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TIGS SHUT DOWN TRIBE.....TIGERS 10, Cleveland 1, S 7/12/09
Posted on: 07-12-2009

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>>caption:  THOMAS (L) FOLLOWS
THAMES (R) TO THE PLATE ON
CLETE'S 3rHR<<

@ COMERICA PARK:

    Clete Thomas collected a career-
high 5-RBIs, Brandon Inge hit a pair
of homers and Justin Verlander threw
seven shutout innings as the Tigers
beat the Indians 10-1 Sunday afternoon
to win their weekend series 2-1.
    Not to be left out of the fun, Marcus Thames went 4-for-4 at the plate.
    Thomas fell just a double shy of the cycle, Inge entered his Monday night MLB
All-Star "Home Run Derby" appearance with a team leading 21 homers and JV tied
San Francisco's Tim Lincecum for the MLB lead in strikeouts with 149.
    Thames led-off the B-2nd with a single to LField and scored on Thomas' triple
to the RCField gap. However, Thomas was stranded at third when Cleveland starter
Tomo Ohka retired the next three Detroiters.
    The Tigers broke the game open and chased Ohka (L, 0-3) from the mound with
a 4-R/B-4th. Thomas hit a 3rHR (#5) to the visitors bullpen in LCField and Inge
followed with a solo shot (#20) to LField. Ohka allowed 5-R/5-ER on 5-H & 1-W in
his 3.2-ip to remain winless in the majors since 2007.
    Detroit tatooed first Tribe reliever Mike Gosling for a 3-R/B-5th. Thames doubled
to the LField corner, scored on a Thomas RBI-1B to RField and Thomas trotted home
on Inge's 2rHR (#21) to the LField seats.
    The Tigers tacked on two more runs off third Indians pitcher Winston Abreu in
the B-6th. Thames got an RBI-1B and another run also scored on the play when
Thames' bases-loaded knock to deep SStop was mishandled by Indian Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cleveland MGR Eric Wedge was unhappy with Cabrera's effort on the play and removed
him for a pinch-hitter the next half inning.
    Meantime, Verlander buzzed along scattering 5-H & 3-W with 8-K in 7-IP.
The only time Verlander was in danger of losing his shutout was in his final inning
of work when the Tribe loaded the bases with 1-out on two walks sandwiched around
a double by Ryan Garko. Verlander proceeded to strike-out the next two Tribesmen
to end the frame and, in fact, struck-out the side in the T-7th to finish with a flourish.
    Verlander became Detroit's first 10-game winner this season (10-4), winning
10 games before the All-Star break for the third time in his career.
    Bobby Seay tossed a scoreless T-8th with 1-K for Detroit.
    The whitewash ended when Zach Miner (1-K in IP) allowed a double to Luis
Valbuena plus three walks, including a bases-loaded free pass to Jamey Carroll
in the T-9th.
    Tigers rookie LHP Fu-Te Ni came in to record the final two outs.   
    Thames had 3-R & 1-RBI to go with his 4-for-4 effort. Thomas was 3-for-4
with 2-R & 5-RBI. Inge went 2-for-4 with 2-R & 3-RBI. The Detroit 4-5-6 hitters
were a combined 9-for-12 with 7-R, 9-RBI, a double, triple and three homeruns.
    Thomas' only out came in the B-6th on an up-the-middle liner knocked down by
Cleveland hurler Abreau, who tossed Thomas out at first.      
    Grady Sizemore went 2-for-5 as the only Indians hitter with multiple safeties.      
    The near-sellout audience of 39,680 watched the AL-Central leading Tigers
enter the All-Star break at 48-39. When Minnesota beat Chicago Sunday the third
place White Sox fell back to three an d a half games behind Detroit while the Twins
remained four behind.
    After losing 11-of-16 and 19-of-26 the last place Indians are 35-54 and 14 games
off Detroit's pace.

    CLE      1-7-1, 11-LOB      (L) Ohka, 0-3
    DET     10-13-1, 5-LOB     (W) Verlander, 10-4      

QUOTEBOOK...

