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ASTROS BEAT BENGAL BULLPEN.....Houston 5, TIGERS 4, F 6/26/09
Posted on: 06-27-2009

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>>caption:  POLLY (M) GAVE
DETROIT AN EARLY 4-0 EDGE<<

@ HOUSTON, TX:

    The Tigers opened a 9-game
road trip by taking a 4-0 lead
into the middle of the 2nd-INN at
Houston, but the Astros chipped away at the margin the rest of Friday night to
top Detroit 5-4.
    Miguel Cabrera's T-1st tape-measure solo homerun (#16) and Placido Polanco's
3rHR (#4) in the T-2nd built Detroit's early bulge, but the Tigers wouldn't score
again.
    Detroit starter Justin Verlander was victimized by his old high pitch-count
problem and departed the contest with a 4-3 lead in the B-6th. JV was charged
with 3-R/3-ER on 7-H & 3-W with 6-K over his 5.1-IP and 118-pitches/75-strikes.
    Third Tiger reliever Joel Zumaya came unglued in the B-8th after former
Detroit teammate Pudge Rodriguez opened that inning with a flyout to RField.
Kaz Matsui followed with an up-the-middle single, then Zumaya walked three
straight Astros including Jeff Keppinger to force in the tying run. At that point
Zumaya was pulled and Freddy Dolsi summoned from the bullpen for the first time
since his recall this week from 3A Toledo. Miguel Tejada hit Dolsi's first pitch to
LField for a sac-fly to plate Darin Erstad with the winning run.  
    Fourth Astros pitcher Chris Sampson only faced on batter in the T-8th, but
ended that half-inning to get credit for the win (4-0). LaTroy Hawkins worked a
scoreless T-9th for the save (#10). Zumaya was charged with the defeat (3-2).
    Houston lead-off man Michael Bourn was 2-for-3 plus 2-W, yet his teammates
couldn't drive him home once. Tejada went 2-for-4 with a 2B & 2-RBI.
    Gerald Laird was 2-for-3 while Cabrera and Brandon Inge were each 2-for-4
for Detroit.
    The 7-game Tiger winning streak (tied for a season-high) was stopped and
Detroit lost a game off its lead in the AL-Central to Minnesota, with the second
place Twins now four behind Detroit.
    Fifth place (NL-Central) Houston earned its second consecutive win.

      DET     4-9-0, 11-LOB       (L) Zumaya, 3-2
      HOU    5-10-0, 11-LOB     (W) Sampson, 4-0; (S) Hawkins, #10

QUOTEBOOK...

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "You get off to a 4-0 lead with your horse going.
But your horse (Verlander) wasn't sharp and we didn't throw strikes...(Zumaya)
got out Pudge, the guy (Matsui) got a base hit and then (Zumaya) got wild...He
hasn't been throwing strikes, and you have to throw strikes up here."

ASTROS SS MIGUEL TEJADA:   "For our team it's really, really big. Now I think we
get some games from other teams and that's what we'll continue to do."

EXTRA INNINGS:

    Verlander is 4-3 with a 4.88-ERA in road games.
    Verlander became the first Tiger pitcher with two sac-bunts in a game
since Bill Slayback on 7/20/1972 at Texas.
    Cabrera's dinger hit three-quarters up the glass wall beyond the LField
fence at enclosed Minute Maid Park.
    The Tigers have homered in 10 consecutive contests for the first time since
July, 2007.
    Ivan Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a 2B & R in his second game against the
Tigers since leaving Detroit just over 11 months ago. His first contest vs the
Tigers was a Labor Day make-up game in a New York Yankees uniform last year
at Comerica Park.    
    Houston designated RHP Brandon Backe for assignment after Friday's game.
    The middle game of the series Saturday night has Felipe Paulino (1-4) of
Houston and Alfredo Figaro (1-0) of Detroit as probable pitchers.

                                                                 ###    
   
   
   

     

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