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 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS

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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jul 06, 2013 9:28 pm

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

Hunter knows what happened to his single, though.

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

Bourn robbed Hunter of that hit in the third inning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to 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 Jul 07, 2013 7:36 pm

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

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/7/2013 7:14 PM ET

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Beck is a reporter for 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   Tue Jul 09, 2013 2:08 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

Scherzer is fine with that.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Jason Beck is a reporter for 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 10, 2013 1:56 am

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

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


BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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   Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:38 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:13 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

X-rays came back negative.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 7/14/2013 3:59 PM ET
TO BE UPDATED

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bobby Nightengale is an associate reporter for 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 Jul 20, 2013 2:21 am

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

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

BOX SCORE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Beck is a reporter for 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   Sun Jul 21, 2013 12:03 am

Verlander still not right as Tigers fall to Royals
Tigers' ace allows five earned runs in his first loss to KC since 2009

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/21/2013 12:55 AM ET


BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY -- The search for Justin Verlander goes on. Of all his favorite haunts, this seemed like the logical place to find him.

He owned Kauffman Stadium for years until last summer. When he tossed seven scoreless innings here last month, it looked like he was moving in again. But as he walked off the mound on Saturday night with two outs in the sixth inning, removed with two runners on and Billy Butler due up, Verlander looked like any other pitcher.

"We're fully aware that we we're 2-15 [now 3-15] against Verlander," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "so our focus today was to go out and give him a tough game, and that's exactly what we did."

And as the Tigers stared at the damage on the scoreboard, from a blown lead early to a tie game surrendered in the fifth en route to a 6-5 loss, the debate over whether Verlander was back in form was reset once again. The Royals defeated Verlander for the first time since Sept. 9, 2009.

"This game, there was a couple opportunities, a couple times where I was starting to find it," Verlander said. "And it just didn't click. It just kind of went right back to not being able to execute."

Just why that is has gone right back to the forefront of the discussion. Detroit had other reasons for its fifth loss in its last six meetings with Kansas City, from 11 runners left on base to Aaron Crow retiring Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera to strand the potential tying run on third base in the eighth. All that is secondary to getting the ace right on the mound.

"This is just me -- I don't know what Justin will say -- but it looks to me like he's pitching a little careful," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's just not being aggressive with his stuff and pitching a little bit too careful. That's just my observation."

Leyland conditioned his answer as his own opinion as much as he could, turning a simple theory into a thesis.

"I don't know if it's accurate," Leyland said. "That's just what I see. That's just kind of what I sense."

Verlander's answer consisted of one word.

"No," the right-hander said, leaving the answer hanging in the silence of the visiting clubhouse.

Asked why Leyland might think his ace is pitching carefully, Verlander said, "That's a question for him."

Asked what might lead to Verlander pitching carefully, Leyland responded, "Can't answer that. You'll have to ask him."

Asked what he thinks, catcher Alex Avila spoke carefully.

"Well, he's attacking guys," Avila said. "I think he just doesn't have his release point. At times, he knows where he wants to throw it, but it's just not going there at times. It's just a matter of finding it."

In other words, it's back to the video room, looking for telltale signs of different mechanics, and back to the bullpen sessions, where Verlander has put in plenty of work already.

One point of agreement, at least on this night, was that it wasn't just fastball command, the root problem that has been on and off for Verlander for much of the year.

"He just wasn't real sharp with anything," Leyland said.

Verlander did not throw a side session during All-Star festivities, instead resting his arm before throwing off a mound on Thursday in Detroit. Verlander felt like his body was telling him to take a break, from his arm to his sore quadriceps that bothered him on Sunday.

When Verlander took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning last Sunday against Texas, he looked like he had found a new form, combining strategic power with a savvy on how to mix his pitches as a 30-year-old. He looked rejuvenated, invigorated and more aware than ever of how hitters would approach him.

"I felt like going into the All-Star break, I had three or four [outings] that were much better," Verlander said, "and then today wasn't where I need to be, so hopefully just that time off threw me out of sync."

Verlander did have some excellent outings. He also had some terrible ones. That pretty well sums up his last six weeks.

He ended Saturday's first inning holding a 2-1 lead after a Salvador Perez sacrifice fly, but needed 21 pitches to do it. After an eight-pitch second inning and two quick outs in the third, an Eric Hosmer single, four-pitch walk to Butler and two-run double from Perez stretched his inning to 23 pitches, ending when Perez tried to stretch a triple on Hunter.

Verlander loaded the bases twice in a 32-pitch fourth inning -- the first on three consecutive line-drive singles, the second with two outs. Back-to-back walks not only loaded the bases, they brought around Mike Moustakas to score for a 5-3 lead.

Avila's two-run single seemingly gave Verlander a new game, as he did his two quick outs in the bottom half. Again, Verlander fell behind on a 2-0 count to Moustakas before leaving a fastball over the plate for a go-ahead solo homer.

With six runs, five earned, on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings, he allowed five runs for the third time in his last eight starts. In that same stretch, Verlander has three outings of seven or more scoreless innings.

"See-saw," Verlander described it. "When it hasn't been there, I haven't been able to find it. And when it has, it's been good. It's what I've talked about all year, just finding that consistency."

On this Leyland agreed.

"I would say over the course of the season up to this point, and there is a lot of season left obviously, his performances haven't been quite as consistent as in the past," Leyland said. "I think that's a fair assessment.

"That doesn't mean they haven't been OK. They haven't been quite what you expect of him, which is a little bit unfair too at times because you expect so much. It doesn't mean he's pitched bad in any way. It means he really hasn't been on that consistent roll that we know he can get on."

Dominant or not, they have to find that consistent Justin Verlander.

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   Sun Jul 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Bullpen follows through behind stellar Fister in finale
Homers from Cabrera, Dirks help deliver first post-All Star break win

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/21/2013 7:38 PM ET


BOX SCORE

KANSAS CITY -- Tigers starters have outpitched James Shields three times this season. Sunday was the first time they came away with a win out of it.

They can thank their bullpen for that, which is something they haven't been able to say enough this year.

"I think we're good. We're not as bad as people put us," said closer Joaquin Benoit, whose ninth save in as many chances rewarded Doug Fister for six innings of one-run ball and salvaged a win out of this three-game series against the Royals with a 4-1 win.

Considering how the bullpen was described the last two times the Tigers faced Shields, that's progress. As Tigers scouts continued to look at potential reinforcements on the trade market, the progress they're seeing from the relievers they have is something they need, no matter what they do over the next week and a half before the Trade Deadline.

"That's what we've got, and we're going to roll with it," manager Jim Leyland said.

No reliever in that bullpen has made as much progress recently as Bruce Rondon. When seven innings of one-run ball from Justin Verlander gave the Tigers a one-run lead over Shields on April 25 at Comerica Park, the Royals took advantage of three eighth-inning hits off Rondon to tie it before pummeling Phil Coke for four runs in the 10th.

Verlander outpitched Shields again at Kauffman Stadium on June 12, that time with seven scoreless innings. That became better known as Jose Valverde's final save opportunity, which he blew with a two-run homer from Lorenzo Cain with two outs in the ninth.

There was no such late-inning drama on Sunday. Not much went right for the Tigers in this series, but the bullpen did.

When Jhonny Peralta's barehand grab and throw retired Alcides Escobar for the final out of the sixth, stranding runners at the corners to preserve a 2-1 lead, it allowed Leyland to line up Drew Smyly -- normally his eighth-inning setup man -- for three left-handed hitters in the seventh.

Smyly used up 26 pitches, but retired the side in order, leaving three consecutive right-handed hitters for Rondon in the eighth. Rondon retired Billy Butler on a groundout, induced a Salvador Perez lineout, then hit 102 mph to fan Cain.

It took a high hop off the first-base bag for the Royals to get a baserunner, putting Mike Moustakas on to lead off the ninth. Benoit promptly erased him with a Miguel Tejada double play, retired Escobar, then quietly celebrated.

No drama, no doubt, no complaints.

"We have a great bullpen," said Fister (8-5), who used an effective breaking ball and an emphasis on pounding the lower part of the strike zone to induce 10 groundouts. "We've got some young guys out there but they're coming right along and learning and knowing exactly what they need to do. That says a lot."

Rondon's perfect outing was his third in a row. He has retired 11 consecutive batters over that stretch, striking out four. Leyland says he wants to progress slowly with him, working him into more close situations in the late innings without much fanfare.

"I don't want a lot of focus on Rondon right now," Leyland said.

A large part of the learning process with Rondon comes from Benoit, who has given advice on hitters' tendencies to the 22-year-old fastballer.

"He's coming together," Benoit said. "He's throwing the ball good. Smyly's been good the whole season. So if they keep doing what they're doing, we're going to be fine, as long as I'm consistent, too."

Benoit's consistency has been the stabilizing force the Tigers lacked with Valverde. After insisting repeatedly that the ninth inning is no different from the eighth, he has demonstrated it by posting eight consecutive scoreless innings over his last nine appearances, all in the ninth inning or later.

Sunday's save improved him to 9-for-9 in save chances this year, five of them since taking on the closer's role full-time in late June. What was thought to be an emergency stopgap situation when Leyland promoted Benoit at the time has become an unexpected strength.

It doesn't mean the Tigers won't add relievers before July 31. It might change the kind of relievers they add, and the holes they're expected to fill.

Even the bullpen depth, though, looked better in Kansas City. Add in four outs from Al Alburquerque on Saturday with an encouraging outing from Phil Coke Friday night, and the Tigers bullpen tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings for the series on three hits with eight strikeouts.

Between the bullpen dominance and Fister's groundball work, no Tigers outfielder recorded a putout on Sunday. Tejada's second-inning homer was the only extra-base hit. Four groundball singles and a Perez blooper comprised the rest of the damage.

"Fister was really good today," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He had tremendous movement on his two-seamer, was boring it in on lefties then running back, boring it down and away to lefties and he just had good run on it. He had a tremendous curveball. It's a slow curveball, but it's got a lot of bite."

With the exception of two key hits, Shields' outing wasn't vastly different. The former Tampa Bay ace looked dominant early, striking out Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter to start the game, until Miguel Cabrera turned on an inside pitch and lined it over the left-field fence, just inside the pole.

Cabrera's 31st home run of the year was his second off Shields. He came within a few feet of another in the fourth inning before speedy center fielder Jarrod Dyson made a highlight catch crashing into the fence, the third such play against the Tigers this series.

The catch preserved a 1-1 game for another inning until Dirks sent a Shields pitch just out of Dyson's reach in the fifth, putting Detroit in front for good. Brayan Pena's sac flies in the seventh and ninth padded the lead.


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   Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:26 am



Scherzer improves to 14-1; Miggy hurting
Righty allows two runs over eight; slugger has sore left hip flexor

By Joey Nowak / MLB.com | 7/23/2013 12:17 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- As the Tigers saw durability from their All-Star starting pitcher Monday night, they're hoping the same trait will bring their All-Star third baseman back without much delay.

