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BONUS BASEBALL WALKOFF WIN.....TIGERS 6, Toronto 5 (10-INN), M 9/14/09
Posted on: 09-14-2009

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    Aubrey Huff hit a 3-R pinch-hit
homerun in the B-9th to force extra
innings, then the Tigers got a run
without a hit in the B-10th to edge
Toronto 6-5 in 10-INN Monday night.
    Detroit's seventh walkoff win of
the year earned the Tigs a 4-game series split with the Blue Jays.
    Toronto Stop Marco Scutaro committed a pair of errors in the B-9th and B-10th
to help hand the decision to Detroit.
    Curtis Granderson led-off the B-9th and reached base on a Scutaro bobble.
Pinch-hitter Alex Avila singled to put runners at the corners. During a brief
downpour, Huff then turned on a 2-0 pitch inside fastball from Jays closer
Jason Frasor and skied a 3rHR (#15) deep into the RField seats to tie the game
5-all. Huff knew it was gone the moment he hit the ball and did a bat flip before
beginning the trot for the first pinch-hit homerun of his 10 year big league career.
Although there were no outs at the time of Huff's homer, the Tigers couldn't plate
the winning run in regulation time.
    Seventh Jays pitcher Brian Wolfe (L, 1-2) issued a pair of 1-out/B-10th walks
to Brandon Inge and Granderson. Avila hit the first pitch he saw from Wolfe, an
easy grounder to 1Base for what looked to be a double play that would have ended
the inning. However, the throw for the forceout from 1Bman Lyle Overbay to
Scutaro covering at 2Base went off the Scutaro's glove and everybody was safe.
Watching the play behind him, Inge scored from 2Base without a throw home when
Scutaro's muff bounced away toward SStop.
    The other two Tiger runs came courtesy of Ryan Raburn, who led-off the B-1st
with a homerun (#12) and added an RBI-1B in the B-5th for a 2-0 Tiger lead.
    The Blue Jays scored all five of their runs in the T-6th when the first five Toronto
batters reached base off Tiger starter Justin Verlander. Travis Snider doubled to the
RField corner and Scutaro laid down a perfect bunt single to put runners at the corners.
Aaron Hill singled Snider home. Adam Lind then clubbed a 3rHR (#29) to the front
row of the LField grandstand. Vernon Wells followed with a single, but in what would
prove to be a key play Wells was picked-off 1Base. (Replays showed Wells clearly
beat Verlander's throw to the bag and Wells was ejected for arguing the call with
1Base umpire Mark Wegner.) After the pickoff Verlander completed a strikeout of
Overbay. However, Edwin Encarnacion clobbered a solo homerun (#7) 400-plus-feet
into the LCField seats to make it 5-2. Without the Wells pick-off it would have been
6-2 and there never would have been a 10th-INN.
    Verlander went 7-IP to give up 10-H & 0-W with 9-K in a no-decision. Both
homeruns he allowed were on 0-1 breaking balls.
    Bobby Seay retired the only man he faced, Lind, on a flyball to short LField in the
T-10th and was given credit for the win (6-3).
    Raburn was 2-for-3 and Magglio Ordonez 2-for-4 at the plate for Detroit.
    Wells went 2-for-3, Encarnacion 2-for-4 and Scutaro & Hill were both
2-for-5 for Toronto.
    The 77-66 AL-Central leading Tigers and second place Minnesota both won
Monday, so Detroit's lead over the Twins is still five and a half games. Detroit gained
half a game on idle third place Chicago and now lead the White Sox by six and a half

               TOR     5-12-2, 4-LOB      (L) Wolfe, 1-2
10-INN.....DET      6-9-0, 10-LOB     (W) Seay, 6-3


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "That [Huff homer] was a bomb, wasn't it?  That was a big one."

TIGERS PH AUBREY HUFF:   "I've never really done this [pinch-hitting] role, so this is
very new to me...I've hit a lot of home runs in my career, and that felt like it was my
first big-league home run. It's been great since I've been here. I've never been on a
team where every win means so much. This is just a great time...Everybody's always
told me who's been in the postseason, 'Wait until you get in that stretch run. You'll see
how much fun it is.' Man, I get it now.""    

TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER:   "Who cares about that [T-6th] inning?  We won. You
know, I've said it all along, from my first game as a professional baseball player until
now, I don't care what my numbers look like at the end of the day as long as we win
...It wasn't pretty, but it was damn exciting."  

JAYS SS MARCO SCUTARO:   "Nothing to say. Just went off my mitt. That's it."


    Verlander leads the AL with 239-K, the most by a Tiger since Mickey Lolich had
250 in 1972. Verlander briefly took over the MLB lead in strikeouts, but Tim Lincecum
of the San Francisco Giants later posted 11-K out west late Monday night to regain
the top spot with 244-K.
    Still hitting .500 for September, Ordonez has increased his season average to .296.
    Frasor suffered his third blown save.
    Jays starter David Purcey gave up 2-R/2-ER in 5.2-IP.
    Just before his controversial call on Wells in the T-6th, Wegner also blew a call in
the B-5th. Detroit's Gerald Laird sent a shot to 3Base and Edwin Encarnacion made a
super throw to 1Base to throw out Laird. Jays 1Bman Overbay was so confident Laird
was easily out he threw the ball around the infield. However, Wegner called Laird safe.
Again, replays showed Wegner was very wrong in his call. Laird would come around to
score Detroit's second run on Raburn's RBI-1B.
    Raburn banged his knee on the railing attempting to catch a foul fly in LField.
Hobbling for a few innings, he'd be lifted for pinch-hitter Clete Thomas in the B-7th.
    Three of the four Tiger pinch-hitters delivered. Only Thomas, who struck-out,
failed. Ramon Santiago and Avila both singled and Huff homered.      
    The Tigers won on a game-ending error for the first time since 2006.
    Scutaro's foul ball into the broadcast booth in the T-7th broke the headset of
Tiger TV play-by-play man Mario Impemba.
    Tiger closer Fernando Rodney began serving a 2-game suspension Monday night.
Rodney's appeal of a 3-game ban for throwing the game ball into the Tampa Bay press
box on SEPT 4TH resulted in a one game reduction in the penalty.     
    The Tigers begin a 3-game home series vs Kansas City Tuesday night. Detroit
probable pitchers are Jarrod Washburn (9-8, 1-2 with Detroit), Eddie Bonine (ND)
and Edwin Jackson (12-6). The Royals are scheduled to toss Robinson Tejeda (2-1),
Lenny DiNardo (ND) and Zack Greinke (13-8).
    Recently diagnosed with inoperable cancer, Tigers HoFame broadcaster Ernie
Harwell will attend Wednesday night's game to say thank you for thousands of well

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