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Posted on: 04-22-2010

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>>caption:  MATSUI (#55) HITS IT BACK


    Wednesday night they scored late,
Thursday night they scored early and
the Tigers managed a split of the 4-game
series at the LA Angels of Anaheim by
winning the last two times.
    Thursday the Tigers gave ace Justin Verlander his first victory of the season in a
5-4 contest, even though JV lasted just the minimum 5-IP to get the decision (1-1).
    Four Detroit relievers combined for four sometimes nervous but scoreless
innings, extending the Tigs' scoreless bullpen stretch to 15.2-IP.
    Bengal batters were double trouble for the Halos hurlers with seven of the
11 Detroit basehits being two-baggers.    
    Verlander threw 125 pitches/85 strikes in his 5-IP, but was doomed to an
early departure when the Angels fouled-off 36 of JV's pitches, 24 fouls coming
after Verlander had two strikes on the opposing hitter.
    Verlander allowed 4-R/4-ER on 6-H & 4-W with 4-K.
    Detroit scored twice in the T-1st off Angels starter Joe Saunders when Johnny
Damon singled with 1-out and scored from 1Base on an RBI-2B by Magglio Ordonez,
then Maggs came home with 2-out on an RBI-1B to short LField off the bat of Carlos
Guillen. Both times Detroit ran on the arm of usual DH Hideki Matsui, playing LField
for just the second time this year and second time in two seasons.
    The Angels came right back to tie in the B-1st in a 36 pitch inning by Verlander
that set the tone for his night. Twice the Halos loaded the bases in that frame,
scoring the first time they did so on a 2r1B by Kendry Morales.
    Gerald Laird doubled to start the T-2nd, was sac-bunted to third by Scott Sizemore
and sac-flied home by Adam Everett to make it 3-2.
    Detroit made it 5-2/T-3rd on an RBI-2B by Miguel Cabrera and an RBI-G'out from
Guillen as Saunders (L, 1-3) made an early exit.
    Mike Napoli had an RBI-1B in the B-3rd for Anaheim to put the score at 5-3.
    Detroit ran itself out of a threat in the T-4th when Austin Jackson was an easy
out attempting to steal 3Base. An unfortunate incident cost the Tigers a run to end
the T-5th when Guillen fell down rounding third as his hamstring gave out and he was
easily tagged out when he rose and limped toward the plate.
    Matsui fouled off a host of Verlander pitches before slugging a solo homer (#4) to
the base of the rock pile in LCField that got the Angels within 5-4/B-5th.  
    The Angels mounted a threat to tie in the B-7th when Bobby Abreu doubled with
one out and moved to third on the second out off Joel Zumaya in Zoom's second inning
of relief. Lefty Phil Coke came on to get ex-Yankee teammate Matsui to groundout to
second to end the frame.  
    The Angels loaded the bases in the B-8th on a bloop single by Morales off Coke,
then an INF-1B by pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick, a passed ball to Laird to move the runners
up and a hit batsman of pinch-hitter Juan Rivera, all by third Tiger reliever Ryan Perry.
But in between all that Perry struck-out the side to keep Detroit out front.
    Detroit loaded the bases in the T-9th on a Damon lead-off double and 1-out walks to
Cabrera (intentional) and Don Kelly (who replaced injured Guillen in LField). However,
Ordonez, Brandon Inge and Laird all struck-out to thwart the threat.
    Tiger closer Jose Valverde threw only three of his 10 pitches for strikes, but faced
the minimum three batters in the B-9th to get the save (#5). Valverde walked Abreu on
four straight pitches, but erased him when Torii Hunter hit a 1-0 pitch into an around-the-
horn double play. Matsui ended the game by grounding a 2-1 pitch to Cabrera at 1Base
for an unassisted putout.
    Matt Palmer turned in an excellent long relief outing for the Angels. Palmer
stranded the two inherited runners he took over from Saunders in the T-3rd
and scattered 4-H & 3-W with 1-K in 4.1-IP of scoreless pitching to give his team a
comeback chance.
    Damon was 3-for-4 and Guillen 2-for-3 at the plate for Detroit.
    Abreu was 3-for-4, Morales 2-for-4 and Matsui 2-for-5 for Anaheim.
    The Tigers improved to 3-4 on their 11 game western road trip and to 9-7 on the
season. The Angels fell back below the .500-mark at 8-9.  

    Guillen strained his left hamstring and was removed in the Mid-5th. His weekend
status is TBA.
    When Ordonez scored for the second time in the game in the T-3rd it gave Maggs
1,000 career MLB runs scored.
    When Laird scored in the T-2nd it marked the first time in their 16 games this
season the Tigers had scored a run in the 2nd-INN.
    The Tigers are now 6-2 when scoring five or more runs this year.
    Hunter was presented with his 9th Gold Glove fielding award prior to the game.
Hunter served as the LAA DH Thursday and his replacement in CField, Reggie Willits,
made a pair of diving catches.
    Angels 3Bman Brandon Wood went 0-for-3 for the second straight night and is now
just 4-for-46 (.087-BA) this season.
    Detroit opens a 4-game, wrap-around-the-weekend series Friday night at Texas.
Max Scherzer (1-1), Dontrelle Willis (0-1), Rick Porcello (1-1) and Jeremy Bonderman
(1-1) are scheduled to pitch for the Tigers. The Rangers are slated to counter with
Scott Feldman (1-1), Rich Harden (0-1), ex-Tiger Colby Lewis (2-0) and Matt Harrison (0-1).
All the games are night contests excepting the Sunday 3pm/ET matinee.


    The 3A Toledo Mud Hens opened a 3-game homestand vs their longtime Ohio rivals
the Columbus Clippers with a 6-4 Thursday night victory. By winning six of their last
eight games the Mud Hens are now 9-6 and tied with Columbus for the IL-West lead.
    Third Hens pitcher Josh Rainwater blew the lead, allowing Columbus to tie the game
4-4 when Rainwater allowed 1-R/1-ER on 3-H in the T-8th. However, Rainwater was
credited with the win (1-0) when Toledo scored twice in the B-8th. Jay Sborz yielded
just 1-W in the scoreless T-9th for the save (#6).
    Hens RFielder Brennan Boesch continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-4 with a
double, run scored and had the 2-run single in the B-8th that drove in the winning runs.
Boesch is batting .379, fourth best in the International League and his 17-RBI is tops in
the IL.


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