Max Scherzer shined in his first outing since starting the All-Star Game, but the Tigers' 7-3 win against the White Sox was clouded in part by the early departure of reigning MVP Miguel Cabrera, who continues to experience a nagging left hip flexor.

It was only after the first hit that Scherzer allowed -- a fifth-inning Adam Dunn ground ball that got past Cabrera at third base -- that Cabrera came out of the game. The reigning MVP has been bothered by the issue that evidently hasn't had time to properly heal.

"He has some issues with that once in a while, and sometimes they can stretch him out and get him right back in there," manager Jim Leyland said.

But the skipper wouldn't commit to whether Cabrera would be available in the second game of the series on Tuesday.

"He had to come out of the game," Leyland said, "So that's usually not a good sign."

The slugger was intentionally walked as part of Detroit's two-run fifth inning, and scored gingerly on Victor Martinez's two-run single. He was seen speaking to head athletic trainer Kevin Rand in the dugout before returning to his position at third, where he looked uncomfortable for two at-bats before leaving the game. Cabrera, an eight-time All-Star, has played at least 150 games in each of his full seasons since he broke into the league in 2003.

"I felt something and I didn't want to keep hurting myself," Cabrera said. "I decided to come out, get treatment and try to be ready for tomorrow."

On any other night, Scherzer would have stood out as the most dominant storyline. He certainly dominated the White Sox most of the evening, as Detroit's division rivals mustered just two runs against him in eight innings. Both runs came on solo homers -- Dayan Viciedo in the sixth and Conor Gillaspie in the eighth.

Scherzer took a perfect game into the fifth before Dunn broke it up with the opposite-field single. White Sox starter Chris Sale, who followed Scherzer in the All-Star Game, struck out 11 Tigers over eight innings.

"When you face a great pitcher like Sale, the one common denominator is you've got to pitch really well against him or you're probably going to get beat," Leyland said. "And that's what Scherzer did for us."

Sale, too, knew he had little margin for error.

"You've got to be a little bit more focused with a team like this, with the talent they have over there and pitching against Scherzer," Sale said. "So you've got to have your A game, and it wasn't me."

Scherzer, now 14-1, leads the American League with a 2.21 road ERA and his 157 strikeouts trail only Yu Darvish (161) for the most in the AL. His five strikeouts Monday were his fewest in a start this year, but Scherzer needed just 105 pitches to work through eight frames.

"I attacked with first-pitch strikes all night. I was working ahead in the count, had four pitches going," Scherzer said. "I felt like that made me effective and allowed me to have some quick innings. I kept my pitch count down for the first part and that allowed me to stay in the game. No walks -- that's always a recipe for success."

Torii Hunter singled and scored to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the third, then homered in the seventh to extend the lead to 4-1. Detroit tacked on three more in the ninth thanks to some shoddy Chicago defense, before Bruce Rondon allowed the bullpen's first run of the second half with a ninth-inning balk.

Martinez went 4-for-5 with four singles and three RBIs. After his first four-hit game of the season, he owns the most hits in the AL during the month and is hitting .425 (31-for-73) in 18 July games.

"Victor is hot," Hunter said. "He's the hottest thing on the planet right now. And we like that."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. 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   Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:18 am

Tigers pick up slack in Miggy's absence
Peralta, Perez each plate two; Porcello dominates for seven innings

By Joey Nowak / MLB.com | 7/24/2013 12:35 AM ET


BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- By virtue of an unorthodox schedule, the Tigers and White Sox didn't meet this season until just before the All-Star break. That means they've got 14 meetings remaining.

So, it seems, lucky for the Tigers.

The White Sox, who actually took two of three in their first series in Detroit before the break, have made a habit this week of making life easy on the Tigers. The latest episode was a ho-hum 6-2 Tigers win on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, where the White Sox made a season-high four errors.

These teams have had plenty of contentious battles in the American League Central over the last decade. But with the Tigers seemingly fighting only the Indians in the division this season, the White Sox can still have a say in who wins the Central crown. Lately, they've been doing the Tigers a favor.

"Each year that I've been here and played them, they've been very, very tough defensively," Tigers starter Rick Porcello said. "They've been really, really good. They're a solid ballclub. Today was just one of those nights for them, I think."

Certainly Porcello was the primary beneficiary of the offense the Tigers generated thanks to Chicago's haphazard play, but he was excellent on the mound in his own right. The right-hander admitted to needing an inning or two -- he threw 25 pitches in the first -- to get his bearings in his first start out of the All-Star break, but he settled in just fine after that.

He loaded the bases in the first, but stranded the three runners, and from there needed eight pitches or fewer to complete three of the next four innings. Porcello finished with 93 pitches over his seven innings, striking out only one and also setting a season high with three walks (two in the first inning).

"That first inning was pretty shaky," Porcello said. "I think just not being on the mound in a game situation for a while was causing me to kind of be off rhythm. It felt a little foreign, but I battled through it and the guys made some outstanding plays behind me that really helped me out."

Without Miguel Cabrera in the lineup -- nursing a sore left hip flexor that could keep him out of one of the final two games of the series, or both -- the Tigers scored their six runs on just five hits, thanks to five Hector Santiago walks and the four errors. Chicago has made seven errors in two games already this series, and eight of the Tigers' 13 runs have been unearned.

"You just can't play like that and expect to be in the game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You give them that many opportunities and you're going to pay for it."

Without Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta stayed hot to pace the offense. Martinez, now hitting .415 this month, had a double and scored a run, while Peralta went 2-for-4 with a homer to left that measured 382 feet.

Chicago committed two errors in the fourth -- Matt Tuiasosopo reached on Conor Gillaspie's miscue at third base and scored on a Peralta single -- as two walks and a sacrifice fly also helped bring in runs.

Then Peralta homered with one out in the sixth to make it 4-0, and Alex Avila followed with a walk. Up came rookie callup Hernan Perez -- filling in for the injured Omar Infante, and seeing the bulk of the innings against Chicago's lefties -- who drilled a Santiago fastball into left-center field. Dayan Viciedo mishandled it badly as Perez hustled around the bases and scored. Perez was credited with a triple and Viciedo was charged with Chicago's fourth error.

"I saw the outfielder grabbing the ball, then [third-base coach Tom Brookens] sent me and I said, 'Oh, I have to make it'" Perez said.

In the ninth, the White Sox converted two Al Alburquerque walks with Paul Konerko's two-run double off Joaquin Benoit to prevent a shutout.

"He had a tremendous inning and we tried to get one more because he had a pretty easy inning," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Alburquerque. "But he just had a tough time getting it over in that last inning, so we felt like we had to go to Benoit, particularly in a ballpark like this."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. 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 25, 2013 12:58 am

Tigers pounce on White Sox early with big sticks
Fielder, Jackson and Hunter go deep; Sanchez tosses six scoreless

By Joey Nowak / MLB.com | 7/25/2013 12:12 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- If you'd only look at the results, you'd hardly be able to tell the Tigers have played the last two nights without what their manager calls the best hitter on the planet.

Indeed, Detroit has been without Miguel Cabrera since he aggravated a nagging left hip flexor midway through Monday night's game against the White Sox.

No offense to the reigning Triple Crown winner and American League MVP, but the club hasn't missed him much.

For the third night in a row, the Tigers hammered the lowly White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, this time by a comfortable 6-2 margin. Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter each homered off Chicago's John Danks to provide Anibal Sanchez all the run support he needed.

"We have to give it all," Sanchez said. "With Miggy out, I know the situation that he's got and we need to play. We need him in the end, and he's a big piece of the lineup, but we need to play hard without him."

Detroit has had no trouble this week against its division rival, which has committed eight errors in three Tigers wins. The Tigers have won 13 of their last 19, and 10 of their last 13 on the road. Against the White Sox, they've won 13 of 17.

"All the guys are chipping in a little bit," manager Jim Leyland said. "We had a pretty good game."

Chicago's best chance against Sanchez came in the fifth, when catcher Josh Phegley singled with one out and Alejandro De Aza followed with a double to the right-field corner. But Alexei Ramirez grounded out to second and Alex Rios flied out to center to end the threat.

Sanchez otherwise had very little trouble, striking out five and walking just one. In his first career start at U.S. Cellular Field, he lowered his career ERA against the AL Central (16 starts) to 2.08 and his ERA this year to 2.68.

As a group, the Tigers' three starters this series (Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Sanchez) have surrendered two earned runs in 21 innings, good for a 0.86 ERA. Former MVP Justin Verlander will start Thursday's finale.

"We've got a pretty good rotation," Sanchez said. "Tomorrow, we've got the ace on the mound, we've got Verlander. All we want is to do the best job we can every day."

Danks, meanwhile, was in trouble from the get-go. In the first inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Jackson before Hunter reached on a fielder's choice and Matt Tuiasosopo -- batting in the third spot, normally reserved for Cabrera -- walked. Fielder drove the second pitch he saw from Danks 409 feet into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead.

"The way they score without him in there, you don't like to think you'd like to have him back in there, but they'd obviously be more potent with him in there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

Jackson -- now 12-for-29 with three homers in his career against Danks -- hit a solo shot in the second before Hunter hit a solo homer in the fifth. Alex Avila made it 6-0 with an RBI single in the sixth. It was just Avila's second hit in 40 at-bats against lefties this year.

Bruce Rondon allowed his second run in three games when he surrendered two singles and a walk in the seventh. Drew Smyly pitched a scoreless eighth, his first appearance of the series. Luke Putkonen gave up a homer to Dayan Viciedo in the ninth, before Joaquin Benoit recorded the final two outs.

"We've got to start getting through that inning without having to use [Benoit] all the time," Leyland said. "We just have to do that. Because if we don't, we're not going to have a closer before it's over with. We've got to get some more guys to get some outs. With five-, six-run leads in the ninth, we've got to have guys get some outs without using Benoit. That's just as simple as it is."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. 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 25, 2013 7:31 pm

Verlander hit hard during loss to White Sox
Tigers ace has lost three of last four starts; Detroit blasts three HRs

By Joey Nowak / MLB.com | 7/25/2013 6:42 PM ET

BOX SCORE

CHICAGO -- In the spirit of the throwback uniforms they wore Thursday afternoon, the White Sox put an old-school hurting on Justin Verlander.

Once upon a time, before he was a perennial All-Star, Cy Young Award winner and MVP, the White Sox had Justin Verlander's number. That was the case again Thursday.

Chicago tagged the Tigers' ace for seven runs on 11 hits in six innings of a 7-4 White Sox victory at U.S. Cellular Field. The Tigers still took three of the four games in the series -- two of three without Miguel Cabrera, who's still nursing a sore left hip flexor -- but missed out on the opportunity for their first four-game sweep of the White Sox since 1988 and the first in Chicago since 1980.

It's the first time the last-place White Sox have beaten Verlander in consecutive outings -- he gave up a season-high 12 hits and five runs in a July 9 loss -- since July 26-Sept. 14, 2008. Chicago went 11-3 in its first 14 games against Verlander, before the right-hander took hold of the division rivalry. Heading into Thursday, the White Sox were 2-12 in their last 14 meetings with the former MVP.

