center.

After that, Scherzer cruised, retiring nine straight batters and 11 of 13 before James Loney's opposite-field base hit in the sixth drove in the Rays' first run.

"I felt like today I had better fastball location than I've had even in the past," Scherzer said. "I really felt like I was throwing the ball where I wanted it. I felt like that was the reason why I was able to have success today."

By the time Loney plated that run, the Tigers had early established a 3-0 lead against Rays starter Roberto Hernandez, who entered the game 8-6 against Detroit with a 4.03 ERA from his seven years with the Indians.

Hernandez plowed through the first 3 1/3 innings, making the Tigers offense look similar to how it did in Wednesday night's 3-0 shutout loss -- their third time being blanked in eight days -- before a home run derailed him in the fourth.

Prince Fielder ended Hernandez's streak of eight straight batters set down by extending his own hitting streak to 11 games with a single to left. Two pitches later, Victor Martinez gave the Tigers their first runs since the eighth inning of Tuesday's game.

Martinez belted a two-run homer on a 1-0 count into the right-field seats for his fourth home run of the season.

"[Hernandez] is pretty tough, man," Martinez said. "He had a heavy sinker and it's not fun when you've got to face a pitcher like him, a big guy coming right at you. We were just hoping he made a mistakes, and I didn't miss it."

The home run marked the second of four straight hits for the Tigers. Hernandez would record just two more outs in the game.

"After that home run, he just got a little bit quick with everything," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He settled back down OK. He pitched well. He had a nice day for himself. But they pitched really well."

In the fifth, Miguel Cabrera came through with a soft liner to right to score Don Kelly. Martinez added another RBI in the bottom of the seventh, his third of the day, to increase the lead to 5-1.

At that point, Scherzer had put the finishing touches on his latest gem with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Jose Molina swinging at a changeup and Escobar looking at a 93-mph fastball for his 99th and 100th strikeouts of the year.

He became the first Tigers pitcher to reach the 100-strikeout mark through his team's first 58 games since Mickey Lolich (108) and Joe Coleman (103) in 1972.

He also completed the three-game series in which the three starters -- along with Anibal Sanchez and Doug Fister -- gave up a total of five runs on 15 hits with 22 strikeouts in 22 1/3 innings.

"They outpitched us today," Maddon said. "Scherzer was really good. He is very good. They might have the best starting pitching in the American League."

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:22 am

Verlander goes seven to earn eighth victory
Righty allows three runs; V-Mart homers for second game in row

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/8/2013 12:29 AM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander waited more than an hour through a rain delay in Cleveland to get started on his current winning streak after the Indians put him into his rough stretch last month. On Friday, the Tigers ace pulled a fifth-inning escape to get his latest win at Comerica Park, then tried another elusive move to get past the seventh.

Not even an end-around on manager Jim Leyland was going to get him into the eighth inning. He still got his fourth consecutive victory, though a ninth-inning rally off Jose Valverde made it much closer than many would have liked.

"I've still got a ways to go," Verlander said after the 7-5 win over Cleveland. "I've still got some work to do. But it's nice to be able to go out there and get wins for our ballclub."

Detroit's third consecutive win over the Tribe left the Tigers standing as the lone team in the American League Central with a winning record. While Detroit's 3 1/2-game lead is its largest of the season, the Indians' fifth consecutive loss dropped them back to .500 for the first time since May 5.

"This team is so special in my mind already that I always believe," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "And I don't think that's going to change. I just think we're going to figure this out."

The Tigers still had plenty on their minds from a big victory, from Leyland's unexpected objection towards Verlander's dugout move to the two home runs off Valverde that turned a four-run lead into a game that was a swing away from extra innings.

Still, they came out with reason to believe they might be finding their better form. Victor Martinez's three-hit game, including his third home run in eight games, was one reason.

"If he gets hitting like we know he can, we're going to have a real good offense," Leyland said.

Verlander was another. He has now won four consecutive starts, the last three each with seven innings of three-hit ball. He had the makings of a gem through four innings on Friday, allowing a hit and a walk, then had to endure a three-run fifth that included two infield hits, two line-drive singles and one hard-hit double by Jason Kipnis that hit off of Torii Hunter's glove as he tried to make a running catch at the fence.

Verlander went from a 5-0 lead to the potential tying run in scoring position for the middle of the Indians order, then got out of it with a first-pitch popout from the normally patient Nick Swisher and a Michael Brantley fly out on a 3-1 pitch, maintaining a 5-3 lead.

"I felt tonight was better than I have been," Verlander said. "That one inning, it's not like I got hit around too bad. They got a couple of infield hits mixed in there, and it is what it is. That's the life of a starting pitcher, you're going to run into an inning every now and again, so I'm definitely pleased."

A one-out single and a walk in the sixth put the potential tying run back on base with one out, but Verlander ended the threat with by fanning Drew Stubbs for his sixth strikeout of the night. A seven-pitch seventh against the top third of the Indians order allowed him to exit with a flourish -- or not.

"Leyland always stands right there at the end of the stairs," Verlander said, "and he put me back out for the seventh. I only threw like four or five pitches, so I tried to circumvent the system, and not get the customary handshake. So I tried to go the other way and sneak around him, but he was too quick for me and caught me at the bottom of those stairs anyway."
It seemed like a funny moment, but Leyland wasn't laughing afterwards.

"You might think that was comical," Leyland said, "But I don't think that was comical at all."

The reaction, when relayed, caught Verlander by surprise.

"If he wants to be mad, he can be mad," Verlander said, "But, I mean, I wanted to stay in the game. I had a quick inning and I wasn't trying to play a joke on him, I just wanted to stay in the game. You know he always stands there and sticks out his hand, so I figured if I snuck around him he'd let me go back out there."

Said catcher Brayan Pena: "He's one of those guys you have to kill him to take the baseball out of his hands."

By the ninth, nobody was laughing.

Valverde went five days without pitching after the Orioles homered twice off him last Friday for a ninth-inning rally and a blown save. The first of those home runs came off a splitter.

A day after Valverde returned with an easy ninth inning for a save against the Rays, the Indians were seemingly looking for his splitter with two strikes. In the cases of Jason Giambi and Drew Stubbs, they hit them out to turn a 7-3 game into a 7-5 nailbiter.

"Those two pitches were good pitches," Valverde said. "Like I said, you have to give credit to the hitters. That's it."

Said Leyland: "They were two split-fingers, and they just golfed them. That happens, but the key to that is the fact that he didn't walk anybody. For me, I'm happy with that."

