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>>caption: KELLY'S 2-RUN TWO-
BAGGER PUT DETROIT IN THE LEAD<<
@ COMERICA PARK:
Max Scherzer delivered a solid
start and the Tigers scored their
first 5-R with 2-outs as Detroit
defeated Seattle 7-1 Friday night
to open a 9-game homestand.
After a 3-6 road trip, the Tigers
were glad to be at Home Sweet Home
and improved their CoPa mark 26-11
including nine wins in their last 10 in Downtown Detroit.
The victory kept the Tigers one game behind AL-Central leading Minnesota.
Scherzer mixed effective off-spead stuff with his fastball and occasional
slider to stymie one of MLB's worst offensive clubs. Scherzer (W, 5-6) threw
110 pitches/67 strikes over 8-IP (his longest MLB outing of the season) to
allow just 3-H & 2-W for 1-R/1-ER with 7-K.
Detroit staged a 4-R/B-2nd, 2-out rally to erase an early deficit. With
Brennan Boesch and Brandon Inge already aboard at the corners on a pair of
singles, Alex Avila walked to load the bases. Don Kelly hit the first pitch he saw
to drive home two runs on a ground rule double that one-bounced into the
visitors bullpen near the CField flagpole. Austin Jackson then doubled up the
middle to bring in two more.
The Tigers added another 2-out run in the B-5th to chase M's starter Doug
Fister (L, 3-4) after 99 pitches/61 strikes. Johnny Damon walked, Magglio
Ordonez singled on a ball that bounced off Fister and Boesch bloop singled to
RField to plate Damon. Milton Bradley bobbled Boesch's ball in RField to put Tigers
at second and third, but reliever Chad Cordero replaced Fister and got Carlos
Guillen to groundout and end the inning.
Detroit made it 7-1/B-7th off third M's hurler Sean White. Ramon Santiago
singled with 1-out and Damon followed by lofting a 382-foot homerun (#4) to
the RField seats.
The Mariners had taken a 1-0/T-2nd lead on a 371-foot, 2-out homer (#8)
to the LField seats by Franklin Gutierrez, but managed only two more hits,
both singles, off Scherzer.
Seattle mounted a minor T-9th threat when Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins
opened the frame with soft singles off Detroit reliever Phil Coke. Casey Kotchman
then lofted a deep flyball to the LCField gap. Boesch pulled it down after a long run
and his throw-in was relayed by SStop Santiago to 1Baseman Kelly to double-off a
surprised Figgins, who didn't think Boesch could catch up to the long drive. Figgins
had already rounded 2Base and had to tag it on his retreat back to first, just a long
enough detour to get him doubled-off. Following a walk to Ryan Langerhans, Coke
struck-out Jose Lopez to end the game.
Boesch was 3-for-4 and Inge 2-for-4 at the plate for Detroit. Figgins went 2-for-4
It was just the second win in six tries by the Tigers over the Mariners this year.
The previous five games were all in Seattle.
SEA 1-5-1, 5-LOB (L) Fister, 3-4
DET 7-10-0, 5-LOB (W) Scherzer, 5-6
TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND: "If Kelly makes an out there [in the B-2nd], it's a whole
different ball game. To me, after they scored, for us to come right back out and put
up a four-spot, that's big...That's what it takes. If you're going to be a good team,
it's going to take everybody to make contributions."
TIGERS UTIL DON KELLY: "[Fister] doesn't walk many guys, so I was just looking for
a fastball out over the plate, because he doesn't want to get behind [in the count]
with the bases loaded."
TIGERS CF AUSTIN JACKSON: ""I think the key was just to be relaxed. We wanted to
get all that stuff behind us from the road. We obviously didn't play that well or as well
as we would have liked. But coming home, we are always strong at the house."
TIGERS LF BRENNAN BOESCH: ""We know we are a good team, no matter where we play.
We like playing here in front of our fans a lot. We are going to come out here and play
our best baseball."
TIGERS SP MAX SCHERZER: "I was executing with my fastball. I was really pitching in
well tonight and I think that's what allowed me to have a lot of success...My arm was tired, especially with that long [bottom] seventh. I was going down to the cage and throwing
balls just to keep it loose, because I knew I was low on fumes...I went down [to Toledo]
and fixed my mechanics and came back and this is how I was pitching last year [at Arizona].
I put up good numbers last year. I know I'm a good Major League pitcher."
TIGERS CA ALEX AVILA: "[Scherzer] had everything working. The first couple innings, you
could tell by the way fast his fastball just jumps out of his hand, and it's almost at will...
To see that is great and it just makes his other pitches that much better."
M's MGR DON WAKAMATSU: "Tip your hat to Scherzer. His changeup was outstanding.
Nothing happened offensively other than the home run."
Tiger 1Bman Miguel Cabrera was a late scratch from the lineup due to back spasms.
Scherzer is 4-2 in seven starts since returning from a two start exile to 3A Toledo.
Prior to their multi-hit performances Friday night, Damon hit just .200 (4-for-20)
and Inge .160 (4-for-25) on the 9-game road trip.
As expected, LHP Daniel Schlereth was recalled from Toledo to take the vacant
roster spot created when LHP Fu-Te Ni was farmed out by Detroit to the Mud Hens
Gutierrez is 11-for-22 (.500-BA) with 2-HR and 7-RBI vs the Tigers this season.
White complained of a "bad landing zone" on the mound and groundskeepers had
to patch a hole and pound down the dirt for the M's reliever. Immediately after the
B-7th repairs Santiago singled and Damon homered.
Friday's attendance was announced as 33,512.
In Saturday night's middle game of the series the probable pitchers are Justin
Verlander (9-5, 4.02) of Detroit and Jason Vargas (6-3, 2.80) of Seattle.
Gwinnett topped Toledo 6-3 Friday night at 5th/3rd Field for the Mud Hens' eighth
straight defeat and 10th loss in 11 games.
The Hens took a 3-0 lead by the End-2nd on an RBI-2B by Ryan Strieby, a Jeff Larish
solo homer (#13) and a Jon Weber steal of home.
The Braves rallied to score 5-R/4-ER off Toledo starter Billy Buckner (L, 2-4) in 5.1-IP.
Four relievers followed Buckner to the hill with Ni making his Toledo debut in a perfect
T-7th where Ni struck-out two and stranded two inherited runners.
Wes Timmons hit a 2rHR (#3) and Freddie Freeman a solo (#9) for Gwinnett.
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