"It's testing me a lot," Verlander said of his difficulties this year. "These are things you learn from as you go through your career. Every year is not going to be easy. The last two years came easy for me. This year is coming extremely difficult for me."

Verlander has lost three of his last four starts and he's given up at least five runs in each of those losses. He has just two winning decisions since June 8, striking out only 31 in his last eight starts and never more than five in an outing during that span.

He said he's been tinkering with his mechanics alongside pitching coach Jeff Jones, and was encouraged by much of his performance. He cautioned Jones that he may be erratic for a start or two -- he walked two but needed 103 pitches Thursday -- but saw an uptick in his early velocity of 1-2 mph compared to what he'd normally throw in the early going.

"I know when it feels right, it feels right," Verlander said. "It was definitely the right move to make, especially when you've got guys like Max [Scherzer], Anibal [Sanchez], Doug [Fister] and Ricky [Porcello] throwing the ball well. It's not like the whole world's on my shoulders and I have to be great every time. What they've been able to do this year has afforded me the opportunity to work on some things."

In fairness, all four of Verlander's earned runs in the fourth could have been unearned depending on the ruling of a ball Andy Dirks missed in left field. With two men on and one out, Tyler Flowers ripped a sharp line drive at Dirks, who saw it glance off his glove. It was ruled a double, one run scored and Verlander would go on to surrender three more runs with two outs in the frame.

"It's not a tough play. It's a ball I should have caught and just missed it," Dirks said. "I took a half-step in and when I went back -- I just reached my glove up, it didn't go in. … It was a big play in the game, I didn't make it and that's just what happened."

Chicago scored twice in the first on a Paul Konerko single and a Jeff Keppinger single that Torii Hunter misplayed in right. Flowers also hit a solo homer in the sixth, extending the lead then to 7-2.

"My first at-bat he made me look like an idiot," Flowers said of Verlander. "He hit 99, painted a couple sliders and a curveball. After that first at-bat, I was thinking it might be a long day. But I was fortunate he threw me a couple pitches I could hit."

Three of Detroit's four hits against Chicago's Jake Peavy -- and all of its runs -- came on long balls from Hunter, Victor Martinez and Brayan Pena. Hunter, who left the game late with a sore left Achilles, hit three homers in the four-game series.

Hunter's batting .349 with 17 runs, four doubles, two triples, six home runs and 18 RBIs in 20 July games and said he would have no problem being back in Friday's lineup. Hunter chalked it up to a new pair of dress shoes that fit uncomfortably and gave him some trouble Thursday.

He left the clubhouse, dressed in formal attire for travel, with sneakers on.

"I'm a gamer, man," Hunter said. "I come ready to play. You know that. I'll be in there tomorrow. Don't worry about it."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com.Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. 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 Jul 26, 2013 11:14 pm

Decisions on lefties prove right behind strong Fister
Righty allows unearned run in eight innings, stays perfect after break

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 7/27/2013 12:03 AM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland had to sit injured Miguel Cabrera and Torii Hunter. He had a choice whether to play Ramon Santiago and Alex Avila against a left-handed starter.

It wasn't just any lefty; it was Philly's Cole Hamels. But then, it wasn't just any starter they were trying to support, either.

Doug Fister showed every sign of another second-half roll in this pitching duel, and Leyland's decisions worked in a 2-1 win against the Phillies on Friday night at Comerica Park.

"Both pitchers were very good. We just got the big hit when we needed it," Leyland said after Avila's two-run double provided the difference.

They actually got two big hits. It's their sources that were the surprise.

Leyland did not have a lineup posted a few hours before the game. He was waiting on injury updates on Cabrera's sore left hip flexor and Hunter's sore left Achilles. Cabrera was out soon enough, his hip not allowing him to do much more than take batting practice. Hunter was briefly in the lineup, then scratched soon after batting practice began.

The third change had nothing to do with health. Don Kelly was ready to go at third base, but the revised lineup the Tigers submitted replaced him with Santiago. The initial assumption was that Leyland wanted his lone healthy utility player on the bench to be able to play as many positions as possible.

The thought on Leyland's part, he admitted afterward, was different.

"I just decided I wanted to take a look at him [batting] right-handed," Leyland said. "He's struggled, but I said, 'Well, let's turn him around.' [Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon] thinks that he swings pretty good right-handed. Kelly's been playing against lefties and doing a good job, by the way, but I thought, 'Let's give Santi a shot.'"

The switch-hitting Santiago was 2-for-18 (.111) off left-handed pitching entering the day, coming off an 8-for-57 (.140) performance off southpaws last year. Kelly, a left-handed hitter, is 7-for-28 with two doubles against lefties this year.

Avila's struggles off lefties are better-known, 1-for-39 against them before an RBI single off White Sox starter John Danks on Wednesday in Chicago.

Take away Cabrera and Hunter, and the numbers from the bottom third of the order weren't going to be imposing regardless. With Santiago and Avila following rookie second baseman Hernan Perez, the bottom third entered Friday batting .183 (60-for-328) overall, and 9-for-80 against lefties -- five of those hits from Perez.

That was the trio waiting for Hamels, protecting a 1-0 lead, once he retired Jhonny Peralta to lead off the fifth inning. He fell behind Perez, brought the count back to full, then couldn't get him chase to a changeup in the dirt for a one-out walk.

"You've got to challenge him," Hamels said. "I didn't do that. That was the complete swing of the game right there."

Hamels faced Santiago in the second inning with runners at the corners and one out, and escaped with a strikeout-throwout double play, Santiago watching a full-count fastball over the plate for the third strike. Santiago wasn't going to get caught watching the same pitch to start his fifth-inning at-bat.

"With him, you have to look for the fastball early and try to put a good swing on it," Santiago said.

Santiago jumped it so aggressively he nearly pulled it foul, a far cry from the late swings that plagued him early in the year. He kept this one just inside the left-field line, doubling Perez to third.


With Avila and a struggling Austin Jackson due up, Hamels still had a path out. After firing back-to-back fastballs past Avila up and outside, the path was pretty wide. That's when Hamels made his mistake.

"He threw a changeup, hung it," Avila said. "It was up a little bit and I put a good swing on it."

Avila sent it into the gap and cleared the bases, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 game.

"I definitely made a Minor League mistake," Hamels said. "That's the whole game right there. I'd like to claim it's uncharacteristic, but sometimes you do it. You just can't do it in this sort of situation in a close game."

Hamels has had a few of those. The Phillies have scored two runs or fewer in nine of his 22 starts, and his average of 3.49 runs of support per nine innings ranked 82nd out of 91 qualifying Major League starters entering Friday.

He won't get any sympathy from Fister, 25th on that list at 5.31, but owner of four runs of support over four quality starts of seven innings or more earlier this year. He has made a mantra out of pitching every game like it's scoreless, and this one wasn't far off.

For four-plus innings, his downfall was his defense, a Perez error putting a leadoff runner on for Michael Young's third-inning RBI single. He retired 17 of his final 19 batters from there.

"I feel like every pitch was important," Fister said. "That's the way I approach everything. They have such a tremendous lineup."

With eight innings of three-hit ball, a walk and six strikeouts, Fister (9-5) improved to 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts since the All-Star break. He's 19-5 in the second half since joining the Tigers two years ago, a huge reason why the Tigers have rallied down the stretch to capture the last two American League Central titles.

It's early, but he's looking that way again. His command is better, his pitches crisper. Avila called Fister's cutter as a complement to his curveball, allowing him to pitch inside to left-handed hitters.

"Everybody knows he's a workhorse in the second half, and [tonight] proves it," said Joaquin Benoit, who stranded Jimmy Rollins on third for his 10th save in as many opportunities, four of them in one-run games.

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


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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:53 pm

Scherzer gifted with 15th win in Miggy's return
Tigers right-hander makes history with 15-1 start in rout of Phillies

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 7/28/2013 12:50 AM ET


BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Max Scherzer had to go to work on his 29th birthday. His surprise gift from the office was the return of Miguel Cabrera and an eight-run lead after two innings.

From that point on, Scherzer's latest addition to the Tigers record books seemed more like a cakewalk.

"That's why I love being in Detroit," Scherzer said after Saturday's 10-0 victory over the Phillies. "With this offense, if you go out and pitch well, you have a great chance to win the ballgame."


Nobody is converting chances like Scherzer this year. At this point in a season, no Tiger ever has converted chances like him.

"He's good. How can I say 15-1 ain't good? He's good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

It won't go down with Scherzer's perfect start, but Scherzer's 15-1 record is a first from a Tigers pitcher. It's the fourth time for a Major League hurler, but it's becoming almost a regular occurrence in the Majors lately. How Scherzer carries it through the rest of the way will determine whether he can separate himself once again.

From the moment Cabrera connected with a Raul Valdes fastball on his first swing back in the lineup for a line-drive solo homer to left, Scherzer was in front. The American League's All-Star starter delivered six shutout innings of one-hit ball in becoming the third Major League pitcher in four years to go 15-1, matching Jered Weaver's mark from last year and Ubaldo Jimenez's fast start for the 2010 Rockies.

Jimenez got there by the All-Star break, then fizzled down the stretch to finish 19-8, proving that even a 20-win season isn't guaranteed. Weaver slowed down the stretch, but made it to 20 wins in his next-to-last start of the season. Roger Clemens' 2001 start with the Yankees was the only other time a starter has opened with a 15-1 record. Clemens finished 20-3.

Scherzer is showing no signs of a letdown. He has insisted all along that wins and losses aren't a gauge of how he's pitching, more a reflection of the team's success behind him.

"I live start to start," he said. "That's something I've always done since I've been in the big leagues, and it's just something that works for me. You don't really get caught up in every other thing that happens and all the hoopla. For me, I always focus on the next team and develop a game plan to get those guys out."

The way he pitched on Saturday, shutting down an opponent for the first time all season, it took a lopsided score to get him out of the game, not his pitch count or Phillies hitters.

"Max has been pitching his butt off," said outfielder Torii Hunter, who also returned to the Tigers' lineup after sitting out Friday's series opener with a sore Achilles. "We got run support for him. It was his birthday, so that's our way of saying happy birthday. ...

"Usually he's facing a guy that's almost at the same caliber as he is, so for us to get some runs for him early, he was good to cruise and he did a great job."

Considering Scherzer already led the Majors in run support at 7.32 runs behind him per nine innings, it wasn't a new feeling. Still, that big of a lead that early left even him challenged to maintain his focus.

"You are more relaxed," Scherzer admitted, "but you can't let that breed complacency. Those hitters will get you in a heartbeat, so you have to be on the attack and pitch your normal game. You can't get deterred of what the score of the game is. You always have to be on the attack and pitch the right offspeed pitches. I thought I was able to do that tonight, that's why I pitched so effectively."

Darin Ruf's second-inning double, a two-out drive that seemingly hooked on its way to right-center field and carried out of Austin Jackson's reach as he tried to curve back, comprised the only baserunner Scherzer allowed. He had retired Philadelphia's first five hitters on line drives and fly balls.