It wasn't a save situation, but Kipnis' two-out single put the tying run on base and extended the ninth to give Swisher a shot at redemption.

Valverde threw four fastballs to Swisher, who grounded the last to second baseman Ramon Santiago to end it.

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:11 pm

Tigers come through with support for Porcello
Offense connects for 12 hits, including Prince's bases-loaded double

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/8/2013 10:16 PM ET


BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Rick Porcello did not get the seventh inning this time. Instead he got run support.

The way Porcello has been pitching lately, offense has been just about all he's been missing for a win. He finally got it on Saturday with six early runs, but the margin proved more important in helping the bullpen hold on late.

"I think having some run support, there's definitely some comfort to it," Porcello said after the Tigers' 6-4 win over the Indians on Saturday at Comerica Park. "But at the same time, you're going out there trying to put up zeros on the board regardless."

The win pushed Cleveland below .500 and bumped the Tigers' lead in the American League Central to 4 1/2 games. It's not only their largest lead in the division this season, it's a bigger gap than they had at any point last year.

It also brought Porcello (3-3) back to .500. The way he has pitched for the last month and a half, he has deserved better. But what he hasn't been getting in victories, he has been slowly getting back in regard.

"He's coming of age," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's got a ways to go yet. He's still got to learn how to relax a little bit. But overall, I thought he did a terrific job against a real good hitting lineup."

Porcello is averaging 2 1/2 strikeouts per nine innings above his career rate, yet he's getting twice as many groundouts as flyouts for a career-best rate there as well. By getting away from pounding sinkers and mixing in an effective changeup and curveball, he's not just getting more swings and misses, he's getting more ground balls.

"It's a nice feeling to know that when you get behind hitters or in a tight count, I'm not always going to have to go to my fastball," Porcello said.

He has hitters, especially in the division, looking at a different style of hurler than the kid they remember.

Porcello gave up a double to Michael Bourn and Jason Kipnis' RBI single in his first four pitches, then settled in to retire the next 12 hitters.

"I thought starting out, we ... took some good swings. And then, when they got the lead, it looked like [Porcello] really settled down and relaxed and started using all his pitches," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He became a little more confident, because all of a sudden, his stuff was better."

Porcello has thrown quality starts in six of his eight outings, but Saturday marked just his second win out of them. He had a 16-inning scoreless streak going until the seventh inning last Sunday in Baltimore but didn't have a win to show for it. The fact that the Tigers had scored just two runs in his last two starts combined played no small role in that.

When Indians starter Carlos Carrasco stranded the bases loaded in the opening inning, sending Porcello out for the second inning with a one-run deficit, one had to wonder whether Porcello was headed for another tough-luck day. Prince Fielder's bases-clearing double in a four-run second inning erased that thought.

Carrasco (0-2), called up from Triple-A Columbus for a spot start, allowed 11 of the first 17 batters he faced to reach base. Yet he fired fastballs like a power pitcher, with enough nastiness to execute an unhittable pitch at times. It was the kind of combination that sometimes gives Detroit's hitters, even the All-Star ones, fits.

"I mean, he's 94 to 97 [mph], and you don't know where the ball is going," Torii Hunter said. "It's uncomfortable. Effectively wild, but today he got behind in the count, and we were able to capitalize on him getting behind and getting the count in our favor."

Fielder's one-hopper to the right-field fence was the punishing shot. It also pushed him over the 50-RBI mark, putting him in the same group with Miguel Cabrera.

Five of Detroit's six runs scored with two outs, including the one plated by Andy Dirks' third-inning single on a 3-0 pitch to build a five-run lead.

"His stuff is electric," Francona said of Carrasco, "but there's still some learning to do, because he didn't pitch in."

Porcello did his best to make sure it was enough, though Cabrera's throwing error led to an unearned run in the fifth. After a leadoff walk in the sixth, he carved through the middle of the Indians' order for two strikeouts and a comebacker.

Against the slumping Nick Swisher, Porcello employed a different look, with back-to-back changeups from behind in the count to send him down swinging. Two batters later, Porcello used a 2-1 slider to get a foul ball from Mark Reynolds and set him up for a fastball and a called third strike.

This time there were no regrets from Leyland.

"I thought he did a terrific job in the sixth inning," he said. "He was getting around the pitch count, where I watch pretty close, but I thought he made a terrific pitch on Reynolds and struck him close. That's taking another step forward. That's what I'm hoping for."

The Indians rallied off Detroit's bullpen in the seventh with a two-run homer from ex-Tiger Ryan Raburn off Luke Putkonen. Though Leyland said before the game that he wanted to give Jose Valverde a rest after watching him throw 26 pitches in a non-save situation on Friday night, he went to him for the ninth.

Less than 24 hours after the Indians hit two splitters out for solo homers, Valverde left the tying run at the plate with back-to-back strikeouts on splitters -- the first to catch Raburn looking, the second to fan Mike Aviles, who homered off him on Friday night.

"What you saw today," Leyland said, "is [that] he didn't panic, he kept his composure and he got two strikeouts to end the game. That's pretty good. He's a pretty cool customer."

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:50 pm

Alvarez deals gem in debut as Tigers sweep Tribe
Southpaw doesn't allow hit until two outs in fifth, strikes out seven

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 6/9/2013 5:58 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Jose Alvarez was only supposed to be a spot starter for Anibal Sanchez, who was scratched with tightness in his shoulder. He even knew before the game that he was going to be sent down to Triple-A Toledo immediately after his start.

However, Alvarez did a fine impression of Sanchez on Sunday, stifling the Indians for six innings in the Tigers' 4-1 win in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,262 at Comerica Park.


Detroit, which swept the three-game series, opened a 5 1/2-game lead in the American League Central and ended its six-game homestand with a 5-1 mark.

"The big boys can't do it every day," Alex Avila said. "They'll do it most days, but you got to get contributions from everybody else at certain times of the year. To win a game here, that's always important."

In his Major League debut, Alvarez (1-0) only gave up three hits and one run while striking out seven. He became the first Tigers starting pitcher to earn a win in his debut since 2009, and only the second pitcher since 1916 to go at least six innings, allow three-or-fewer hits, one-or-fewer runs and have at least seven strikeouts.

With Drew Smyly cemented as a key figure in the bullpen, the Tigers can put their minds at ease knowing they have a No. 6 starter waiting in the wings at their disposal.

Alvarez leads the International League in strikeouts (76), WHIP (1.01) and baserunners per nine innings (9.20).

"He certainly had his demeanor and his mound presence was good," manager Jim Leyland said. "He didn't appear to be overwhelmed by anything. We kind of expected that from Spring Training. This kid's pretty calm. When it was his turn to pitch, he pitched. He's a nice piece to the puzzle."

