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LUCKY SEVEN.....TIGERS 7, Arizona 5, F 6/18/10
Posted on: 06-18-2010

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    The Tigers couldn't beat former
teammate Dontrelle Willis, but did
defeat the Diamondbacks Friday
night 7-5.
    Willis took a no-decision after
allowing Detroit's first 5-R.
    Brandon Inge drove a 2-out/B-8th triple over the head of Arizona CFielder
Chris Young, scoring Brennan Boesch from 2Base to snap a 5-all tie. Inge then
came home with an insurance run when Alex Avila sliced an opposite way RBI-1B
to shallow LField.
    The victory was Detroit's seventh straight, the longest Tiger winning streak
since a similar 7-game string last year, also during interleague play. Detroit
inched to just a half game behind AL-Central leading Minnesota because the Twins
lost at Philadelphia.
    Inge's third basehit of the night to produce the winning run only came about
because of some daring by Tiger MGR Jim Leyland. Boesch had walked off of
D-Backs closer Chad Qualls (L, 1-4) with 1-out in the B-8th. Leyland sent Boesch
on a steal attempt, so when Carlos Guillen grounded to Arizona SStop Stephen
Drew just to the left of 2Base, Boesch slid in ahead of the possible forceout.
Drew threw to first to get Guillen, but the double play was avoided and Boesch
was in scoring position when Inge came up to bat.      
    After Detroit's 2-R/B-8th, Tiger closer Jose Valverde needed just six pitches,
all strikes including a strikeout of clean-up man Miguel Montero, to record a perfect
T-9th save (#15).   
    The Tigers posted the victory and headed to the clubhouse just ahead of a
fast moving thunderstorm. The post-game fireworks were cancelled and the crowd
of 37,438 scurried to their cars before getting wet.
    Willis actually lasted longer than Tiger starter Armando Galarraga, going 5-IP
to Galarraga's 4.1-IP. While Willis allowed 5-R, Galarraga elevated too many pitches
and couldn't hold a 4-0 lead. Galarraga departed when Arizona tied the contest 4-all
during a 3-R/T-5th.
    Control troubled during his Tiger career and also in his first two Arizona starts
(10-W in 10-IP), Willis threw his first three pitches off the plate before walking
leadoff man Ryan Raburn on five pitches in the B-1st. Of his first 40 pitches, Willis
threw exactly half for balls. Still, he walked "only" four in his 5-IP with 55 of his 93
pitches recorded as strikes.
    Magglio Ordonez skied a 2rHR (#9) 427-feet to near the CField flagpole in the B-1st.
Danny Worth was generously awarded an RBI-2B in the B-2nd and Raburn then added
a sac-fly in that frame for the 4-0 Detroit margin.
    Montero led-off the T-4th with his first homerun of the year into the RField seats
to get the D-Backs on the board.
    Five straight Diamondbacks reached base with 1-out in the 3-R/T-5th to chase
Galarraga. Drew had an up-the-middle RBI-1B and Young a 2r1B to deadlock the
    The Tigers went back ahead of Willis 5-4 on back-to-back  lead-off singles from
Johnny Damon and Ordonez, then a Don Kelly sac-fly.
    Arizona retied it 5-5/T-6th off first Tiger reliever rad Thomas on a 1-out, RBI-1B
by Drew.    
    Eddie Bonine then arrived from the Tiger pen to pitch two scoreless innings
and Phil Coke retired the two men he faced in the T-8th to get credit for the
victory (5-0) when the Tigers scored twice in the bottom of that inning.
    Inge was 3-for-4, Worth went 2-for-3 and Ordonez 2-for-4 at the plate for
    Adam LaRoche was 2-for-4 and Drew & Justin Upton were both 2-for-5 for
    While Detroit improved to 7-0 on its current 9-game homestand and won its
9th in a row at home, the D'Backs lost their 14th consecutive road contest.

    ARI     5-10-0, 9-LOB      (L) Qualls, 1-4
    DET     7-9-2, 6-LOB     (W) Coke, 5-0; (S) Valverde, #15


TIGERS SP ARMANDO GALARRAGA:   "It was harder to pitch to them because my slider
was terrible."

TIGERS 3B BRANDON INGE:   "We heard there were 70 mph gusts and storms coming,
and so we figured we’d better get some runs...It’s just about feeling better at the
plate because I can trust my legs [after double knee surgery during the winter]. That
allows me to take the right approach and take that pitch the other way...[Willis] looked
pretty good. It didn't work out the way he wanted it to, I'm sure. But he's a competitor.
I've always liked the way he is on the mound and the way he holds himself."

D-BACKS SP DONTRELLE WILLIS:   "They jumped on me early, and I just tried to slow
the game down and make some pitches and keep us in the ballgame, which I was able
to do...We've just got to will ourselves to win and go from there."


    Ordonez is batting .588 (10-for-17) and Inge .458 (11-for-24) on the homestand.
    Until Friday Worth was just 1-for-16 since his recall from 3A Toledo on June 8th.
    Tiger 1Bman Miguel Cabrera exited the contest after 4-INN due to dizziness
and was replaced by Kelly. The dizzy spell was caused when Cabrera committed
an error in the T-2nd when a batted ball hit him between the legs.
    Detroit CFielder Austin Jackson continued out-of-action with back spasms
suffered Sunday.
    Tiger CA Gerald Laird was unavailable due to a neck strain.
    Qualls has somehow managed 12 saves in 29 relief appearances this year in
spite of an amazingly high 8.87-ERA. Qualls has allowed 8-ER in his last 1.2-IP
over 3-GP and has a 12.71-ERA in six June outings.
    Montero was on the DL from April 11th--June 12th due to right knee surgery to
repair a partial meniscus tear. In 10 games this season he's batting .394.
    Prior to Friday's game the Tigers announced the signing of four 2010 draft picks
plus an undrafted free agent, including #8 selection Patrick Leyland. The 18-year
old Leyland is the son of Tigers MGR Jim Leyland and is the highest Tiger draft choice
to sign so far. The 6-2, 18-year old catcher will report to the Lakeland-based Gulf
Coast League Tigers.  
    RHPs Rick Porcello (4-6, 6.09) of Detroit and ex-Tiger Edwin Jackson (3-6, 5.18)
of Arizona are Saturday night's probables for the middle game of the weekend series.




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