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FANS CHEER ERNIE AND A TIGER WIN.....TIGERS 4, Kansas City 3, W 9/16/09
Posted on: 09-16-2009

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    it would have to be considered
unique for a Mid-3rd-INN interruption
of play to overshadow a comeback
victory for the home team in the heat
of a playoff race, but then Ernie Harwell
is a unique individual.
    A video tribute and the applause of
Tiger fans honored the HoFame announcer
Wednesday night. Then, trailing 3-0, the
Tigers rallied to edge the Royals 4-3.
    Harwell's emotional thank-you to the Tigers and the 25,400 fans for thousands
of well wishes which followed the recent announcement the 91-year old Harwell has
inoperable cancer was done with the class and dignity Harwell is famous for.
    Shortly after Harwell's Mid-3rd on-field appearance the Tigers began their
comeback to beat the Royals for the first time in their last six meetings.
    The victory was necessary because Minnesota had already won a matinee game.
Thus, the AL-Central leading Tigers (78-67) stayed four and a half games ahead of
the second place Twins. A late night loss by Chicago kept the third place White Sox
six and a half games back.  
    The Royals took a 3-0 lead off Tiger starter Eddie Bonine, the Toledo call-up
who was thrust into the Detroit stretch run rotation by injuries to Jarrod Washburn,
Nate Robertson and Armando Galarraga. In his second start for Detroit this year
Bonine allowed 3-R/3-ER on 6-H & 1-W with 2-K in 5-IP in fighting a holding action
until the anemic Tiger offense could thaw its bats.
    Just before Ernie's address, Mitch Maier's RBI-1B to shallow LField in the T-3rd
scored Alex Gordon from 3Base. However, when Yuniesky Betancourt attempted to
come home from 2Base on the play, he was easily thrown out at the plate by Detroit's
Ryan Raburn to end the inning.
    The Royals did get a pair in the T-4th on Miguel Olivo's RBI-1B and a sac-fly
from Gordon.
    The Tigers began their comeback in the B-4th when Curtis Granderson's 1-out,
RBI-1B to RField (the third hit of the inning) scored Marcus Thames from 2Base
on the throw home. Adam Everett soon followed with a 2-out RBI-2B down the
3Base line to plate Brandon Inge and make it 3-2.
    The Tigers got another pair to tie and go ahead in the B-6th. Everett's RBI-INF-!B
brought in Granderson from third to tie the contest. That third consecutive basehit
chased KC starter Lenny DiNardo (0-1). Jamey Wright came on in relief to strike-out
pinch-hitter Aubrey Huff for the second out of the inning. Placido Polanco then poked
an RBI-1B to short RCField to bring home inherited runner Gerald Laird from 3Base
with what proved to be the winning run.
    Zach Miner relieved Bonine in the T-6th and was in the right place at the right
time to go a scoreless frame and get the win (7-5).
    Working in his second relief frame, Bobby Seay was tagged for a pair of basehits
to put runners at the corners with nobody out in the T-8th. Brandon Lyon bailed out
Seay and the Tigers by retiring the next three batters without allowing a run.
    Fernando Rodney had a rare 1-2-3/T-9th to earn the save (#33).
    Miguel Cabrera was 2-for-3 with Polanco, Granderson & Everett all 2-for-4 at
the plate for Detroit.
    Maier was 3-for-4 for the Royals.
    KC       3-10-1, 5-LOB       (L) DiNardo, 0-1
    DET     4-10-0, 10-LOB     (W) Miner, 7-5; (S) Rodney, #33      


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "I thought Bonine did a real good job...I thought the key
was Bonine keeping us in the game...Lyon was unbelievable...Tonight [Rodney] had
a nice clean 1-2-3 [B-9th]."

TIGERS SS ADAM EVERETT:   "I don't know how to explain it. They've been beating
us up pretty good and to get a win, and win in that fashion, was big for us."

TIGERS SP EDDIE BONINE:   "I kept [the ball] down and they hit it on the ground...
Great defense...was the the difference in the game...We all just wanna contribute
in any way possible...We got a win. That's all that matters."

TIGRS RP BOBBY SEAY:   "Obviously, what Lyon did tonight was game saving...The
game was really determined in the eighth inning."

TIGERS CA GERALD LAIRD:   "We pitched, we made plays and we got timely hits...
Lyon came in and shut the door."

ROYALS MGR TREY HILLMAN:   "Situational hitting and defense -- were weren't good
at either one and it cost us."


    KC lead-off man David DeJesus went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 16
games, which tied his career-high.
    Wednesday afternoon the Tigers reinstated RHP Alfredo Figaro from the 15-day
DL to help an overworked bullpen. Sidelined since June 28th with a right wrist sprain,
Figaro had five relief appearances for 2A Erie during injury rehab with a 1-1 record,
a 0.75-ERA and 10-K in 12-IP. Figaro had a 1-1 record with a 7.36-ERA in two June
spot starts for Detroit prior to his injury.
    The Tigers honored World War II veterans prior to the game and a restored
B-17 bomber did a fly-over during the national anthem. It was a coincidental but
fitting tribute on a night where WWII U.S. Marine Harwell was also saluted.
    Thursday afternoon's rubber game of the series has RHanders Edwin Jackson
(12-6) of Detroit and Zack Greinke (13-8) of Kansas City listed as probable pitchers.


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