Alvarez didn't allow a base hit through the 4 2/3 innings, although he admitted he was nervous when he first stepped on the mound.

"Yeah, I'd be lying to you if I said no," he said. "I think it's normal. I controlled my emotions, keeping focused in the game with my catcher."

The only damage against Alvarez was a slider that Ryan Raburn hit into the left-field seats with two outs in the fifth. The former Tigers player's seventh home run tied the game at 1-1.

Alvarez fell behind, 3-0, to the next hitter before recovering and getting a grounder back to the mound, which he lightly tossed to first.

"He came right back, and that's what made the most impression on me," Leyland said. "He didn't get frightened once the guy hit the home run. Once he threw three balls in a row, I said, 'Uh oh.' But then he just gathered himself and went right back after them, and that's one of the things that sticks in my mind."

Leyland stacked his lineup with left-handed hitters to combat the Indians' right-handed hurler, Justin Masterson, who has allowed a .687 OPS to lefties, as opposed to .546 vs. righties. That provided left-handed-hitting center fielder Don Kelly a chance to start.

Entering the game, Kelly was hitting .353 (6-for-17) against Masterson. He proved those numbers were no fluke against the Indians ace when he belted a slider down and in for his third home run of the season to right to break the deadlock and give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

"Usually, it's not one of those, Masterson said. "Usually, he drops it in somewhere else. This time, he dropped it in over the fence."

Despite loading up the bases in the second inning, Masterson kept the Tigers' bats at bay until Kelly's home run.

"That's a tough right-hander he hit it off of today," Leyland said. "That's not just some donkey he gets to hit ... that's a No. 1 guy. That's pretty good."

While Alvarez will get more seasoning down in Toledo, he had a day he'll never forget.

Heading into the dugout after his sixth inning of work, Alvarez earned a handshake and a hug from Leyland before the skipper told him, "Good job, kid." His teammates rewarded him with a beer shower in the clubhouse afterwards.


"I felt good," Alvarez said. "Maybe in the first inning I was a little excited, a little nervous. But like I said, I tried to control that as much as I could, then after that I focused on the game and gained some confidence."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @nightengalejr. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:46 am

Tigers' loss to KC latest close shave on road
Detroit's win streak ends despite Miggy's blast, Fister's solid start

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/11/2013 12:40 AM ET

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY -- The Royals credited the barbecue sauce in their dugout, the lucky charm some credit for their six-game winning streak.

The Tigers had to lament a fly ball to right field that burned them and an offense that was largely extinguished.

"It's hard to complain about a game like that," manager Jim Leyland said after Monday night's 3-2 loss. "A kid made a great effort for a ball and it didn't work out."

Whatever the case, the Tigers have to feel like their batch of recent close losses on the road is getting overdone.

No Major League team has more home wins than Detroit this year, and no American League club has a better home record than the Tigers' 22-10 mark. However, no other division-leading team has a losing record on the road.

Monday's loss dropped Detroit to 13-17 away from Comerica Park. Only the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants (12-18) have a worse road mark among teams with winning records. Six of the Tigers' 17 road losses have been by one runs, with five more by two.

They're hitting .302 with an .825 OPS at home, and .279 with a .791 OPS on the road.

Before the game, Leyland pointed out the abundance of close games when asked why road success proves so elusive for his team. Monday provided another close loss, maybe closer than the ball that scored two Royals runs and set up the go-ahead tally.

Salvador Perez's liner was close enough that both center fielder Avisail Garcia and right fielder Torii Hunter thought they had a play on it. They were headed towards the same spot until Hunter saw the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Garcia diving directly at him.

The center fielder has priority on balls in the gap. Garcia wasn't calling Hunter off, but his intent was clear.

"As an ex-center fielder, [I know] if you see me coming, get out of the way," said Hunter, a nine-time Gold Glove winner in center field with the Twins and Angels. "So, I saw him running full speed. He didn't say anything, and he took off diving. I said, 'Oh,' and jumped out of the way.

"That's his ball, and he wants that. He has a right to do it, and I have to get out of the way."

Hunter was considered a big center fielder at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds. Garcia, a potential five-tool prospect, is listed at 6-4, 240. Even if Garcia didn't have priority, he had the size advance.

"Can you imagine? I'm not gonna die," Hunter said. "Let him have it."


Though the Tigers view Garcia's future as a corner outfielder, he has the speed and Minor League experience to handle center.

Garcia certainly has the aggressiveness. On this one, his aggressiveness might have gotten the better of him. He was diving, but so was the ball, skirting under his glove.

"He probably shouldn't have dove," Hunter said. "Usually, when a righty hits the ball to right-center and stays inside the ball, it fades back to the right fielder. But he's 21. He'll figure it out."

It wasn't clear on replay whether Hunter had a chance to back up the play had he peeled off sooner. Though the ball went under Garcia's outstretched glove, it was out of Hunter's reach.

"Both guys broke for it, and it didn't turn out too good," Leyland said. "But you can't fault somebody for an effort like that."

By the time Hunter ran down the ball at the fence, Alcides Escobar had scored from third, and Eric Hosmer was on his way to scoring from first. Escobar likely would have scored anyway. The extra bases meant Hosmer's run, but also set up Perez for the go-ahead run two batters later on Lorenzo Cain's infield single.

It was an aggressive read by Perez as well.

"As soon he slid, I thought I had a chance to make it to third base," Perez said. "I looked around at second and saw Torii Hunter had the ball and I kept going."

That was it for the Royals' scoring. Between 6 1/3 solid innings from starter Jeremy Guthrie, a couple of timely escapes from Kansas City's formidable bullpen and seemingly no shortage of timely catches, Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer comprised all of Detroit's offense.

Cabrera followed Hunter's one-out double in the third inning by sending a 1-0 pitch into the left-field power alley for his 18th home run -- two off of Chris Davis' American League lead -- and league-leading 69th RBI on the season. Only Cleveland's Progressive Field has given up more homers to Cabrera as a visiting player; his 11th at Kauffman Stadium ties it with Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field.

The run support doomed Detroit starter Doug Fister (5-4), who delivered eight innings with no walks and three strikeouts. But if the Tigers' road struggles have become a pattern, so have their woes plating runs for Fister.

While Fister is winless in his last five starts, the Tigers have scored four runs combined in his last four outings. He has allowed nine earned runs on 28 hits over 30 1/3 innings in that stretch, good for a 2.67 ERA, with three walks and 26 strikeouts.