From Ruf's double on, he retired the final 13 batters he faced, seven via strikeout.

Scherzer has delivered 12 quality starts in his last 13 outings, including five outings giving up one run or fewer. His earned-run average dropped to 3.01, his lowest since April 17.

His five strikeouts, meanwhile, stretched his streak with at least that many to 21 starts to begin the season, third-longest in American League history. Bob Feller holds the record with 32 starts in a row with five or more strikeouts in 1946, followed by Pedro Martinez's 29-start streak in 2000.

Whatever chances Valdes, making a spot start in place of injured Cliff Lee, had of holding down Detroit's lineup looked shakier with Cabrera and Hunter back from abdominal and Achilles strains, respectively. Cabrera's 32nd homer of the year set off a five-run opening inning that included a three-run homer from Matt Tuiasosopo into the center-field shrubs.

Cabrera, who missed four consecutive games, singled in another run in a three-run second, then drove in Hunter with a fourth-inning groundout to put the Tigers up 9-0. That was enough for manager Jim Leyland to lift him as a precaution rather than risk re-injury.

"I normally don't take my guys out with big leads," Leyland said. "I usually take them out with big deficits. ... In this case, when we have someone that's coming off an injury, it makes a lot of sense."

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   Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:56 pm

Sweep Sweep Sweep 

Tigers sweep slumping Phils behind eventful sixth
Detroit has only two hits in eight-run inning to take commanding lead

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 7/28/2013 6:54 PM ET


BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- The Tigers saw plenty of drama, comedy and theatrics in their latest act, a 12-4 win against the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park that completed a three-game sweep.

Detroit scored eight runs on two hits in an unusual sixth inning, punctuated by Jhonny Peralta's grand slam to left field -- his 10th home run of the season and the fourth grand slam of his career. The Phillies committed three errors in the inning and walked three batters as the Tigers broke a 3-3 tie and took a commanding lead.

"At that point, late in the game, you try to get one or two [hits] to get the lead, and that's what we did," Alex Avila said. "They ended up just giving us extra outs and we were able to capitalize."

Philadelphia had a 1-0 lead before the carnival began when Miguel Cabrera stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out in the third. He disagreed with the first two called strikes and was ejected with a 0-2 count by home-plate umpire Chad Fairchild for arguing. Tigers manager Jim Leyland was subsequently ejected.

"I was surprised because [on the first pitch] I saw the catcher [move his glove back toward the plate] and [Fairchild] said, 'It was right over the middle.' I said, 'OK,'" Cabrera said. "I saw the next pitch like up and away, and I said, 'That's horrible,' and he said, 'You called more horrible,' and he threw me out."

Phillies starter Jonathan Pettibone struck out Cabrera's replacement, Matt Tuiasosopo, on a called third strike and induced an inning-ending popout to escape the jam.

But the first three hitters reached base via a walk, fielder's choice throwing error and a bunt single in the sixth inning. After an out, a dropped fly ball, a walk, another fielder's choice throwing error and another walk paved the way for Peralta's blast.

"I don't know. That was embarrassing," Phillies' shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. "I've seen a lot, but I haven't seen that."

Like Rollins, Tuiasosopo hasn't seen an inning like that in the Major Leagues either.

"I've seen a lot of bad innings in my career. You see a lot of innings like that in the Minor Leagues, but not here in the big leagues," Tuiasosopo said. "I'm just glad that we kept on putting on them. We kept our focus, kept playing hard, kept making the pitchers throw strikes, which they weren't doing. I was glad we didn't give at-bats away."

Rick Porcello (8-6) won his fourth consecutive start, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out three. Porcello went 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA in July, striking out 16 in 26 innings.

"I think I'm starting to recognize when I don't have my best stuff a little bit better right now than I have in the past, and I'm slowing down some situations," Porcello said. "I think today was a pretty good example of that. Really, to be honest with you, I made some dumb pitches and I was able to regain my composure, which maybe in the past I wouldn't have been able to do."

The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games, including the four that Cabrera missed with a left abdominal injury and Sunday's ejection.

"There's some guys like [Ramon] Santiago and Donnie Kelly and Tuiasosopo, they've gotten an opportunity to play and they've stepped up for us," Leyland said. "That's about five out of six or seven games we basically won without Cabrera. That's pretty good."

While the Tigers were fortunate to catch the Phillies in the midst of a slump and abundance of injuries, they'll have to change gears for Tuesday's game against the Nationals, who are also on a three-game winning streak.

"They had a tough day defensively and they had a tough day throwing strikes," Leyland said of the Phillies. "We took advantage of it. We're going to see [Nationals starters Stephen] Strasburg and [Gio] Gonzalez coming up, they'll throw strikes."

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


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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Jul 30, 2013 11:23 pm

Avila's slam off Strasburg sends Anibal, Tigers to win
Catcher takes Nats righty deep in sixth; Sanchez strong over seven

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 7/30/2013 11:44 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Alex Avila hadn't homered since July 3, and he hadn't homered at home since April 30. Stephen Strasburg hadn't allowed a home run with more than one runner on in his career. However, none of it mattered in the sixth inning, when Avila drilled his first career grand slam to the right-field seats to lead the Tigers to a 5-1 win on Tuesday night at Comerica Park in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,880.

Before the sixth, the Tigers only mustered three hits against Strasburg before Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez hit a one-out single and double, respectively. Next, Jhonny Peralta drew a walk to load the bases. After a strikeout, Avila came to the plate and cleared the bases with his blast to right field.

"When you face a guy like Strasburg, you may get one pitch all game to maybe do something with," Avila said. "When you get it, sometimes you hit it, sometimes you foul it off and you're battling. I just happened to stay through it."

Avila, who has struggled at the plate this season, is hitting .250 with a .705 OPS since returning from the disabled list earlier this month.

"I've gotten some big RBIs since coming off the DL," Avila said. "At this point in the year, I really don't care what I'm hitting or anything like that. It's just being able to contribute to wins. That's really all I care about."

Bryce Harper hit a triple off the right-field wall on the fourth pitch of the game before scoring on a single up the middle by Ryan Zimmerman to give the Nationals a 1-0 lead.

"I felt good today but I need to keep working on my command," Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez said. "Like I said before, my first-pitch strikes aren't there yet and I need that."

It was the only run Sanchez allowed on five hits over seven innings. He walked two and struck out one in his third consecutive start going at least six innings and not giving up more than one run.

"He's just that good to where sometimes he's a little wild and gets away with it," Avila said. "You can't ask for much more than what he did today."

Sanchez has made 21 career starts against the Nationals and hasn't allowed more than two runs in 19 of them.

"He is a good pitcher," Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond said. "He is overlooked because he in a rotation with [Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander]."

Strasburg only allowed one hit -- a single to Miguel Cabrera -- until the fourth inning. In that frame, Fielder drew a one-out walk and moved up to second on a single by Peralta. With two outs, Andy Dirks hit a ball that landed on the left-field line and was grabbed by a fan in foul territory for a ground-rule double which tied the game at 1.

Ultimately it was Avila's blast that spoiled the pitchers' duel and gave the Tigers their eighth win in nine games.

"I try to keep the score right there even after I allowed the run in the first inning, I needed to keep the score there," Sanchez said. "I know that I can always say that when I'm waiting for the team to give me run support, like today."

Newly acquired Jose Veras replaced Sanchez in the eighth and tossed a scoreless inning in his first appearance since being traded to the Tigers on Monday. Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth in a non-save situation.

"Veras has got good stuff," Avila said. "There's a reason why he's had success this year. He's a veteran guy that knows how to pitch."

While Veras said he wasn't concerned about pitching or not on the first day with his new team, he did try to shake some nerves.

"Yeah for any pitcher, any professional player, and it's the first time you want to get the job done," Veras said. "It's not to impress anybody, it's just to continue do good things for a team like this."

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 Jul 31, 2013 6:01 pm

Sweep Sweep 

Hunter's monster day backs Verlander's strong effort
Right fielder triple shy of cycle; Avila goes deep, Santiago drives in two

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 7/31/2013 6:07 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Justin Verlander wasn't his sharpest and Miguel Cabrera wasn't even in the lineup. Still, it was no problem for the Tigers, who used 15 hits, including four from Torii Hunter, to power their way to an 11-1 win against the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.

The Tigers improved to season-best 16 games over .500 (61-45) after winning nine of their last 10, including all five thus far on their current eight-game homestand.

"Now that this is over, people look at this like this is a casual couple of days, and it's not like that," manager Jim Leyland said. "We beat [Nationals starters Stephen] Strasburg and [Gio] Gonzalez. We've done something. They're both really good. I'm proud of the guys."

The first three Nationals batters reached base in the first inning -- on two walks and a single -- as Verlander struggled with his command. After a visit from Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones, Verlander allowed a sacrifice fly to Jayson Werth to give Washington a 1-0 lead, but he escaped the inning without further damage.

Jones talked to Verlander about the way he was swinging his leg, and told him it was keeping him a little off-balance.

"I don't think there's been any pitcher in baseball, probably, that's worked as hard as I have this season to try to get things right," Verlander said. "When you're doing that, you're tinkering a lot and messing with stuff, so that might throw you off here and there. But I know in my gut that I've given 115 percent. I've given everything I possibly have to try to get things on the right path, and slowly but surely working in the right direction."

Verlander mostly cruised the rest of the way, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He tied a season-high with five walks, but he also struck out six, which was his highest total in nine starts.

"Even though I was erratic, I was able to grind and battle, and it makes it a lot easier when your boys put up 11 runs for you," Verlander said.

It's been an up-and-down season for the Tigers ace, who has allowed five or more earned runs in three of his past five starts. In the other two starts, including Wednesday, he hasn't allowed more than one.

"He walked a few guys today, but the thing is, I guess when it came down to it, he made enough pitches, quality pitches," catcher Alex Avila said. "And probably his best pitch today was his curveball. He was able to throw that for strikes and out of the zone when he wanted to, and I think that was the difference today."

In the second inning, the Tigers got a two-run double from Ramon Santiago before he scored one batter later on a two-run opposite-field home run by Avila, his eighth homer of the season. Later in the inning, Hunter hit his 11th home run of the year, a solo shot to left, to give Detroit a 5-1 lead.

Detroit had another five-run inning in the fourth on five RBI singles -- by Hunter, Matt Tuiasosopo, Prince Fielder, Victor Martinez and Hernan Perez -- to knock Gonzalez out of the game and lift the Tigers to a commanding 10-1 lead.

Hunter also hit a ground-rule double in the first, and fell a triple short of the cycle. Hunter came a single shy of the cycle on July 6 at Cleveland.

After grounding out in the fifth, Hunter came to the plate in the seventh with runners on first and second. He drilled a fastball to the right-field wall, but Avila was held up at third base by coach Tom Brookens. Hunter was thrown out when he strayed too far off second, ending up with a RBI double.

Hunter said Brookens didn't know he had an opportunity for the cycle until he told him in the dugout after the inning.

