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Posted on: 03-31-2010

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>>caption:  JOHNNY DAMON HAD


    The Pirates hit Tiger ace
Justin Verlander with a 5-spot
in the T-4th, but the Tiger bats
gave JV an 8-5 victory Thursday
    All eight Detroit runs were charged to Pittsburgh starter Zach Duke (L, 0-2),
who lasted just 3.2-IP.
    Verlander was battered for 10-H & 2-W with 3-K in his 5.1-IP, although
only three of the five runs scored by Pittsburgh in the T-4th were earned.   
After he'd reached his pitch count Verlander (W, 2-3) departed in the T-6th
with one on and one out.
    Three Detroit relievers followed in scoreless fashion with new Detroit
closer Jose Valverde working a 1-2-3/T-9th with 1-K for the save (#1).
    Johnny Damon had an RBI-2B in the 5-R/B-2nd and led Detroit's offense
by going 3-for-4 with 1-R & 3-RBI. Rookie 2Bman Scott Sizemore homered (#3)
for the second consecutive day, a solo in the 3-R/B-4th, and went 2-for-3
with 2-R & an RBI. Ramon Santiago went 2-for-4 with 2-R & 2-RBI. Magglio
Ordonez had an RBI-2B off former Toledo Mud Hen Corey Hammon, who was
brought up from Pittsburgh's minor league camp for this appearance.
    Adam LaRoche had a 2r3B to highlight Pittsburgh's 5-R/T-4th and he came
home on an RBI-2B by Duke.
    The Tigers are 16-10-2 in Grapefruit games and the Pirates 7-18-1.

    PITT     5-12-0, 11-LOB     (L) Duke, 0-2
    DET      8-13-2, 3-LOB     (W) Verlander, 2-3; (S) Valverde, #1


TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER:   "I feel great...If I can keep us in the game, we have
the bats to win any time...If something isn’t working in the regular season, I stay
away from it. Today, things weren’t working, so I just decided to work on it.”


    OFielder Clete Thomas was optioned to 3A Toledo Tuesday, earning UTIL Don Kelly
the final Detroit roster spot. Thomas has a deep right shoulder bone bruise, some
swelling and fluid buildup, but Tiger MGR Jim Leyland said that was not a factor in
his demotion. Thomas will be limited to DH duties for Toledo until he's able to throw
    The Pirates were 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts on Tiger catcher Alex Avila.
    Detroit catcher Gerald Laird was a late scratch from the  lineup with a groin injury.
    Tigers LF Carlos Guillen came out of the game after 2-INN with a left hamstring
spasm and is listed as day-to-day.
    Tiger SStop Adam Everett went 0-for-2 plus a W at the plate. Everett now has
a .073-BA this spring.
    The Tigers close the Florida portion of their exhibition schedule with a Thursday
split-squad doubleheader. The Tiger front-liners will host Atlanta in Lakeland with
Eddie Bonine starting for Detroit. A squad of mostly minor leaguers will travel to
nearby Kissimmee to face Houston where Ryan Ketchner of the 3A Toledo Mud Hens
will get the starting mound assignment.


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