For someone who says repeatedly he pitches every game like it's scoreless, Fister is not far off from his recent reality.

"They put two runs on the board for me, and I couldn't keep it," Fister said. "I need to do a better job of keeping them from scoring."

His teammates weren't buying it.

"Man, I feel so bad for him. He's been pitching his butt off," Hunter said. "We just can't get a win for him right now. He keeps going out there, he keeps chucking the ball. Eventually, we're going to get something going for him."

Or as Hunter later summarized, "Great guy, great effort, offense stinks."

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jun 12, 2013 1:05 am

Scherzer stifles Royals to remain unbeaten

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/11/2013 11:22 PM ET
TO BE UPDATED

BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY -- Max Scherzer changed jerseys time and again Tuesday night in the Midwestern heat. By game's end, he was wearing a record no Tigers starting pitcher has enjoyed at this point in a season in 75 years.

Scherzer held the Royals to just two runs on three hits over seven innings, but he had to wait until the eighth inning for the run support that carried him to victory. Victor Martinez's go-ahead sacrifice fly off Aaron Crow earned the Tigers a 3-2 win and made Scherzer the first Detroit starter with a 9-0 start since Vern Kennedy in 1938.

Kennedy took a no-decision in his season opener and then won nine in a row. He won just three games after that en route to a 12-9 record. The way Scherzer has been pitching lately gives every reason to believe he has more victories coming.

For four innings Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium, Scherzer was unhittable, recovering from two walks in a 26-pitch opening inning to retire 10 Royals in a row and protect an early lead built on Don Kelly's second-inning RBI single and Andy Dirk's fielder's-choice RBI grounder in the fifth.

David Lough's first Major League home run broke up Scherzer's no-hit bid leading off the bottom of the inning, then two solidly hit line drives to left plated Mike Moustakas with the tying run. From there, however, Scherzer recovered to retire the last seven batters he faced, promptly putting his offense back on the field.

Scherzer did all of it on a hot, humid evening in Kansas City that left him changing jerseys at least twice. He took the mound for the third inning wearing what looked like a 2011 Tigers jersey that featured the right-arm patch remembering Sparky Anderson, who passed away in the previous offseason. By the seventh inning, he was wearing a jersey without the patch.

Detroit missed a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh when Aaron Crow struck out Torii Hunter, but Miguel Cabrera was hit by a pitch leading off the eighth to set the go-ahead rally in motion. Prince Fielder worked the count full against Crow before his single to right sent Cabrera to third.

Martinez lined the first pitch to saw to left, deep enough for Cabrera to score without a play at the plate. Joaquin Benoit held down the Royals in the eighth to set up Jose Valverde for his ninth save.

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:34 pm

Tigers waste Verlander's effort in extras loss
Valverde allows tying home run in ninth after Verlander's strong start

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/12/2013 8:45 PM ET

BOX SCORE


KANSAS CITY -- Justin Verlander still has his swagger. He still has a power fastball to blow by hitters. And yes, he still has claim to owning the Royals.

All he left town without claiming on Wednesday was a win, thanks to a ninth-inning rally off closer Jose Valverde and a 10th-inning Eric Hosmer RBI single for 3-2 Tigers loss. And that has to worry the Tigers more than anything about Verlander's fastball anymore.

"It's tough," catcher Brayan Pena said. "It's very tough. It's a very tough loss."

The Tigers were one strike away from shutting out the Royals and taking a road series, and Verlander was a strike away from another win in Kansas City. One swing from Lorenzo Cain on Valverde's splitter turned the questions around.

It marked the second time in a week-and-a-half that a ninth-inning comeback has left a pitching gem by a Tigers starter unrewarded. Like Max Scherzer's no-decision on May 31 in Baltimore, this one was an out away from a save when an opponent homered off a split-finger.

This one wasn't a walk-off shot, but with two strikes, it was closer to a Tigers win.

"It hurts," Verlander said. "You've got two outs and two strikes and the ball leaves the yard.

"It's not a good feeling, but it only ties the game, so immediately you have to change your mindset to, 'Well, let's go out and win it.' But to lose it that way, it's a tough pill to swallow."

The mindset eventually has to be a concern. As consistently effective as the Tigers' rotation has been lately, 18 quality starts in Detroit's last 19 games, the Tigers are 10-9 in that stretch. Run support has arguably been a bigger issue, especially with two 1-0 shutouts in extra innings and three losses when allowing three runs.

Valverde, by contrast, has taken just two of those losses. The Tigers held on through a two-homer ninth inning last Friday against Cleveland, because he entered with a four-run lead. Still, there's arguably a different feeling when a lead gets squandered late than when a team never leads a low-scoring game at all.

"Well, losing period stinks," Verlander said, "but when you lose one that's so close to being a win, it makes it that much more difficult."

As good as this Detroit rotation is, it can't pitch this well, this often the rest of the season. The starters will have their rough outings, and the Tigers will have slugfests they'll have to overcome.

Verlander never gave the Royals a feeling that they had a shot over seven scoreless innings. He held the Royals hitless with runners in scoring position by not allowing a runner to reach scoring position. Three singles and two walks comprised the entirety of his damage, and none of those runners advanced, not even the two guys to reach base leading off the second and fifth.

"Verlander being Verlander as usual, dominating," Cain said.

For Verlander against the Royals, it's business as usual. Even with his disastrous visit last August, he's 15-2 with a 2.56 ERA for his career against the Royals, and 9-2 with a 2.32 ERA at Kauffman Stadium. For this season, though, it was a big step for him.

"For me, it was my best start," the ace said, "just because of the way I've been working to get back where I need to be. I feel like I've been getting better every start. I wasn't exactly where I want to be, but pretty doggone close."

Valverde was where he wanted for all but one awful pitch. He replaced Drew Smyly following Hosmer's leadoff single in the ninth, retiring Salvador Perez and sent down Billy Butler swinging before putting Cain in an 0-2 hole. With a chance to finish him off, Valverde went to his splitter, the secondary pitch that has been intended for a change of pace.

"If I throw a good split finger, he swings and misses," Valverde said. "But it was a little up and he read it."

The splitter never split.

"He left it up out over the plate," manager Jim Leyland said. "It was a high split, and it didn't split too good, and the kid hit it."

As Pena put it, "It was one of those that we wish that we could take it back."

Cain pounced on it, sending a drive deep to left-center field. With the hot weather and a breeze blowing out, the ball carried into the second row of seats beyond the fence.

"I put it on the barrel, but after that it was either wind or carry," Cain said. "I was blowing for it to go out for me and it did."