"Had I realized, I probably would've sent Alex," Brookens said, "knowing he would probably be out, but given him the chance."

While Hunter may have fallen short of his first career cycle, he has been one of the best hitters in baseball the past month. In July, Hunter had a .374 batting average and 1.074 OPS to go along with 21 runs and 22 RBIs, placing him among the Major League leaders in the latter two categories.

"[Brookens] had no idea, no big deal," Hunter said. "That's an individual thing, you're not looking for that. We're just looking to score runs and win."

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


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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:21 am

Fister keeps dealing as Tigers take opener
Right-hander works quickly, efficiently to pick up fourth straight win

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 8/2/2013 11:33 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Doug Fister gave fair warning to his teammates before he took the mound.

"Walking in from the bullpen talking to [catcher Brayan] Pena, I said, 'Hey, we're going to get a lot of ground balls today,'" he said.

Little more than two hours later, they were done. The White Sox, having watched Fister work eight innings in just 88 pitches en route to a 2-1 Tigers win, had barely gotten started.

"The umpire, he said, 'Hey, does he know that we're not in Spring Training? He knows that we're on TV? He needs to give me a break,'" Pena said, referring to home-plate umpire Paul Emmel. "That's how fast he was, but his rhythm today was unbelievable."

Tigers players who have been around Fister for a while can believe it.

"That's the thing about Fister," second baseman Ramon Santiago said. "He doesn't let you fall asleep."

The way Fister and the Tigers have been going lately, it was another day at the office. Their sixth win in a row was their fifth holding their opponent to one run or less. In that stretch, their starters have held opponents to six earned runs on 27 hits over 45 innings.

They've won 10 of their last 11 and held the other team to two runs or less in nine of them. And yet, none of those games were quite like this one.

Manager Jim Leyland said recently that Fister was a good pitcher to use on a fireworks night, because he could pitch quickly. On Friday, he pitched with such efficiency that the sun had barely set by the time Joaquin Benoit retired Adam Dunn to strand the potential tying run on second base and rack up his 11th save in as many chances.

The resulting 2-hour, 7-minute game was 12 minutes faster than any other contest the Tigers had played this season, and faster than any Tigers game at Comerica Park since Sept. 8, 2010.

"That reminded me of when Kenny [Rogers] pitched," infield coach Rafael Belliard said.

Rogers was a tone-setter for the Tigers. When he got rolling, he would essentially play catch with his catcher, controlling the tempo and using it to his advantage. This was that kind of game, only Fister kept it up-tempo for the entire night, barely giving hitters time to gather themselves.

Fister had 13 ground-ball outs and just three fly balls for his outfielders, and he didn't cross the 80-pitch mark until his final inning. He kept his infielders busy, and they returned the favor.

It began in the first inning, when Jhonny Peralta went deep into the hole to run down Paul Konerko's ground ball and fired off balance to second base with just enough time to get the force out on Dunn and strand Alex Rios at third base.

Peralta had five assists by the end of the fifth inning. Jose Iglesias, whose trade from Boston earlier in the week set him up as Peralta's possible successor, filled in for injured Miguel Cabrera at third base and turned a key double play in the third inning.

They had fortune on their side, too. When pinch-runner Jordan Danks got off to a tremendous jump on a hit-and-run play in the eighth, only to watch Gordon Beckham hit a sharp ground ball up the middle right to the spot where Santiago was scrambling to cover second base, the White Sox had to wonder what else they could do.

"Gordon is a good contact guy and you figure he's got a good shot doing that," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "It's one of those right at [Santiago]. … The game is cruel sometimes."

By contrast, Iglesias' two-out blooper in the fourth inning was hit just softly enough to drop in front of Rios in right field, making Iglesias' first hit as a Tiger an RBI single to open the scoring. It was an escape from an 0-2 count, and it completed a adventurous trip around the bases for Prince Fielder that began with a slow ground ball just inside first base and out of Dunn's reach for a leadoff double, and it continued with a tumbling, nearly leg-wrenching slide into third base on Victor Martinez's flyout to center.

Austin Jackson's fifth-inning solo homer accounted for the other tally.

"First day, everything happened so quick," Iglesias said. "But I'm happy to be here."

It wasn't just him. Once Fister struck out Josh Phegley for the second time to end the eighth inning, he became the first Tigers pitcher to complete eight innings in less than 90 pitches since Rick Porcello put up eight scoreless innings in Pittsburgh two years ago. The same reasoning that day prompted Leyland to go to his closer.

All that stood between him and the complete game was the top of the White Sox order. That included Alexei Ramirez and Rios, who had produced Chicago's only one with a double and single their previous time up in the sixth.

"I thought in the later innings they started to center him a little bit," Leyland explained. "They got a few hits there late and even Beckham on the hit-and-run hit it hard. I thought at that point in the game I didn't want him to see the top of the order again. Ramirez had hit the double. Rios had knocked in the run. Dunn had a couple hits. Those are the guys he's going to have to get out in the ninth inning, and that's hard to do a fourth time."

Fister settled for his fourth consecutive win, the last three since the All-Star break. The Tigers took the quick night.

"He said, 'You guys make sure that you guys are ready, because I'm going to give you guys a lot of action today,'" Pena said. "And that was exactly what he did."

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   Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:03 am

Scherzer stymies Sox to pick up 16th win
Right-hander tosses 7 2/3 scoreless frames as Tigers' streak continues

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/3/2013 11:32 PM ET

BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Max Scherzer lost his unbeaten season three weeks ago. Then he really started pitching stingy.

"He's always had great stuff, but in the past you would get one or two pitches to hit and you would capitalize," White Sox slugger Adam Dunn said after Scherzer's latest gem. "He doesn't walk guys like he used to and his stuff is as good, if not the best, in the game."

The White Sox had another chance at Scherzer on Saturday night at Comerica Park after watching him pick their lineup apart last week in Chicago. This time, Scherzer actually made it look easier.

But then, the numbers show Scherzer to be as close to unbeatable this season as any pitcher in the last decade. With 7 2/3 innings of three-hit ball in a 3-0 shutout at Comerica Park, Scherzer became the first pitcher since Roger Clemens in 2001 -- and the second pitcher in the last 44 years -- with a 16-1 record.

Clemens got to 20-1 with the Yankees before losing his final two decisions. Dave McNally started out 16-1 with the Orioles in 1969.

"He's obviously on a pretty good roll," manager Jim Leyland said.

When the Rangers finally handed Scherzer a loss a few weeks back, his comparisons to those two were supposed to end. The way he's pitching now, it's arguably time to stop talking about Scherzer's season exclusively in terms of wins and losses.

He's 3-0 in three starts since losing to Texas just before the All-Star break, but the pitching behind it has been his best all season. Opponents have mustered just two runs on eight hits in 21 2/3 innings in those outings, drawing just three walks against 18 strikeouts.

The last run Scherzer allowed came from a Conor Gillaspie homer. That wasn't Saturday. That was July 22, two starts ago. Scherzer now has 13 2/3 scoreless innings since.

Scherzer has said repeatedly that he doesn't judge himself on wins and losses, but how he pitches. He's backing it up.

"He's got a lot of stuff going for him, throwing hard and everything," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "But this year, especially just controlling off-speed pitch, his slider, you can see guys catch up to the velocity and then awareness in the field to throw that slider pretty good. [He'll] make it look like a fastball and then it dives out of the zone."

Scherzer's six scoreless innings last Saturday against the Phillies was a relative cruise in a 10-0. This game never got that far out of hand -- three runs actually marked Scherzer's third-lowest run support of the season -- but his pitching never let it feel within reach.

He took three Tigers solo homers off White Sox lefty John Danks and pitched like he had a trio of three-run blasts behind him.

"When you get Max some runs, get him a little run support, he's a bulldog," said Torii Hunter, whose first-inning homer put Detroit ahead for good. "He battles on the mound. It doesn't matter who's at the plate. He's coming after you."

The Tigers, meanwhile, are trying their best to pull away. Scherzer's gem stretched Detroit's winning streak to seven games, its longest since winning 12 in a row to run away with the American League Central in September 2011.

Cleveland's win at Miami kept Detroit's lead at three games with one more game left before the two sides meet at Progressive Field for four games beginning Monday.

"It's all about the team," Scherzer said. "We're in first place, we have to keep it there. The Indians and Royals are playing really good baseball right now and anything can happen so we have to finish the season strong."

The Tigers have their opponents to one run or less in six games on this streak, including four in a row. On Saturday, the only White Sox baserunner to reach scoring position against Scherzer got there without a hit. Singles from Dunn leading off the second inning, Gillaspie in the seventh and Alejandro De Aza in the eighth accounted for all the hitting damage.

Though Scherzer allowed leadoff baserunners in three of his first five innings, two third-inning walks comprised the only real threat against him. Once Scherzer ended the inning with an Alex Rios flyout to left, he pretty well rolled through an aggressive-swinging White Sox lineup from there.

"I walked three. That's always one thing that I pride myself in, not walking guys, but I was able to pitch around those," Scherzer said. "I didn't let some of those guys beat me in some of those situations. I felt again that I was pitching with four pitches again tonight and just keeping the ball down. A couple balls they hit hard, Austin [Jackson] ran back and tracked them down and he played a great game tonight."

Scherzer struck out six batters, pushing his career total to 999. He had an 0-2 count on De Aza with two outs in the eighth and the sellout crowd of 43,906 on its feet when De Aza sent a line drive single into left field, leading Leyland to the mound to end Scherzer's outing.

Hunter's 12th home run of the year put Detroit ahead in the opening inning before Jhonny Peralta sent a Danks fastball into the shrubs in straightaway center field, an estimated 444-foot drive according to ESPN Stats and Information.

Jose Iglesias capped the damage with his first home run as a Tiger, sending a Danks offering over the bullpen and into the left-field seats.

Danks (2-9) settled down to retire the final 10 batters he faced, but Scherzer and Detroit's bullpen never gave the Sox hope of getting him off the hook. Jose Veras replaced Scherzer in the eighth to retire Alexei Ramirez before Joaquin Benoit pitched the ninth for his 12th save in as many chances.

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 Aug 04, 2013 10:16 pm

Sweep Sweep Sweep 

Tigers walk off in finale on Hunter's RBI knock
Win streak reaches eight as club completes homestand with sweep

By Bobby Nightengale / MLB.com | 8/4/2013 6:36 PM ET


BOX SCORE

DETROIT -- Torii Hunter was supposed to have the day off to rest. Instead, he delivered a pinch-hit single in the 10th inning and a game-winning single in the 12th to give the Tigers a 3-2 victory over the White Sox on Sunday afternoon at Comerica Park to complete a three-game sweep.

The Tigers have an eight-game winning streak after winning all eight games on their latest homestand, improving to a season-high 19 games above .500. It's the third time that Detroit has swept the White Sox in the last four series at Comerica Park.

"You look at this ballclub, all cylinders are clicking," Hunter said. "The starting pitchers are having quality starts, our bullpen is coming in and getting the job done, timely hitting and our defense looks good."

