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>>caption: JOHNNY DAMON HOMERED IN
HIS FIRST GAME AGAINST HIS EX-YANKEE
@ COMERICA PARK:
Papa Grande struck-out the side in the
T-9th to preserve a 5-4 Tiger win over the
New York Yankees in the opener of a
4-game Downtown Detroit series.
Jose Valverde whiffed Alex Rodriguez
swinging to end the ballgame and tie for
the AL lead in saves with nine.
Former Yankees Johnny Damon and Phil
Coke played prominent roles in the Tiger
win as did ex-Yankee prospect Austin
Jackson and fellow Tiger rookie flychaser
The game began with a pair of substitute starting pitchers with Brad
Thomas gewtting the call for Detroit in place of Dontrelle Willis (101-degree
fever) and Sergio Mitre on the hill for New York for Andy Pettitte (elbow
Mitre lasted longer than Thomas, but the Yankee hurler took the loss
(0-1) in his first starting assignment this season.
Detroit took a 2-0/B-1st lead it would not yield when Boesch singled to
score both Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera in a rally that started with
none out and 2-on. The runners were moved into scoring position by a two-base
throwing error by Yanks 3Bman Rodriguez.
Rookies Scott Sizemore and Jackson made it 3-0/B-2nd when Sizemore
walked to open the inning, moved around to third and scored on a Jackson
RBI-G'out for the second out of the inning.
When Thomas began to run out of gas in his last inning of work the T-3rd,
Nick Swisher walked with 1-out and Mark Teixeira blasted a 2rHR (#6) to the
LField camera well just inside the foul pole and get the Yankees within 3-2.
Damon chased Mitre when Damon belted a solo homerun (#2) to the RField
seats with 1-out in the B-5th to put the score at 4-2.
The Tigers added what proved to be a necessary insurance run in the B-7th
off third NYY pitcher Boone Logan. Cabrera walked with 2-outs and nobody on,
then Boesch collected his third RBI of the night on a triple to RField.
Detroit reliever Joel Zumaya failed to retire any of the four Yanks he faced In
his third inning of work in the T-8th. With the bases loaded, ex-Tiger Marcus Thames
was credited with an INF-RBI-1B to SStop when Adam Everett elected to throw to
third where Brandon Inge was well off the bag. Phil Coke came on to replace Zumaya
and got Brett Gardner on a fielder's choice grounder to plate another Yankee tally
and make it 5-4. Coke got Randy Wynn of a popout to third. Ryan Perry then entered
to get Yank Capt. Derek Jeter to flyout down the RField line on a sliding catch by
Ordonez that ended the frame.
Yankee reliever Joba Chamberlain struck-out the side in the B-8th, but Valverde
matched that in the T-9th to end the game.
The second of six Tiger pitchers, Eddie Bonine went 2.1-IP of long relief to scatter
2-H & 2-W with 1-K to get the victory (3-0).
Cabrera and Boesch were both 2-for-3 at the plate for Detroit.
A-Rod was 2-for-4 for New York.
The Tigers improved to 10-3 at home this year.
NYY 4-8-1, 9-LOB (L) Mitre,0-1
DET 5-8-0, 7-LOB (W) Bonine, 3-0; (S) Valderde, #9
TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND: "When [Boesch] hits it, something happens. That's why
I like him. He can score guys from first, and that's what I like. I've talked about this
all my career -- I'm a little bit different than other guys. Some guys like on-base
percentage, I like guys who knock them in. Those are the guys who make money
...You really have to be careful with your bullpen...We're still using guys too much,
and you can't do that night after night."
TIGERS LF BRENNAN BOESCH: "It was an all-around team win, Magglio's catch was
amazing and the pitchers kept us in it. I'm just happy to be a part of it and contribute
...It's a spot I enjoy -- with runners on. I really appreciate hearing that from the
manager. I just want to get better every day.'''
TIGERS DH JOHNNY DAMON: "I'm not that kind of person [who was looking for revenge
on the Yanks who chose not to re-sign him]...I know forever I'll be linked with the 27th
[NYY World Series] championship."
NYY SS/CAPT DEREK JETER: "Johnny likes playing in big games, so it's not a surprise
that he had a big hit. He's done that for us a lot of times and he's done it against us
a lot of times."
NYY MGR JOE GIRARDI: "We've all seen [Damon] do that a lot. Some of the time on
our side and some of the time on the other side...We had chances to come back,
but we had some missed opportunities."
Valverde became the first pitcher to strike-out the side in a 9th-INN save
since Metro Detroit native J.J. Putz did it for Seattle in 2007.
Bonine's ERA was lowered to 1.02, Coke's to 1.69 and Valverde's to 0.61.
Jackson had his 10 game hitting streak stopped while Cabrera's was extended to
The cool night nonetheless drew a crowd of 34,365.
Ex-Tiger Curtis Granderson is missing this "homecoming" series because he's on
the DL with a left groin strain.
The Tigers paid tribute to their late former PBP announcer Ernie Harwell by raising
a flag on the CField flagpole with the initials "EH" during a pregame ceremony six days
after Harwell's passing at age 92. Grammy-winner Jose Feliciano sang the national
anthem in a tribute to his friend. Harwell's longest serving radio partner (19 years)
Paul Carey threw out the ceremonial first pitch to former Tiger minor league catcher
Jim Leyland, now Detroit's 65-year old manager.
Two underachieving RHanders are the probable pitchers for game two of the series
Tuesday night. Detroit's Rick Porcello (2-3, 7.50-ERA) is slated to oppose Javier Vazquez
(1-3, 9.78-ERA) of the Yankees.
Top Tiger porospect Jacob Turner remains without a decision, but looked decent in
his second start back from the DL from right forearm tightness for Single-A West
Michigan in the Whitecaps' visit to the Lansing Lugnuts Monday night.
Turner pitched into the B-5th as the Nuts edged the Caps 6-5.
Turner threw 70-pitches including 43 strikes in his 4-plus-IP. Turner was chased by
an RBI-1B and after an inherited runner later crossed the plate Turner was charged
with 4-R/4-ER on 3-H & 2-W with 3-K.
Former Michigan State CA Eric Roof went 3-for-4 with 1-RBI for the Whitecaps.
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