Valverde is 9-for-12 in save situations. It's the pitching numbers that are more of a concern. It was the fifth home run Valverde has allowed in his last six outings, covering 27 batters. Four have been hit off splitters, all in two-strike counts. He has six strikeouts in that stretch, so he's getting some putaways with his mix, but he has paid dearly for some he hasn't located.

The five home runs match his season totals from 2010 and 2011. As much as his fastball-heavy arsenal last season came under scrutiny, he only allowed three homers in the regular season. To put it another way, he has allowed more home runs throwing splitters this year than he allowed throwing fastballs last year.

He isn't walking guys, and he isn't giving up high hit totals. Even his strikeout rate over a small innings total as higher than last year. But the homers nullify all that.

At some point very soon, the Tigers will have to figure out their plans for the stretch run, and decide their needs ahead of next month's Non-waiver Trade Deadline. As such, they'll have to evaluate whether Valverde is their closer from there on out, and whether closer prospect Bruce Rondon is ready for a Major League role, closer or otherwise.

Like the closer's job itself, it's a pass-fail evaluation.

"I think no closer wants to blow a save, but that's a part of the game," Valverde said. "The closer has two things: Save the game or lose the game. That's what happened."

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:46 am

Porcello dominant as Tigers top Twins
Throws seven scoreless innings; Fielder drives in two in four-run sixth

By Kelly Erickson / MLB.com | 6/15/2013 1:07 AM ET

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- After five scoreless innings at Target Field, Prince Fielder came through for the Tigers once again.

With two outs in the sixth and runners on first and second, Fielder hit his second double of the game, bringing in Austin Jackson and Miguel Cabrera as the Tigers went on to score four times for a 4-0 victory over the Twins on Friday night.

Rick Porcello threw seven shutout innings, limiting the Twins to three hits, but needed Fielder's clutch hit to earn the victory.


Fielder now has a .280 batting average and 28 RBIs this season when batting with two outs.

"Prince Fielder has done a very good job of coming through in those situations," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

"Historically I've been pretty successful against Fielder," Twins' starter Scott Diamond said. "I thought it was a good pitch, but I think I earlier in the game I had a chance to buzz him and get him off the plate and I didn't take advantage of it and it cost me in that at-bat. It kind of let the floodgates open in the sixth."

Diamond battled through five scoreless innings, before the Tigers got to him in the sixth. Jackson walked with one out and was advanced to second on a tapper in front of the mound by Torii Hunter.

Cabrera was then intentionally walked for a league-leading ninth time this season. With two runners on for the first time in the game for either team, Fielder knocked a two-run double off the wall in center field to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers were just getting started. Victor Martinez followed Fielder with an RBI double, which was immediately followed by another RBI double from Jhonny Peralta, giving Detroit a 4-0 lead. Diamond was finally lifted after giving up four runs on five hits and two walks in 5 2/3 innings of work.


"I thought we did a really good job when Diamond finally made a couple mistakes," Leyland said. "He was off the center of the plate all night long until that inning where we scored. He finally made a couple mistakes and we jumped him. He's got a good track record against us. I was worried about him."

Porcello worked steadily through his seven shutout innings, striking out five. Porcello's outing was only the third time this season he pitched seven-plus innings -- seven innings at Houston on May 2 and eight against Pittsburgh on May 28.

"He was terrific," Leyland said. "He kept the ball on the ground. A good sinker, but the stuff that really set his sinker up lately is his secondary stuff. They're not just sitting on a fastball any more. That's been a huge difference for him in my opinion."


"My off-speed stuff is getting a lot better, so I'm going to continue to get breaking pitches over the plate and switch up my pitches," Porcello said. "That's what's helping me this year have some success -- throwing my breaking ball for strikes and using my changeup."

While Porcello excelled through seven, the Tigers bullpen struggled in the eighth, as lefty Drew Smyly allowed a pair of baserunners with one out before Joaquin Benoit got a strikeout and groundout to end the inning, giving way to Jose Valverde, who closed out the ninth in a non-save situation.

In his brief appearance, Smyly gave up a walk to Clete Thomas and Valverde led off the ninth with a walk to Joe Mauer. Walks aside, Leyland was satisfied with his bullpen's effort.

"I thought everybody did a good job, with the exception of a couple walks. Those are no-nos."

While Leyland was pleased with getting his offense going again, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire lamented the outcome.

"It was a tough night," Gardenhire said. "We didn't do much offensively. Porcello was tough. His ball was diving all over the place and he had a nice breaking ball with his fastball coming back over the plate.

"Diamond matched him for a long time there, but then walked a guy in the sixth and got us in that awful situation where he had to walk a guy and didn't work out too well with three doubles in a row."

Kelly Erickson 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: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 16, 2013 1:06 am

Anibal, bullpen can't contain Twins in Tigers' loss
Starter, who had his last start skipped, exits after just 3 2/3 innings

By Kelly Erickson / MLB.com | 6/15/2013 11:24 PM ET

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins, who were shut out the day before, came alive Saturday night as the Tigers gave up a combined six runs on 14 hits -- including four extra-base hits -- in a 6-3 Detroit loss at Target Field.

Despite the loss, Tigers manager Jim Leyland thought his team performed decent enough -- the game simply got a little out of hand.

"We actually swung the bats pretty good, I thought, we just didn't score enough runs," Leyland said. "We kind of let it get away a little bit."

Starter Anibal Sanchez fought through 3 2/3 innings and gave up two runs on five hits. He walked four and struck out three on 72 pitches. Sanchez, who missed his last start Sunday due to muscle stiffness near his shoulder, was pulled early as a precautionary measure, not because he aggravated the muscle.

"I wanted to be careful with Sanchez," Leyland said. "The good news is he's healthy. He felt fine, probably a little sluggish just trying to get his rhythm back and mechanics back. He had been idle for a while."

"I'm feeling good," Sanchez said. "I don't have my power at the moment, but at the end, I'm just painless."

After a brief outing for Sanchez, Leyland then relied on his bullpen, which has drawn criticism of late. With plenty of quality starts coming from the rotation, the 'pen hasn't seen a ton of work this season, and when it has, it has often struggled.

The offense did give Sanchez some cushion, as it jumped on the board first with hits from both Prince Fielder and Jhonny Peralta in the fourth inning. Miguel Cabrera led off the inning and was hit by an errant Samuel Deduno pitch. Fielder plunked a base hit to left field, moving Cabrera to third. Two batters later, Peralta drove a broken-bat hit up the middle to score Cabrera and Fielder -- who moved to second on a Victor Martinez groundout.