Miguel Cabrera, who has missed the last three games, came on to pinch-hit to lead off the 12th inning. Cabrera drilled a fastball up the middle for a single, and then Matt Tuiasosopo pinch-ran for him.

"It's unbelievable. He hasn't seen a live pitch in I don't know how many days, and gets a base hit up the middle," Tigers starter Rick Porcello said.

Austin Jackson then put down a sacrifice bunt to move Tuiasosopo to second base, and Tuiasosopo scored on the single from Hunter that dropped into left-center.

"I thought they were going to pitch around me to get me to chase [a pitch outside of the strike zone]," Hunter said. "I was just waiting for a strike, and he just threw it right there and I just capitalized on it."

The White Sox had three hits and a walk in the first inning, but they were unable to score a run.

In the fourth, Adam Dunn drilled a 92-mph fastball for a solo home run to dead center field, giving Chicago a 1-0 lead. It was the first home run allowed by a Tigers pitcher since July 25.

However, it was the only damage done against Porcello, who allowed one earned run on eight hits in 7 2/3 innings in a no-decision. Tigers starting pitchers have recorded a quality start in 15 of the last 18 games. Some of that success can be attributed to solid defensive play in the last week, capped by some diving plays by Jose Iglesias at third base.

"I'd say the last couple of days, I thought our infield defense was absolutely unbelievable," manager Jim Leyland said. "[Ramon] Santiago, [Jhonny] Peralta and [Jose] Iglesias, they were absolutely terrific. It was like a clinic today."

The Tigers answered in the seventh after drawing two walks to begin the frame. Alex Avila hit a ball to right-center that scored Victor Martinez from second base. Two batters later, Santiago scored Peralta on a sacrifice fly to give Detroit a 2-1 lead.

"2-0 [count], I was just looking for a fastball, got it and was able to hit it in the right spot," Avila said.

Alejandro De Aza led off the eighth inning with a ground-rule double to right field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Alex Rios then smashed a line drive to center field, but De Aza was unable to tag. Drew Smyly relieved Porcello to strike out Dunn and end the threat.

"You got to be able to push them across the plate if you're going to win," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We had them on the ropes early. The last time we faced them was the same way. You got to be able to get to them early and add on. We weren't able to."

Paul Konerko, however, was able to get the best of Smyly with a home run to left-center to lead off the ninth inning and tie the game at 2. It was the first run allowed by Smyly since June 26, which spanned 13 outings.

"I was just thinking about hitting the ball hard up the middle," Konerko said. "Nothing like a homer or anything. Just trying to be ready because I know he has a good arm but he's also kind of sneaky."

Said Smyly: "I looked at it on video. Couldn't be in a better spot, but he turned it around. There's nothing you can do about it. That's why he's such a great hitter. Cap call to him."

Jose Veras replaced Smyly after the home run and pitched two scoreless innings before Bruce Rondon came on in the 11th inning. Rondon struck out three in two innings and earned his first Major League win.

The Tigers have allowed only 10 runs during their eight-game winning streak. Next up is a four-game series against the Indians, who are three games back in the division.

"We pitched well, that's for sure and we were able to win some games," Porcello said. "We want to keep that going obviously, that's not something that should stop now. We need to keep pitching well, Cleveland's right behind us, we need to keep winning games."

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


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


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PostSubject: Re: 2013 DETROIT TIGER SCHEDULE AND RESULTS   Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:14 am

Avila's ninth-inning home run lifts Tigers in stunner
Sanchez K's 11 over 7 2/3 frames as Detroit bumps division lead to four

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/6/2013 12:25 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Indians manager Terry Francona admitted he had a bad feeling about Alex Avila. It came in the second inning against Corey Kluber in a pitching duel, not the ninth inning against Chris Perez in a Tigers comeback for an eventual 4-2 win.

It was a drive to deep left-center field that speedy Michael Bourn ran down at the base of the wall.

"When he hits the ball that direction, he makes me nervous," Francona said he told third-base coach Brad Mills at the time.

Left-center is where Avila hits for power when he's right. He got away from that in stretches and it hurt him. He hasn't hit for the same power the last two years that he did during his All-Star season, but when he connected with Perez's fastball on the outside corner and sent it in that same direction, Francona had that same bad feeling.

When it cleared the high wall in left-center for a go-ahead three-run homer, it sent the home portion of the crowd of 24,381 at Progressive Field from a roar into a rage.

It sent the Tigers dugout, silenced like the offense for much of Monday evening, into euphoria. What looked like a shutout loss to their division pursuers swung within four batters to the Tigers' ninth consecutive win, their longest streak since their September 2011 winning streak that turned the division race into a runaway.

"To be honest with you, it was so loud in our dugout after I got in there, I didn't notice it," Avila said of the crowd reaction. "I'm not doing it to shut up the crowd, but it's definitely a nice feature about it."

Exactly one year earlier, the crowd reaction was exactly the opposite when the Tigers got to Perez for a go-ahead homer. That was a Miguel Cabrera walk-off blast in extra innings at Comerica Park. The Tigers were still chasing the White Sox at that point, but the win essentially put free-falling Cleveland away in the division race.

This time, the Tribe and Tigers are the two main contestants in this division duel, and their four-game series could set the tone for the stretch run, whichever way it leans. The comeback stretched Detroit's lead to four games, its largest advantage since June 23.

The fact that it came from Avila, not Cabrera or one of the Tigers' many other bigger threats, might seem to make it bigger. Yet Avila has shown a knack for this.

The last reliever to give up a go-ahead homer to Avila in the ninth inning is now in the Tigers bullpen. Avila hit a two-run homer off then-Astros closer Jose Veras on May 3 to pull out a comeback win in Houston.

Before that, there was the two-run walk-off shot off former Red Sox reliever Mark Melancon in the 11th inning last year, turning a one-run deficit into a one-run win. Then there was the game-tying two-run shot off Sergio Santos in Chicago two years ago, or the go-ahead shot in the same place exactly 13 months earlier off J.J. Putz.

Add them up, and Avila now has five game-tying or go-ahead home runs in the ninth inning or later, according to research on baseball-reference.com. Seventeen of his 49 career home runs are go-ahead or game-tying shots.

Just like in Houston, the normally reserved Avila raised his fist rounding first base as he saw the ball clear the high fence in left-center field. The boos, meanwhile, rained down on Perez (4-2).

"It feels good," Avila said. "It's exactly how you think it would feel. I mean, I've done it before, so I've had that feeling a few times."

For eight innings, the Indians were on their way to reducing their division deficit to two games, holding down Detroit's offense in its first day without just-suspended Jhonny Peralta. Anibal Sanchez and Detroit's defense, however, kept the game within reach for just something like this.

Detroit's new-look defense featuring Jose Iglesias at short did its part to keep it close. Austin Jackson made a leaping catch at the center-field fence to steal a hit away from Lonnie Chisenhall with two outs and Jason Giambi at first base in the second inning. Prince Fielder made a diving stop down the first-base line to rob Jason Kipnis of extra bases, and Andy Dirks made a grab on the warning track in left.

Add in 11 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings from starter Anibal Sanchez, his first game in double digits since May 24, and the Tigers gave themselves a chance. The Tigers held their opponent to two runs or less for the sixth consecutive game and the 11th time in 15 games since the All-Star Game. They've only lost one of those in the bunch.

Still, heading into the ninth, Sanchez was in line to become the first Tigers pitcher since Jack Morris in 1988 to lose a game with that many strikeouts over that many innings.

Perez took the mound in the ninth having saved 11 games in as many chances since his return in late June, allowing just two runs on 13 hits over 19 innings in that stretch. The Tigers needed just three swings to double that without recording an out.

Prince Fielder, who had a 10-pitch battle, but a strikeout to show for it in his previous at-bat, doubled into the left-field corner to lead off the inning before Victor Martinez's single sent him around. Andy Dirks' walk moved pinch-runner Hernan Perez into scoring position for Avila.

"He's been producing a little bit since he's been back [from the disabled list] to be honest with you," manager Jim Leyland said. "He's been hitting the ball in the gap. ... That's the kind of hitter we need him to be for us."

Detroit missed a chance to add on from there, but the two-run lead was enough for Tigers closer Joaquin Benoit, who retired the side in order for his 13th save in as many opportunities.


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   Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:18 pm

Kelly keys five-run fifth behind vintage Verlander
Ace-like performance backed by outfielder's mastery of Masterson


By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/7/2013 12:56 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Justin Verlander was back, and he didn't want to leave.

He had thrown 106 pitches through seven innings on Tuesday night against the Indians, and he thought he had enough left to stay in for another inning as he walked down the tunnel. When he realized manager Jim Leyland had the bullpen going, he came back out and made a deal.

"I just told him, 'Hey, I want this eighth. If we go three-up-three-down, great. If I put somebody on, you can take me out,'" Verlander said. "And he goes, 'All right, I'll give it to you.' That's all I needed to hear."

Six pitches later, Verlander was back in the dugout, having retired the Indians on three easy outs. Three outs after that, the Tigers were celebrating another win over their American League Central pursuers, this one a 5-1 victory, and a 10-game winning streak.

They had a lot more to celebrate than that. If Verlander can keep pitching like this, they have their ace back.

"I thought tonight was the most locked in and focused he has been in a while," Leyland said.

Detroit has built its division lead while Verlander has worked to rebuild his game. Detroit's five-game lead is its largest since June 17, and its winning streak is the first double-digit run the team has had since running away with the division in September 2011.

The Tigers have held opponents to two runs or fewer nine times during the streak, including the last seven games. Their starters are 8-0 with a 1.25 ERA during the winning streak, allowing just 46 hits over 72 innings, with 16 walks and 53 strikeouts.

Detroit has now gone two full turns through the rotation in the streak and averaged better than seven innings per start. Verlander closed the first turn with a decent outing but walked five Nationals over six innings. This time it was vintage Verlander.

If he can repeat this, the Tigers will be frightening.

"He seemed to find another gear tonight that we've unfortunately seen in the past," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "When he starts hitting 100 [mph] at the knees, and then snapping a breaking ball off, that's tough."

Verlander twice hit 100 mph on the Progressive Field radar gun, but velocity wasn't his problem. He could throw hard if he didn't care where the ball went.

What he did on Tuesday was blend velocity with control. The control is what was missing.

Verlander fell behind Nick Swisher in the first inning, then struck him out chasing a 97-mph high heater. He hit 97 mph and 98 mph on back-to-back strikeouts of Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth, the former on a called third strike. Then he sent ex-teammate Ryan Raburn flailing at a 99-mph fastball in the fifth.

"For whatever reason," Leyland said, "he went out there really aggressive and turned it loose."

A pair of 100-mph fastballs came in the sixth with runners on second and third. Kipnis fouled off the first on a 2-1 pitch before taking an offspeed offering for a strike. The other jammed Cabrera into an inning-ending groundout.

"He was locating it at 96, 97," Don Kelly said. "It wasn't like he had to try to throw 91, 92 and locate it."

