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>>caption: HUNTER HOMERED EARLY
AND WAS EJECTED LATE<<
@ COMERICA PARK:
The LA Angels of Anaheim took
a 4-0 lead on Tiger starting pitcher
Justin Verlander before Detroit by
the Mid-2nd and the Halos held on
for a 4-2 Friday night decision in
the opener of a 3-game series.
The Tiger offense didn't do much
to help Verlander, managing only 4-H
and fanning 11 times off three Angels
pitchers, and one of Detroit's two runs
came only because of an LAA throwing
Verlander (L, 12-7) fell to 1-2 with 2-ND in his five starts since the All-Star
break. When your ace wins just 20% of the time it's almost impossible to snap
a slump which is now 5-19 over Detroit's last two dozen contests. The loss put
the Tigers at 53-56, a season's-low three games under the .500-mark.
By contrast, Angels starter Jered Weaver roared out of the gate and struck-
out the side swinging in the B-1st as his team was building its 4-0 bulge. Weaver
(W, 11-7) whiffed nine Tigers to boost his MLB leading total to 171 on the season.
The Angels jumped on JV with 2-out/T-1st on a Torii Hunter 2rHR (#18) which
rocketed 435-feet to CField, just missing hitting the flagpole on the fly. Hunter
balted an 0-2 pitch slider.
LAA doubled its margin to 4-0 with a 2-R/T-2nd. Howie Kendrick stroked an
RBI-2B to the LCField gap. Kendrick was then sac-bunted to third and scored on
a Peter Bourjos RBI-G'out to SStop.
The Tigers got on the board in the with 2-out/B-3rd when Brennan Boesch
hit a towering solo homerun (#13) 407-feet down the RField line. It was Boesch's
first homer since June 27th (at Atlanta).
Detroit got another run back without benefit of a basehit in the B-4th.
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta both walked to open the inning. Johnny
Damon looked as if he'd hit into a double play, but the relay by 2Bman Maicer
Izturis was well wide of 1Base allowing Cabrera to round third and score. It was
only the second error of the year for Izturis.
There were late game fireworks, but not from the offenses. Hunter was called
out on strikes in the T-8th, immediately began an animated arguement with HP
umpire Ron Kulpa and was quickly ejected. Hunter's bobbing head then forced the
bill of his batting helmet into bumping the left eye of the arbitrator. Angels MGR
Mike Scioscia came out to position himself between his player and the ump, Hunter
finally left the field, then simultaneously as Scioscia was also getting ejected, Hunter
threw a bag of balls onto the field.
Verlander allowed only 3-H and 2-W while pitching scoreless ball over his final
five frames, but his log read 7-IP with 4-R/4-ER on 7-H & 2- with 2-K on 113 pitches/
75 strikes. Ryan Perry finished up for Detroit to allow 2-H with 2-K in the last 2-IP.
Weaver also went 7-IP to give up 2-R/1-ER on 3-H & 4-W with his 9-K. Ex-Tiger
Fernando Rodney (loudly booed by the Detroit fans) and Brian Fuentes each pitched
a scoreless relief inning following Weaver. Fuentes struck-out the last two Tigers he
faced including pinch-hitter Jeff Frazier to end the game for the save (#21).
Izturis singled in his first three trips to the plate to go 3-for-4 and Erick Aybar was
2-for-4 for the Angels.
Moved to the #2 slot in Detroit's batting order for the first time to try and provide
some punch, Boesch showed signs of snapping his month-long slump by going 2-for-4 for
half of Detroit's hits.
While Detroit's offense did little, it's defense sparkled. All three outfielders made
big catches including a sliding grab in the T-6th by Boesch on the edge of the foul
territory warning track in short RField. Brandon Inge went deep behind the bag to nab
a bouncer and make the long throw across the diamond for an out in the T-9th and he
almost repeated the play the very next batter when Kendrick beat out an INF-1B.
Catcher Alex Avila threw-out both attempted LAA base stealers to end consecutive
innings in the T-6th & T-7th.
The victory was only the fourth in the last 18 Angels road contests.
Detroit remained nine games behind the AL-Central leading Chicago White Sox.
TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND: "We played a good game, but we just couldn't get a hit. We're
not hitting well or getting any extra-base hits."
TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER: "I should have pitched better tonight. I should have been
able to make some pitches when I needed to early in the game but I wasn't able to."
TIGERS 3B BRANDON INGE: "There's no timely hitting. When we do hit, there's nobody on.
We played great defense, but the offense is to the point where it's a little frustrating."
ANGELS MGR MIKE SCIOSCIA: "What Jered did on the mound set the tone...he pitched well."
ANGELS RF TORII HUNTER: "Despite what happened with the umpire, it felt good to take
that ball out [on his homer] and help us get going. It was a good sign. We had some fun today
-- in the dugout and on the field."
Tigers owner Mike litch said Friday afternoon both Tiger MGR Jim Leyland and Prez/GM
Dave Dombrowski will return next season in spite of the team's current tailspin. Ilitch made
his comments following a news conference at Joe Louis Arena where Ilitch's NHL Red Wings
formally announced the free agent signing of 40-year old Livonia, MI native Mike Modano.
Also Friday, the Tigers announced promotions in its scouting and development department.
David Chadd was bumped-up to Vice President, Amateur Scouting/Special Assistant to the
General Manager, Scott Pleis to Director, Amateur Scouting and Mike Rojas to Director of
The 4-R/4-ER allowed by Verlander Friday are the most he's given up at home this
year since his first CoPa start of the season when JV yielded 6-R/6-ER vs Cleveland on
Cabrera is just 2-for-13 (.154-BA) on the homestand, although Miggy has drawn 8-W in the
five games including two more Friday night.
Detroit lead-off man Austin Jackson struck-out twice to take over sole possession of
the AL lead in K's this season with 113, snapping the tie with DLed Tampa Bay 1Bman Carlos
The audience of 35,106 was the largest of the homestand thusfar.
Saturday night's probs are Jeremy Bonderman (6-6, 4.84) of Detroit vs TBA
for the Halos. It's expected LHP Scott Kazmir (7-9, 6.92) will get the assignment for
the visitors if he's pronounced fit to come off the DL (pitching shoulder fatigue).
DLed Tiger 2Bman Carlos Guillen began an injury (strained right calf) rehab
assignment with West Michigan Friday night. Guillen went 0-for-2 with a walk in
three trips to the plate.
The Whitecaps gained a 2-1 walkoff win over the Great Lakes Loons on a 2-out
RBI-1B by CA Robert Brantly after two walks and a wild pickoff attempt had set up
the scoring chance.
'Caps reliever Kenny Faulk gave up the Loons lone run when he allowed an inherited
runner to score in the T-9th, but got the win (4-4).
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