Detroit briefly hung onto the 2-0 lead, as the Twins tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. Justin Morneau led off with a base hit and was brought in two batters later on a Trevor Plouffe home run to left. Saturday was Plouffe's first game since returning from the DL with a strained left calf. Plouffe went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs.

"First thing was winning -- we wanted to win this game and I wanted to contribute any way I could," Plouffe said. "To be able to come up offensively was good for us, and Sammy pitched his butt off again. So when you mix those things together, it's a good night."

Left-hander Darin Downs -- who stepped in for Sanchez in the fourth -- worked 2 1/3 innings and also gave up five hits, but allowed three runs and struck out four.

"I felt good out there," Downs said. "… I haven't gotten too many opportunities lately. I know I need to throw more than guys who go out every night."

Downs gave up three hits to lead off the sixth -- a double to Plouffe, a single to Chris Parmelee and a single to Brian Dozier that scored Plouffe to give the Twins a 3-2 lead. They didn't let up, as a sacrifice bunt from Pedro Florimon moved Parmelee and Dozier to third and second respectively, and Joe Mauer brought them both in on a single.

Right-hander Evan Reed was next to fall victim to the Twins' offense when he took over in the seventh inning. Through one inning of work, Reed gave up one run on three hits, as Plouffe followed an Oswaldo Arcia double with an RBI single.

The Tigers added one more in the eighth, as Cabrera crossed the plate on a two-base throwing error after reaching on a one-out double.

Right-hander Deduno went deep for the Twins, with two runs on seven hits over seven innings. He struck out two, walked one and hit one batter.

The Tigers also ran into a few outs, as they were nailed at the plate on two occasions. In the third, Don Kelly tried to score on an Alex Avila grounder to Florimon, who caught him at home. Fielder attempted to score in the sixth on a base hit from Kelly, but was caught as Parmelee's throw beat him.

"That was huge," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of throwing out Fielder. "As soon as the ball was hit, Parmelee was cheating toward that hole, and we were in the dugout yelling for him to throw him out. Fortunately for us he got rid of it quick and it was really accurate."

Kelly Erickson 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: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:12 pm

Fister flirts with no-hitter in victory over Twins
Allows first hit in sixth; Hunter hits career homer No 300

By Kelly Erickson / MLB.com | 6/16/2013 6:46 PM ET

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS -- With an early lead and yet another quality start on the mound, the Tigers easily worked their way to a 5-2 victory Sunday at Target Field.

The Tigers took Sunday's series finale over the Twins with a pair of two-run home runs from Torii Hunter and Austin Jackson paired with a strong outing from starter Doug Fister.

Fister -- who had a 2-0 lead before he threw his first pitch -- tossed five no-hit innings before giving up a solo shot to left by Brian Dozier leading off the sixth. The right-hander ended his day allowing two runs on two hits over 7 2/3 innings. Fister walked one and struck out seven, throwing 110 pitches.

"He was terrific," manager Jim Leyland said. "He did a great job of making them miss the ball."

"My mindset is just to go out there and get as many outs as possible," Fister said. "Trying to get deep in the game is the No. 1 thing, and I do that by getting bat contact early on."

Fister said it was the defense that was really working for him, rather than any particular pitch.

"They hit a lot of balls hard," Fister said. "Luckily for me it was right at guys. It says a lot for the defense today and that's why we have them."

The Tigers wasted no time getting runs on the board. Hitting second in the order, Hunter hit his 300th career home run in the first inning -- a two-run shot to left field that scored Austin Jackson, who led off the game with a single.


"It's special," Hunter said. "Just hitting my first home run in old Tigers Stadium against the Tigers with the Twins, to hit 300 against the Twins in the Tigers uniform at Target Field -- it's special. It's kind of weird, but it's special. I'm glad I got that monkey off my back."

Three innings later, Jackson slammed a two-run homer of his own to the second deck in left. The homer also scored Alex Avila, who reached a batter earlier with a two-out single -- his second hit of the game and his first hits since June 6.

"This guy, he's special," Hunter said of Jackson. "He's the table-setter. He gets it done. Just having him back on top of the lineup, getting on base, going first to third, stealing bases, playing great defense, good at-bats, it's great to have Austin back and I'm telling you, he's the sparkplug we need."

Twins starter P.J. Walters lasted only 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits with three walks and four strikeouts.

"Right out of the gate, the two-run homer put us in a hole and didn't get much better from there," Walters said. "My location was terrible all day long. The two homers are what ended up biting us, but the location wasn't good even on the guys I got out."

Minnesota did little offensively to help Walters, not getting its first baserunner until the fourth, when Fister gave up a two-out walk to Ryan Doumit. Two innings later, Fister gave up the Dozier home run. Dozier would later double off Fister for the Twins' second hit.

After Dozier's double in the eighth, Fister walked Pedro Florimon. Right-hander Joaquin Benoit replaced Fister and got out of the eighth, but not before giving up a base hit to Clete Thomas which brought Dozier in from second to make it 4-2.

"You have to find a way to get hits and score runs," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It was the third game out of the last four we had just three hits and that's not going to get it done. We thought maybe [Saturday] night would carry over, but it didn't."

After Hunter made it 5-2 with an RBI double in the ninth, Benoit got the final three outs for his fourth save, with Leyland opting not to use closer Jose Valverde.

"That was a huge hit [by Hunter] because it changes the whole complexion of the game," Leyland said. "So we're doing OK. Benny did a great job closing it out. I just felt his repertoire was a little better for the type of hitters [the Twins] had hitting, so I decided to stay with him today."

Kelly Erickson 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: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Jun 18, 2013 12:55 am



10-0: Max matches 104-year-old mark in Tigers win
Scherzer joins Mullin, Clemens with historic start; Miggy hits 19th HR

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 6/18/2013 12:14 AM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Move over, Wabash George Mullin. Max Scherzer can't have your nickname, but he has designs on your record.

He can't have Rocket, either, but he can start being mentioned with his best start to a season, too.

With six innings of one-run ball in Monday's 5-1 Tigers victory over the O's, Scherzer not only became the first Major League starter since Roger Clemens in 1997 to go 10-0 to begin a season. He became just the second starter in the Tigers' illustrious history to do it, challenging the 104-year-old standard of Mullin.

Even Scherzer, an advanced stats fan who calls wins and losses "flukey," had to appreciate that kind of company.

"Yeah, you have to savor this a little bit because of the history of this organization," Scherzer said. "It's special to be 10-0. But at the end of the day, I don't measure my success on being 10-0. I measure my success on everything else I do on the mound."

