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A TIE FOR ST. PAT'S DAY.....Houston 1, TIGERS 1 (11-INN), T 3/17/09
Posted on: 03-17-2009

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>>caption:  VERLANDER GROUNDED
THE ASTROS TUESDAY<<

@ JOKER MARCHANT STADIUM:

    Although the game itself produced
no conclusive result, the Tigers had
their best pitching performance of
the exhibition season in a 1-all, 11-INN
tie with the Houston Astros Tuesday afternoon.
    Justin Verlander became the first Detroit hurler to go more than 4-plus
innings, pitching six full frames and facing only four more than the minumum
18 batters for a half dozen innings.
    After a string of inconsisent performances Verlander allowed just 1-R/1-ER
on 1-H & 3-W with a balk and 2-K to lower his Grapefruit ERA to 4.11. Verlander
retired the first seven and the last nine men he faced and needed only 68-
pitches to complete his mission.
    Casey Fein, Scott Wiliamson, Fu-Te Ni, Eddie Bonine and Kyle Bloom followed
JV to the Tiger hill with a scoreless relief inning each. The six Detroit pitchers
allowed only a combined 3-H.
    Former Tiger RHP Brian Moehler continued his impressive spring for Houston.
Moehler pitched the first 5-IP in scoreless fashion, scattering 4-H & 1-W with 3-K
to decrease his ERA to just 1.64.
    The only runs in the contest came in the T-4th when a Greg Blum sac-fly plated
Hunter Pence for the Astros (when Tiger 2Bman Placido Polanco fell over catchng
the tricky pop-fly) and via a solo homerun by Detroit 2Base prospect Scott Sizemore
(#2) off Houston prospect reliever Gilbert DeLaVara in the B-8th.  
    The only batter in the ballgame with multiple basehits was Toledo OFielder
Timo Perez, who went 2-for-5. Perez is 6-for-10 in the lead-off spot the last two
days giving him a .409-BA in exhibition action.
    Detroit is now 7-9-1 in Grapefruit games and 9-10-1 in all their Florida exhibitions.
Houston is a horrid 1-14-3 in Grapefruit action.

                  HOU     1-3-1, 6-LOB
11-INN.....DET      1-7-0, 10-LOB                

EXTRA INNINGS:

    Pence came out of the game as a precautionary measure due to a left knee bruise.
    The Tigers have their second of three off-days on the exhibition schedule Wednesday,
but will toss RHPs Edwin Jackson & Fernando Rodney in a Tigertown intrasquad game.
    Thursday night Detroit visits the Atlanta Braves at Disney World with RHP Jeremy
Bonderman schduled to make his 2009 exhibition debut as the Tiger starter with struggling
LHP Dontrelle Willis also slated to toss in relief. That game will be the second of four
exhibition cablecasts by FSN-Detroit.

WBC:

    Team USA avoided elimination and advanced to the semi-finals with a 3-R/B-9th
and a walkoff win against Puerto Rico Tuesday night in Miami.
    Puerto Rico was undefeated in the tournament with just two runs allowed until
back-to-back defeats to Venezuela and the US on Monday and Tuesday ousted PR
from the tourney.
    Kevin Youkilis drew a 1-out bases-loaded walk and David Wright followed to
slice a 2r1B (his third hit of the game) down the RField line to cap the winning rally.
    Tiger Curtis Granderson entered the game as a pinch-runner in the B-8th,
then went to CField for an inning and had no at-bat.
    Former Tiger Pudge Rodriguez went 0-for-1 with 3-W & 2-R for Puerto Rico,
ending his tournament with an even .500-BA.
    Team USA plays Venezuela Wednesday night for seeding purposes only as
both are aleady assured of half of the final four spots.

                                                                    ###  


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