Kelly could see that all the way from left field. But then, considering the way he saw everything Justin Masterson threw at him, it's hard to question his eyesight.

Kelly started the game in left field over Andy Dirks based on his history with Masterson -- 8-for-21 lifetime, with a homer, going into the contest. His second-inning single off Masterson loaded the bases with nobody out, but Masterson escaped with back-to-back strikeouts of Alex Avila and Jose Iglesias before a Ramon Santiago ground ball ended the threat.

Masterson (13-8) seemingly rolled from there, but he lost command in the fifth and hit three things he shouldn't have: Santiago's left knee on a bunt attempt, Victor Martinez's right foot on a first pitch with two outs and a runner on, and Kelly's bat.

Martinez's hit-by-pitch extended the inning for Kelly, who sent a drive to right for his fifth home run of the year. The three-run shot powered a five-run fifth inning that included a Miguel Cabrera double off the wall in left-center field that gave him his 100th RBI of the year.

With that run-scoring hit, Cabrera clinched his 10th consecutive 100-RBI season. He is just the fourth Major League player age 30 or younger with that many 100-RBI campaigns. Albert Pujols and Jimmie Foxx put theirs up consecutively as well; Alex Rodriguez had 10 in his first 11 seasons.

"He loves facing me," Masterson said of Kelly. "If I was Superman, he'd be my kryptonite, especially this year, with a couple of homers. Guess there's always a guy. He salivates when I get up there. … How it happens, I don't know."

Kelly doesn't know, either, but he saw the pitches well enough that he could identify each one that he hit, including the four-seam fastball Masterson tried to bust in on him that he hit out.

"Obviously, he's a great pitcher," Kelly said. "I can't explain it. I just see him well. I mean, when you have a guy who throws 96 mph with a sinker, slider, changeup, it's just one of those things. ... I guess I just see the ball well."

The way Verlander was going, that was the ballgame, as he retired the final nine batters he faced.

Verlander said his success was the result of an adjustment he made in his side session, moving his landing foot more in line toward the hitter and opening his delivery more.

"It's not a huge difference, but there is a difference," Verlander said.

He's smart enough not to guarantee that it'll stick. He has had promising gems before, only to struggle the next time out. Still, this felt different.

"I am excited," he admitted. "I'm excited, obviously, to see the adjustment that I made make not just a little impact, I thought it was a big impact today. Everything I've been searching for, I was able to find it today. So that's obviously a huge stride in the right direction."

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 Aug 08, 2013 1:46 am

Tigers push streak to 11 with win in 14th inning
Fielder delivers go-ahead two-run double in extras against Indians

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/8/2013 2:00 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Miguel Cabrera says it's all about wins, not what the Tigers' stars do. The dejected Indians fans filing out of Progressive Field as midnight approached Wednesday evening might have disagreed.

The Tigers didn't just pull out another win in this divisional clash. Their 6-5 win in 14 innings lasted long enough to break Cleveland's hearts twice. The silence that fell over the crowd as Cabrera's go-ahead homer in the eighth inning ruined Danny Salazar's gem of an outing was the first occasion. The emotion from Prince Fielder after rolling into second base on his go-ahead double in the 14th inning, his first RBI since July 31, was the other.

"It's not about one guy. It's not about what this guy's going to do tonight," Cabrera said. "It's about getting clutch in the right time. Prince did it today. [Alex] Avila did it the other night. Our pitching being extended, starting pitchers, relievers, everybody's coming together right now."

The Indians are the team that finds storybook endings this season, but they can't find the script against the team they're pursuing. The Tigers, winners of 11 in a row overall and 11 of their last 12 against the Indians, are simply overwhelming teams right now. Some days, they do it from the first inning. Some days, they take a little longer.

They've won three 14-inning games on the road this season, but none bigger than this. It might not finish the American League Central race, but with a season-high six-game lead for Detroit and 16-game winner Max Scherzer taking the mound looking for a four-game sweep on Thursday, it puts the Tigers in clear command.

"Good pitching beats good hitting every day," Torii Hunter said. "You look at [Justin] Masterson, you look at [Corey] Kluber, who's filthy, and then you look at the Salazar kid, they have great arms over there, but we just don't give up. We're professional hitters. We know how to play the game the right way. And we know how to come through when we need to."

The Tigers built their longest winning streak since September 2011 on the strength of their starting pitching, 8-0 with a 1.25 ERA over the previous 10 games. Doug Fister showed signs of threatening that roll, but recovered for six innings of two-run ball.

He kept Detroit alive for a late-inning rally, but Fister could not help Tigers hitters against hard-throwing rookie Salazar and his 100 mph fastball in his second Major League start. Salazar's 10 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings included each of Cabrera's first three at-bats, and the top four hitters in Detroit's lineup the second time through the order.

"That kid was really something special," manager Jim Leyland said.

Salazar used a 99 mph fastball to set up Cabrera to freeze on a changeup his first time up. The next two meetings, Salazar overpowered Cabrera swinging at 99 and 100 mph fastballs.

Cabrera has struck out four times in a game just twice in his career, and never against one pitcher. Still, Salazar's success earned him the chance to face him again once Hunter's two-out single extended the eighth inning for Cabrera with the tying run on.

"That would've been his last hitter," Indians manager Terry Francona said, "but to that point I would've had a hard time justifying having him not pitch. That's how good I thought he was."

Asked if he wanted another shot, Cabrera surprised with his answer.

"I don't want to face him the fourth time," he said. "I was saying to myself, 'It's time to bring in the bullpen.' And when they decide to leave him in there, I say, 'Let's grind out this at-bat, try to make something happen.'"

Salazar's first pitch to Cabrera this time came in at 96 mph. Cabrera sent it out with similar authority, quieting the crowd as the ball soared towards the seats beyond right-center field.

"The young kid got him pretty much all night," Leyland said. "The last time, he just didn't get him."

Cabrera's 33rd home run and 102nd RBI gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead. Two batters into the bottom of the inning, the Indians had the potential tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position after Drew Smyly gave up back-to-back doubles from Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana.

With the Tigers sorely in need of a strikeout or two, Bruce Rondon replaced Smyly and came out firing. Rondon threw eight consecutive pitches at 102 or 103 mph in the inning, striking out Ryan Raburn, but Yan Gomes handled the 103 mph heater well enough to hit a ground ball to short. With the infield at normal depth, fearing a go-ahead single, the groundout brought in Brantley with the tying run.

Between Rondon, Jose Veras and Jeremy Bonderman in his Tigers return, Detroit's bullpen retired 13 consecutive batters before Drew Stubbs' 12th-inning single, and Bonderman erased him on a double play a few pitches later. The Tigers put a runner on in every extra inning, but didn't advance one into scoring position until Austin Jackson legged out a leadoff double in the 14th and took third base on Hunter's fly out to right.

With Cabrera pulled for defensive purposes after his home run, rookie second baseman Hernan Perez awaited. Once Bryan Shaw (2-3) lost Perez to a walk, lefty Marc Rzepczynski had to deal with Fielder, 1-for-5 with a walk and three strikeouts on the night entering the at-bat.

Rzepczynski put Fielder in an 0-2 count, trying to set him up to chase. His 0-2 slider got just enough of the outside corner that Fielder went with it and laced it into left-center with authority.

It was Fielder's first RBI of August, but it was a big one. The clap into the sky at second base showed it.

"Prince competes as hard as anybody," Leyland said. "He wants to win, and he competes his tail off. And that's why he gets hits off left-handed pitchers, because he battles his tail off."

They all do. The Tigers don't always dominate, but on nights like this, they break hearts.


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 Aug 09, 2013 1:32 am

Sweep Sweep Sweep Sweep 

Tigers roll to 12th straight win to take series sweep
Scherzer improves to 17-1 as Detroit builds division lead to seven

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/9/2013 12:44 AM ET

BOX SCORE

CLEVELAND -- Max Scherzer has spent most of the season looking unbeatable. Now the entire Tigers team has joined in.

Scherzer's roll has put him into the history books. Where this 12-game winning streak puts the Tigers depends on who you ask.

"Sometimes you just have one of those fairytale series," manager Jim Leyland said after Thursday's 10-3 win completed the Tigers' first four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland in 25 years.

The series that the Indians hoped would be their catapult back into this race instead gave the Tigers their getaway. Thursday's finale was the exclamation point, fueled by a six-run third inning and Scherzer's seven strong innings to hold it.

Scherzer became baseball's first 17-game winner this year, and the first Tigers pitcher ever to go 17-1. No Major League pitcher has been 17-1 since then-Yankee Roger Clemens in 2001. Just two other big-league pitchers, Pittsburgh's Roy Face in 1959 and Don Newcombe, have done it since Rube Marquard's historic 19-0 start in 1912. Face finished his season at 18-1, and he is the only pitcher since 1901 to finish with at least 17 wins and only one loss.

Listen to Scherzer, though, and it's not his mark to claim.

"It's not so much my achievement. It's a team achievement," he said. "If I'm going to sit here and take credit for these wins and say I'm the reason why we're winning, I'd be pretty naive.

"I definitely help the ballclub. I'm obviously doing things right. I'm pitching deep into games. I'm minimizing walks, doing everything I want to do. But at the same time, most of these games I'm pitching, I'm getting a ton of run support. These guys are putting quality at-bats together and our lineup is so deep. It's really a team effort every time I pitch that the guys are able to score runs and I'm able to minimize damage, and that's how we seem to get a win every time."

It's the same team emphasis the rest of the Tigers clubhouse seems to be taking. Judging by the results, it's not just the outlook that's contagious.

The dozen consecutive wins match their winning streak from September 2011 that helped them run away with their first American League Central title. The seven-game lead Detroit now owns in the division is its largest since 2011, too.

The Tigers know better than to assume this race is over. They still have enough coaches and players who remember the seven-game lead they owned on Labor Day in 2009 that vanished to the Twins four weeks later.

"There's a lot of baseball left," Leyland warned. "We had a very good series against a very good team. I know what I know, and I know that they're not going anywhere. We're going to New York to try to win a game tomorrow night."

The hordes of Tigers fans that made the trip to Cleveland to see this series, though, left with every reason to believe. This is the team they wanted to see, and they let the home crowd know when they saw it.

The Tigers broke Cleveland's hearts on back-to-back nights with late-inning comebacks. On Thursday, they took care of the rest.

"We came out here and played probably as good of a four-game series as we played all year," Scherzer said. "Everybody played their best -- all the starters, relievers, everybody did their job. And when we're able to execute as a team, when we play well as a team, we can do great things. Obviously that's why we think we're one of the best teams in the American League."

If the math in the standings isn't decisive enough, the play in the field this week was. Thursday was the culmination.

Midway through the fourth inning, Alex Avila -- who later left in the fifth inning with possible concussion symptoms -- was the only player in the Tigers lineup who hadn't reached base safely. No Indians hitter at that point had reached base safely on Scherzer, who had retired Cleveland's lineup in order.

By the end of the fifth inning, after Miguel Cabrera jogged to first base on a two-out single and Hernan Perez sped around from first and beat the throw in from left field, Detroit had reached double digits.