Mullin began the 1909 season 11-0, according to Elias Sports Bureau, on his way to 29 wins. Clemens stood 11-0 after 12 starts in 1997 on his way to a 21-win campaign and a Cy Young Award in Toronto.

Scherzer, maybe supporting his fluke argument, would be at 11-0 now with six wins in a row if not for the Orioles' ninth-inning comeback off Jose Valverde on May 31 in Baltimore. But then, he might not have gotten to 10-0 without a big strikeout Monday.

Mullin had a big fastball and a nasty curve, according to reports. Scherzer had 98 mph on the outside corner to Chris Davis with the game on the line. When he couldn't get the call on that, he had the confidence to throw 97 mph just off the plate -- likely ball four, had Davis taken it -- to get a Triple Crown candidate to swing and miss.

Whether wins and losses are flukey, the way Scherzer got there Monday was not.

"You have one of the American League's best pitchers going up against one of the American League's best hitters of the time," manager Jim Leyland said. "That's a nice challenge for the fans, and tonight Max won the challenge."

Not since Pedro Martinez in 2001 has an American League pitcher started the season with at least 14 games of six or more strikeouts, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Scherzer's 10-strikeout performance was his fifth of the season.

Considering Scherzer didn't retire the O's in order in any of his six innings, many of those strikeouts came in handy.

Scherzer called his biggest pitch a 3-1 changeup to Nick Markakis that allowed him to set up a strikeout for the second out of the fifth inning, allowing him to pitch aggressively to escape. His catcher, who called the changeup to Markakis, wasn't buying it.

"I think [Davis] was the at-bat of the game, in my humble opinion," Brayan Pena said. "The fact that Davis got pretty good at-bats against us the previous two at-bats, for Max to strike him out with a fastball, that says a lot about Max."

Adam Jones' infield single set up Davis as the potential tying run. Davis had tagged a Scherzer fastball for his Major League-leading 24th homer of the year leading off the second inning, then shrugged off pitches off the corner to work the count in his favor for a single in the fourth.

With the game on the line, Scherzer flirted again with the outside corner after a swing and miss put Davis in a 1-2 count. Pena didn't have to move his mitt on back-to-back fastballs, lining up virtually in the same spot, but home-plate umpire Tim Timmons wasn't going to give him the call.

He came close.

"The 2-2 was the one," Pena said. "I turned around, not trying to show [Timmons] up, because I would never do that, but he screamed. He usually screams before he rings somebody up."

Scherzer didn't say a word.

"The thing is, when you're out on the mound and you hit the catcher's glove, you always think it's a strike," Scherzer said. "When you see it on video, the pitches were out. Sometimes they do a good job of calling them balls."

With the count full, Scherzer set up his best pitch, going with his changeup over the plate. Davis fouled it off.

"It just had enough movement on it," Davis said. "Of course, when you're throwing 96, 97, 98, that helps."

He knew what was coming next. Scherzer had no question. It was just a matter of placing it.

"My best pitch is my best fastball in that situation," Scherzer said. "If I was going to get beat, I was going to get beat on my best."

It was farther outside than the previous two fastballs, according to MLB.com's Gameday, but Davis wasn't taking a chance.

"It was a ball," Davis said. "When you're throwing that hard and you're throwing a number of pitches for strikes, you assume that he's going to throw a strike. I was looking for a ball over the plate. He got me to chase."

Scherzer struck out Davis, Markakis and Manny Machado, All-Star candidates all, in that inning. He fanned Machado twice on the night, and sent down designated hitter Chris Dickerson swinging three times. That's more how Scherzer measures his pitching.

"Pitching on four pitches, generating swings and misses, minimizing my walks, working ahead of hitters, all the other things it takes to be a good pitcher," Scherzer said.

Miguel Cabrera's 19th home run of the year, a two-run shot in the opening inning, gave Scherzer a lead to protect. Austin Jackson and Jhonny Peralta added two-out RBI singles along with Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly off Orioles spot starter Jake Arrieta (1-2).


Drew Smyly replaced Scherzer in the seventh and went the rest of the way for his second save of three or more innings this season.

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:04 am

Verlander allows five runs in first loss to Orioles
Tigers ace gives up a pair of homers in five-inning outing

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 6/19/2013 12:03 AM ET


BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Until Tuesday night, just 10 Major League players had homered three times off Justin Verlander in his eight-year career. J.J. Hardy needed just five at-bats this year to get three homers off him, including a two-run shot in the fourth inning on Tuesday.

Adam Jones was 2-for-26 for his career off Verlander before his three-run homer an inning later.

That not only sums up the scoring for the Orioles in Tuesday's 5-2 Tigers loss at Comerica Park. It sums up the night for Verlander, who lost to the O's for the first time in his career.

It does not sum up the season, contrary to what some might say, but it sums up the feeling.

"It's been a battle so far," Verlander said.

By the standards of most Major League pitchers, even a lot of aces, Verlander is not having a bad year. By the standards he created, an 8-4 record and 3.72 ERA is out of sorts. Whether it's a downturn is a matter of opinion.

"When you're one of the faces of the game -- which he is, and he's a great pitcher -- people talk more about those guys than they do the fifth starter," manager Jim Leyland said. "I don't know if that's wrong or right. That's just the way this game is.

"And when you have a star pitcher and he doesn't have a good outing, it's a good conversation piece for people. All I can do is sum it up from what I saw tonight. And what I saw was, he didn't command his fastball. That was a no-no for him."

Verlander had seven-inning quality starts in each of his previous four outings, and he came within a Jose Valverde blown save last week of winning all four. Before that stretch, Verlander allowed 16 earned runs on 22 hits in 12 2/3 innings over three starts.

"Obviously, you have that stretch of three or four starts where it was pretty frustrating," Verlander said. "You know, I guess I'm always trying to get better, and I feel like I've made adjustments to get to that point. I feel like I've been getting better, better, and better. That's not necessarily going to work towards a perfect game, but you're not going to get better every time.

"There's ups and downs, peaks and valleys. Tonight was just one of those nights where two long balls hurt me. Who knows what happens if I'm able to execute those [home run] pitches a little bit better? I'm not saying that I regressed. It's just one of those games."

His previous start last Wednesday in Kansas City was "vintage Verlander," as Leyland put it earlier on Tuesday. His latest outing was more of a throwback to the rough stretch from last month. He spotted just over 60 percent of his fastballs for strikes, according to data gathered from MLB.com's Gameday app. By contrast, he threw about 70 percent of his fastballs for strikes last Wednesday against the Royals, according to brooksbaseball.net.

