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IT DON'T COME EASY.....TIGERS 6, Boston 5, F 7/30/10
Posted on: 07-30-2010

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    Jhonny Peralta hit a pair of
homeruns in his first two Tiger at-
bats, David Ortiz blasted a B-9th
Grand Slam and Jose Valverde threw
a career-high 60 pitches to close out the contest as Detroit hung on for a 6-5
Friday night win at Fenway Park over the Boston Red Sox.
    The opener of the 3-game weekend series saw the Tigers snap a 10 game road
losing streak with their first win (1-4) of the currrent week-long trip.
    Although the Tigers scored before Boston ever came to bat and took a 6-1 lead,
the win didn't come easy. Called upon to get four outs in a non-save situation, Papa
Grande recorded all four of those outs on strikeouts, but had his worst outing as a
    Valverde walked five, served up Big Papi's Granny (HR#22) and threw less than
half of his pitches for strikes (28 of 60). An Adrian Beltre double and an intentional pass
to pinch-hitter J.D. Drew put the tying and winning runs on base after Ortiz' homer
before Valverde struck-out Mike Cameron looking on a 3-2 splitter to end the contest.
    So as this victory did not come easy, neither has it been an easy season for
"Near-Perfect" Detroit starter Armando Galarraga. Struggling early Friday, Galarraga
gave up 5-H & 2-W in his 4.2-IP, yet the only run against him was on a Marco Scutaro
T-5th solo homer (#7). Two batters after Scutaro's dinger Galarraga was knocked out
of the game by a Kevin Youkilis single off Galarraga's right ankle. With Detroit ahead
4-1 at that point, Galarraga  was just one out shy of being eligible for the victory.
    The scorekeeper's decision was to give second Tiger reliever Robbie Weinhardt
credit for the win (1-1), the rookie's first in the big leagues. Weinhardt was the most
effective of the four Tiger hurlers who followed Galarraga to the hill, allowing 1-H & 1-W
with 3-K in his 2-IP.
    Obtained in trade with Cleveland on Wednesday, Peralta went 3-for-4 with a solo homer
(#8) to lead-off the T-2nd and a 2rHR (#9) with 2-out in the T-5th. Both longballs came off
BoSox starter Jon Lester (L, 11-6) and both sailed into the Monster Seats above the tall
Fenway LField wall.
    The Tigers had scored before Lester retired a batter when Austin Jackson singled
to open the game and scored on an RBI-2B to CField by Will Rhymes.
    The Tigs tallied what proved to be the 2-R difference in the game in the T-8th off Red
Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. After Jeff Frazier (in his MLB debut) walked and Gerald Laird
bunt singled (on a sacrifice attempt), Danny Worth put both runners into scoring position
with a sac-bunt. Frazier scored and Laird moved to third on a Wakefield wild pitch. Laird
then came home on a soft RBI-G'out by Jackson.
    The 52-50 Tigers remained six games behind the AL-Central leading Chicago White
Sox and four and a half games back of second place Minnesota.

    DET     6-13-0, 9-LOB     (W) Weinhardt, 1-1
    BOS     5-9-0, 12-LOB      (L) Lester, 11-6


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "The Tigers won, 6-5. Don’t ask me how it happened."

TIGERS 3B JHONNY PERALTA:   "It's something special, this first at-bat for the Tigers.
I feel good to come here the first game and do what I'm doing."

TIGERS RP JOSE VALVERDE:   "I didn’t have my pitches tonight. My split-finger was not
working so good, and I did not have a good fastball."

TIGERS SP ARMANDO GALARRAGA:   "I’m OK. We needed a win, one way or another, and
we got it, no matter what."

R-SOX MGR TERRY FRANCONA:   "It was a nice swing [by Ortiz]. Would have been nicer
if it was a five-run homer."

R-SOX CF MIKE CAMERON:   "I just didn't get it done. One of those rough nights. [Valverde]
Threw a good pitch."


    Galarraga's injury was diagnosed as an ankle bruise, rather than a fracture.
    Johnny Damon was a late scratch for Detroit due to upper back spasms.
    Research showed Peralta became the first player in franchise history to homer
in his first two official Tiger at-bats. The only other player to homer twice in his first
Tiger game was Billy McMillon in 2000.
    Friday was Peralta's 5th MLB multi-homer game. His last was on 9/17/2007 for
Cleveland against the Tigers.
    Frazier was called up from the Toledo Mud Hens Friday morning and went 0-for-3
with 2-K plus a W & R in his MLB debut at DH.
    Ortiz' line drive blast over the low wall down the RField line was his 9th career
MLB Grand Slam.
    Ortiz struck-out three times before his G-Slam.
    Cameron struck-out in his last 3-ABs including both his plate appearances vs Valverde
    The Tigers ran themselves out of an inning in the T-7th, although they had help
in doing so. Rhymes was thrown out for the inning's second out attempting to steal
third, although replays confirmed he clearly was into the bag ahead of the tag and
3Base umpire Jerry Meals  blew the call. Moments later, Brennan Boesch was easily
thrown out at the plate to end the frame on Peralta's single to shallow LField when
3Base coach Gene Lamont foolishly sent Boesch, even though R-Sox LFielder Eric
Patterson was cranking up his throw as Boesch rounded 3Base.
    Wakefield became the oldest pitcher to ever appear for the Red Sox at the age
of 43 years, 362 days.
    The middle game of the series is a 4:10pm Saturday matinee for a FOX Sports
regional telecast. Probable pitchers are Daisuke Matsuzaka (7-3, 4.09) of the Red
Sox and Max Scherzer (7-8, 4.45) for the Tigers.

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