By game's end, former Tigers utilityman Ryan Raburn was on the mound pitching against Matt Tuiasosopo, the man who took Raburn's old lefty-killer role on the Tigers bench. The ensuing strikeout brought the loudest cheer from the Progressive Field crowd all evening.

Most of the Tigers' damage came against Zach McAllister, who delivered a quality start in Detroit in May. He retired the side in order in each of the first two innings, then retired only one of the eight batters he faced in the third. Four reached by walk, three reached by hit, including back-to-back two-run doubles by Prince Fielder -- his third opposite-field double in as many at-bats -- and Victor Martinez

McAllister (4-7) entered the game with a 2.28 ERA in four career starts against the Tigers, lowest of any of his opponents. He gave up as many walks as hits on his way to six runs over 2 1/3 innings.

"I felt great physically," McAllister said. "I felt strong out there. Like I said, I just had terrible command that inning, and that's what cost me the most."

The third inning was long enough that Scherzer threw in the tunnel to keep his arm loose. Those waits used to be his undoing early in the season. Now, he simply cruises. Considering he leads the Majors in run support, he has had plenty of practice at it.

For Scherzer, his 1,000th career strikeout -- a swing and miss from Jason Kipnis on a nasty slider to end the first inning -- was bigger than the 17-1 record.

"Right now I'm getting all the run support," Scherzer said. "I am pitching well, but we're just on a roll as a team. For the thousand K's, that means more. That takes pitching effectively for many years. … And so to get it within basically five-plus years, to me that means a lot."

No pitcher since Face has finished a season with that many wins against only one defeat. Considering Scherzer has at least 11 starts left, it would take a 15-game unbeaten streak to do it. His season-opening roll lasted 18 starts.

His challenges aren't over yet this season, and neither are those of his team. Both, however, are in position for something special.

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   Sat Aug 10, 2013 1:36 am

Despite Cabrera's heroics, Tigers' winning streak ends
Homer off Rivera forces extras, but Yankees walk off with victory

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/10/2013 2:27 AM ET

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- The Tigers' 12-game winning streak is over, but it didn't die without a fight.

Sure, the Tigers' clubhouse at Yankee Stadium had an air of disappointment in the wee hours of Saturday morning after Brett Gardner's 10th-inning walk-off single sent Detroit to a 4-3 loss. But that did not overtake the sense of awe over the Miguel Cabrera homer off Mariano Rivera that extended the game that far.

"They should make a movie from that at-bat," Torii Hunter said.

The competitors in them hated the eventual ending to the game. The fans and teammates in them loved the plot twist of the battle.

"Tonight was special," Rick Porcello said. "I mean, we ended up losing the game, but that was pretty incredible."

In addition, the loss didn't affect the Tigers' seven-game lead in the American League Central, thanks to the Indians' loss to the Angels at Progressive Field. It was the Tigers' first loss in August, but it might be remembered as much as the wins.

Even the defeat showed the mentality Cabrera has been talking about as the reason behind the Tigers' run.

"It feels different," Cabrera said. "I see guys grinding every inning, every at-bat, and nobody ever gives up. We always stay positive. I think that's a very good thing we have right now. We fight to the last out."

Thanks to Cabrera, they fought a little longer on Friday.

Three times this week, the Tigers have hit a game-tying or go-ahead homer in the eighth inning or later. Cabrera has two of them. He struck out three times against Indians rookie starter Danny Alvarez before hitting a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning on Wednesday in Cleveland.

This was different. This was Rivera, against whom Cabrera was 0-for-5 with a strikeout when he stepped to the plate with two outs and Austin Jackson on second base. After Cabrera fouled off the first two pitches, one of them just out of reach of first baseman Lyle Overbay near the Yankees' dugout, he was fighting to stay alive.

"You want to grind out the at-bat and try to make something happen," Cabrera said. "You want to keep fighting, keep fighting and wait for a mistake."

The first two-strike foul ball left Cabrera in agony, clutching his left knee and leaning on his bat as the training staff attended to him. A few fans, hoping to see Rivera's 644th career save, began to boo, suggesting Cabrera was simply delaying the game.

The second foul left Cabrera stretching his leg in the batter's box as Rivera received a new ball.

"Keep stretching, Cabrera," a Yankees fan yelled from behind home plate.

Said Hunter: "You've got the best closer in the game ever, and probably the best hitter of our time at the plate. Mariano threw the two-seamers in, he fouls them off, and it looked like he was defeated. It looked like a movie. He's like, 'Oh my God, I can't walk.'"

One swing and more than 410 feet later, Cabrera went from stretching to trotting around the bases.

"It was down, between the inside and the middle," Cabrera said. "I was able to extend my arms and hit it good."

Rivera's farewell season has left baseball marveling at his accomplishments. But as he became the 249th Major League pitcher to give up a home run to Cabrera, it was his turn to marvel.

"Wow," Rivera mouthed as Cabrera's drive hit the netting beyond the center-field fence.


He had more words later, but the sense was the same.

"Didn't get in enough," Rivera said. "He was looking for it, I would say, but the pitch wasn't that in either.

"Again, you're talking about professional players, professional hitters. You're talking about one of the great hitters."

"We knew he was probably in pain," Hunter said, "but this dude is unbelievable. The more and more I see him play ... I've been with him for five, six months now, and I'm still in awe."

Those who have seen him their whole careers feel the same way.

"He pounded two balls off his left leg and he could barely walk," Porcello said, "and he goes dead central here, which is not a small ballpark out to center field. He's incredible."

Even Al Alburquerque, who was an out away from escaping a 10th-inning jam when Gardner got just enough of a fastball to send a ground ball just out of shortstop Hernan Perez's reach and into left field, was shaking his head about the home run afterward.

"Oh, it's unbelievable," Alburquerque said.

The Tigers had a new game, but they didn't have a refreshed bullpen. Detroit used four relievers after Porcello exited to keep within range for Cabrera's drive. Once Jose Veras pitched a scoreless ninth to take the game into extra innings, Alburquerque was the only option before closer Joaquin Benoit.

Alburquerque gave up a leadoff walk to Jayson Nix and a single to Curtis Granderson. He struck out Overbay on a pitch in the dirt, but the skip past catcher Brayan Pena moved the runners up.

Alburquerque intentionally walked Eduardo Nunez, loading the bases, then got Chris Stewart to look at a fastball on the corner for a called third strike to remove the threat of a sacrifice fly.

He kept the same approach to Gardner.

"He was ready for my slider, my best pitch," Alburquerque. "It was a good pitch. Not lucky."


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   Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:55 pm

Tigers flex thrice; Miggy leads Bronx blowout
Miggy launches No. 35; Jackson and Torii go yard against host Yankees

By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 8/10/2013 6:35 PM ET

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Miguel Cabrera struck again Saturday. This time, there was no drama to go with it.

The same could be said for the rest of the game.

Two innings into Saturday's 9-3 Tigers win over the Yankees, Detroit catcher Alex Avila could look up at the giant center-field scoreboard at Yankee Stadium and see his pitcher, Anibal Sanchez, with 20 pitches. His counterpart, Phil Hughes, had already thrown 53.


One was a fastball that Austin Jackson hit off the center-field fence for a triple to set up a sac fly in the opening inning. Another was an inside fastball to Cabrera, right around the border for the batter's box, that Cabrera had lined over the left-field fence for his 35th home run for the year.


"In the first couple innings, I waited for a while," Sanchez said. "I tried to get warmed up, stretch, do a couple exercises. I think in the second inning, I waited for 25 minutes, something like that."

It was just a two-run game at that point, but if there was a time of possession statistic to baseball, it would've been lopsided already. The scoreboard caught up soon enough.

This is how the Tigers have put together 13 wins in their last 14 games to go from the lowest of the division leaders to challenge the Red Sox for the best record in the American League. Even when Detroit's offense doesn't bust out, it wears pitchers down, and the starters have made a habit of getting their team back to the plate soon enough to have another chance.

"Sanchez controlled the tempo for us and did a great job to hold it down," manager Jim Leyland said. "Obviously, we had some big hits and some good defensive plays."

On Saturday, it all seemed to feed off of each other. And on an afternoon when the Tigers had to bounce back from an extra-inning loss and an end to their winning streak, they never allowed the Yankees a feeling that they were in this game.


"It's something that the Yankees did for a long time," said Hunter, whose three-run homer off Joba Chamberlain in the sixth inning put the game away. "In the past, with [Paul] O'Neill and [Derek] Jeter and Gary Sheffield, all these guys, they had professional hitters -- guys who know how to step up and make adjustments. I look at this ballclub right here, and it's kind of the same thing.

"From one through six, you've got guys with five, six years or more in the big leagues. They really know how to bounce back. If we lose one day, we don't dwell on it. We know how to have amnesia and come back the next day."

Justin Verlander, who gets a chance to help the Tigers take this three-game series on Sunday, described it another way.

"I think that this is the team that we want to be," Verlander said. "Right now I think we're pitching well, we're hitting well and we're playing good defense. That's the name of the game. If we're going to pitch the way we can with our starting rotation and we're going to score runs, I like our chances to win. It's that simple."

The Tigers have had two extra-inning games on this road trip, winning a 14-inning marathon in Cleveland on Wednesday night before watching their 12-game winning streak end in the 10th inning late Friday night. They bounced back from them with arguably their two best games of the week, and certainly their most lopsided ones.

Both times, the starting pitchers dominated while the offense wore down their counterparts and put it away early.

"It's like I always say," Leyland said, "momentum in baseball is the next day's pitcher."

Cabrera's homer moved him past Chris Davis for the RBI lead to put himself back on top in two of the three Triple Crown categories. He's still well behind Davis in home runs, but not out of reach, and he's in a stretch where he's hitting everything solidly, whether it's a hit or an out.

Jackson was no easier on Hughes, taking another shot at the fences and clearing them in left for a fourth-inning solo shot before Hunter's one-out single led Yankees manager Joe Girardi to bring in Preston Claiborne to face Cabrera. His ensuing line-drive single to left set up Victor Martinez for an RBI double and Don Kelly for a two-run single up the middle.

Hughes had beaten the Tigers in his previous five regular-season meetings, but he took his first loss to Detroit outside of the postseason since 2007. He gave up four runs on seven hits over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six, but half of the 14 balls Tigers put in play against him went for base hits.

"When I'm on, it's a lot of swings and misses. But when I'm not, it can lead to some drawn out at-bats," Hughes said.

For most of those innings, Sanchez was cruising through the bottom half, pounding the strike zone with a mix that left Yankees hitters guessing at times. He not only retired the Bronx Bombers in order the first time through the lineup, he allowed only one ball out of the infield in that stretch.

"That helped me when I get the lead like that," Sanchez said. "Right there, you can't feel comfortable. You have to attack in every situation, no matter how many runs ahead you are."

Lyle Overbay's two-run homer accounted for the damage off Sanchez, who picked up his third consecutive win with seven innings of four-hit ball to go with a walk and eight strikeouts.


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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