He had his velocity early on Tuesday, topping out at 98 mph on back-to-back fastballs to Jones to escape a bases-loaded, third-inning jam, but he had to turn to it early because he didn't have his control.

Verlander lost Nick Markakis to three walks, two of them with two outs. The second walk loaded the bases in the third. Each time, Verlander struggled to get his off-speed pitches over the plate before struggling to finish him off with fastballs. The first two times, Verlander escaped with fly-ball outs from Jones.

The second time he left the bases loaded, it left him at 60 pitches through three innings. That's when Leyland grew nervous.

"It almost got up to the point where I looked up and I said, 'Oh, this is going to be a tough one for the manager,' because he's possibly got 60 pitches after three innings," Leyland said. "As a manager, that's not a good feeling."

Hardy's home runs off Verlander on June 1 included an 0-2 curveball he picked up and drove out to left. After a one-out walk to Matt Wieters in the fourth inning on Tuesday, he turned on a slider.

"I felt like the pitch to Hardy was actually a decent pitch," Verlander said. "It was down, it was a slider, just more middle than away."

It was the sixth home run of the year off Verlander. Half of them had been to Hardy, who joins former division foes Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye and Victor Martinez as players with three homers in one season against him. Thome and Dye did it in Verlander's rookie season of 2006; Martinez did it a year later.

"Speechless," Hardy said. "I couldn't tell you how it happened. I feel like I just kind of blacked out and I'm happy about it."

Jones' home run was the result of fastball command, after Verlander walked Markakis for the third time, this time on four pitches. He barely missed inside on back-to-back fastballs, but his first-pitch heater to Jones went right over the plate.

"He was up there jumping, trying to ambush me first-pitch fastball, and I gave it to him," Verlander said. "But it wasn't well-located, it was up and almost middle, outer half, right where he wanted it."

Said Jones: "We were able to get to him early. We were able to make him mad early and got him angry. That's what's cool."

Not only was Verlander 8-0 with a 2.93 ERA against the O's before Tuesday, he had worked through six innings in each of their previous 12 meetings. This time, he was done after five innings and five runs.

It wasn't what the O's are used to seeing against him. Whether it's a sign of something bigger is up for debate.

"He's dirty," Jones said. "We battled against him. Sometimes you get beat, and tonight we beat him."

Bobby Nightengale 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: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:39 pm

Porcello, 'pen can't contain O's as Tigers drop rout
Right-hander allows six runs in fourth, and Baltimore adds on after

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 6/19/2013 6:41 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Down two runs, Rick Porcello found himself in a jam in the fourth inning. Although there were two runners on base, he liked his odds with two outs and the No. 9 hitter at the plate. However, Taylor Teagarden made him pay with a three-run homer to give the Orioles a 5-0 lead, a deficit the Tigers couldn't recover from in a 13-3 loss at Comerica Park on Wednesday afternoon.


Chris Davis led the charge in the fourth with an opposite-field two-run homer. It was his Major League-leading 25th home run -- he added his 26th homer in the ninth -- and his third career home run off Porcello.

"I feel like I've had some pitches the last few games to drive the other way, and I've kind of pulled off of them," Davis said. "That's something I was kind of working on before the game. He left it out over the plate and I didn't swing real hard, I just barreled it up and was able to get it over the first wall."

Later in the inning, with J.J. Hardy on second base, Ryan Flaherty hit a dribbler down to third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who didn't have a play to make.

"Guys are going to get infield hits, he put it in the perfect spot where none of defenders could get to it," Porcello said. "You deal with that, that didn't affect me at all. I felt really good with a right-handed hitter coming up in the nine-hole."

Except Teagarden had other plans. He drilled a three-run homer to left on a 91-mph fastball. Teagarden's last home run against the Tigers was his first hit in the 2012 season -- a walk-off blast in the 11th inning on July 14.

"I've got respect for him as a player, and at any point somebody can hit you, but I've got to make a better pitch against him," Porcello said. "I've got to make it tougher for him. That's probably one of the worst at-bats I've pitched this year."

Following Teagarden's three-run homer, Nate McLouth doubled and Manny Machado scored him with a single, giving Baltimore a 6-0 lead.

Porcello tossed two more scoreless innings, but the damage was done. He allowed six earned runs and nine hits in six innings, ending a streak of four consecutive quality starts.

"I left some pitches up but still had a chance to get out of there with only two runs, and to let that opportunity slip away is pretty frustrating," Porcello said. "This one is going to stay with me for awhile because I put up five shutout innings, but you give up six in one inning, you can't expect to have success doing that."

The Tigers pieced together two runs in the sixth inning -- a two-run double by pinch-hitter Matt Tuiasosopo -- they cut the deficit to 6-3. However, they wouldn't get another runner into scoring position until the ninth.

By then, the Orioles added plenty of insurance runs to make sure the result was in hand. They added three more runs in the seventh inning against Detroit relievers Darin Downs and Evan Reed.

In the ninth, Baltimore used four consecutive hits to score four runs against Jose Valverde -- including Davis' second home run to give him five RBIs in the game. Valverde threw him three consecutive splitters, including the one that went into the right-field stands.

"Split right into my barrel," Davis said. "The first one he threw me was one of the better ones I've seen from him, and the one away was good location. The last one was a good pitch, it just caught too much of the plate."

Despite the non-save situation, manager Jim Leyland said Valverde needed to pitch after not taking the mound since Friday.

After the Tigers won the first game in the series, Baltimore took the last two games to win its Major League-leading 16th series of the year.

"I don't want to sit here and look like I'm making excuses, because I'm not in any way, shape or form," Leyland said. "Things have to be a little bit better. But like I said, today was a day where it was a combination of things. Ricky lost his composure, and the Teagarden home run was a killer. Davis' homer, I don't worry about that much. But he lost his composure, and it bit him."

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @nightengalejr. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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

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

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


BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jun 22, 2013 12:16 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:07 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon Jun 24, 2013 12:55 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Despite the command issues, Verlander found a silver lining.

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:56 am

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

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


BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:09 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jun 27, 2013 11:42 pm

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for MLB.com.Follow him on Twitter @nightengalejr. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:42 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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–Joe Garagiola


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 30, 2013 2:37 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Cabrera did not comment on the incident after the game.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:18 pm

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

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

BOX SCORE


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


"I got lucky," Porcello said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:49 pm

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

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

BOX SCORE

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:41 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The numbers back them all up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Thu Jul 04, 2013 1:34 am


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

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

BOX SCORE

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

It also had plenty of teammates behind it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:45 am

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

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


BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

Verlander wasn't so sure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:17 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola


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