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "Thomas was a bonfire, not a spark. He looks good...
He's staying in the strike zone better. He's shortened up some (on his swing), but
I think the main thing is he's staying on the ball. He's not pulling off the ball...he's
swinging at strikes...(Verlander's) been pretty special this year. That's why he's
getting on that plane to St. Louis (for the All-Star Game)."

TIGERS RF CLETE THOMAS:   ""I'm seeing the ball pretty good. I had to step out of
the box there (when he thought about a possible cycle in the B-6th) and go back to
taking the same approach I had all game...I thought about the double when I came
up the last time...This was just a great day. You almost hate to have a break when
you are on a roll."

TIGERS 3B BRANDON INGE:   "The production is there, it's just a matter of us getting
timely hits. Sometimes we just need a little more focus ... those one or two times a
game where we can drive in runs can make the difference...I'm also not sure how I've
gotten to 21 (HR) in the first place. I'm just trying to play hard and still have fun, and that
will be my plan for St. Louis too (in Monday's Homerun Derby and  Tuesday's All-Star
Game)."

TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER:   "I thought I threw the ball pretty well, but the guys
make it pretty easy when they put up 10 runs."

INDIANS SP TOMO OHKA:   "My fastball was up. I felt OK, but I kept making bad pitches."

INDIAND MGR ERIC WEDGE:   "We've seen a pitcher this year that has been about as
good against one team as you can be. When (Verlander's) got all three of his pitches
going, he's as good as anyone, and that's what happened today...(Cleveland's season
has) been a disappointment . There's a long way to go, and I still feel good about the
lineup we are putting out there every day, but we've got to improve the rotation and
our bullpen."

EXTRA INNINGS:

    The Tigers are 11-3 on Sundays and 7-2 vs Cleveland this year. Detroit's 27-13
home record at the break is its best 40-game start since the 1984 World Series
Championship season.
    Verlander improved to 3-0 vs Cleveland this year with 30-K & 1-ER in 23-IP.
Entering the season with only four career victories vs the Tribe (who beat JV in his
2005 MLB debut), Verlander is now 7-10 lifetime against Cleveland.
    Verlander's 149-Ks are the most by a Tiger at the All-Star break since Mickey
Lolich had 156 in 1972.
    Inge's two dingers gave him his fifth MLB career multi-homerun game.
    Thomas tripled and homered in 2-ABs against Ohka Sunday. Thomas went 0-for-2
vs Ohka when Ohka threw 6-IP and got the victory for Columbus when the Clippers
edged the Mud Hens on April 16th in Toledo's 2009 home opener.
    Thomas' last cycle was vs Arkansas while playing for Auburn.  

FARM REPORT:

    The Toledo Mud Hens entered the All-Star break with a 4-2 Sunday evening
home win over the Indianapolis Indians, leap-frogging Indy into second place in
the IL-West standings.
    The Hens snapped a scoreless tie in the B-4th when they got their first three
hits of the game, back-to-back doubles by Will Rhymes and Brent Dlugach (RBI) and
an RBI-1B from recently demoted Don Kelly, all with none out. Toledo added another
pair in the B-5th when Mike Hessman was HBP for the second time in the game,
scored all the way from first on an RBI-2B by Dane Sardinha and Sardinha plated on
an RBI-2B by Rhymes.
    In his second start since being signed as a free agent earlier this month, RHP
Nate Bump went 7.1 shutout innings for the win (2-0). When first Toledo reliever
Kris Regas allowed a 2rHR to Indy's Steve Pearce (#12) in the T-9th, Casey Fien
came on to record the final three outs for the save (#8).
    Toledo INF Scott Sizemore went 1-for-2 with 1-K as a pinch-hitter/DH for Team
USA when the Americans were edged 7-6 by the Worlds squad in the "Futures" game
on All-Star week Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. Sizemore stranded a trio of runners
including two in scoring position as the US team had 11-LOB.
      
COACH KURT

                                                             ###

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