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TIGS HOMER PAST RAYS.....TIGERS 7, Tampa Bay 6, T 5/24/11
Posted on: 05-24-2011

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>>caption:   PERALTA (#27)
WELCOMES AVILA (R) TO THE
PLATE ON HIS GW-HOMERUN<<

@ COMERICA PARK:

      Alex Avila's second homerun
of the game was a 2rHR (#8)   in
the B-8th to give the Tigers a
7-6 comeback win over Tampa
Bay Tuesday night.
      Detroit won its third straight and the Rays fell to 2-5 on their current
road trip while also losing 6-of-8.
      All but one of Detroit's runs came on homers. Miguel Cabrera launched
a 3rHR (#9) to LField in the B-5th. Avila's first dinger was a solo shot ((#7)
to RField in the B-6th. Avila's game-winner was an opposite field drive to
LField which greeted Rays reliever Cesar Ramos (L, 0-1).   
      The first Tiger run came on an error by T-Bay CFielder B.J. Upton in the
B-2nd, where Austin Jackson reached base and Jhonny Peralta scored on
what should have been the inning's final out.
      All six Rays runs came off Detroit starter Justin Verlander, who had his
poorest outing of the season. JV threw 101-pitches/65-strikes in 6-IP to
yield 6-R/6-ER on 9-H with 0-W & 2-K. It was the first time in JV's 11 starts
of 2011 he failed to record a quality start.
      Former Tiger Matt Joyce, the AL's leading hitter (.367-BA), went 3-for-4
with 2-R and a 2rHR (#8). Upton went 2-for-3 with 1-R & 1-RBI.
      Third Tiger pitcher Al Alburquerque got both men he faced with 1-K for
the last 2-outs of the T-8th, enough to earn him his first big league victory
(1-1).
      With closer Jose Valverde unavailable due to an elevated Monday night
pitch count, Joaquin Benoit tossed the T-9th to allow 1-H and get the save (#1).
After a rough stretch of six appearances (0-3) from April 27th--May 16th, Benoit
is unscored upon in his last three outings.
      The Tigers committed four errors, one each by Verlander and 2Bman Scott
Sizemore and two by CA Avila. Three of the four (one by each player) were on
bad throws.   
      The Rays, meantime, became the first team in major league history to play its
first 49 games while committing no more than one error in any of those contests.
      Don Kelly and Sizemore were both 2-for-3 at the plate for Detroit and Avila was
2-for-4.
      Cabrera's blast was Detroit's first 3rHR of the season.     

         TB            6-12-1, 7-LOB          (L) Ramos, 0-1
         DET         7-10-4, 6-LOB          (W) Alburquerque, 1-1; (S) Benoit, #1     
        
QUOTEBOOK...      

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "I think [Benoit] needed a little confidence. He's
really good, that's why we got him. Sometimes you hit a bump in the road,
sometimes you come to a place for the first time, a new contract and everything,
you try to do too much. Hopefully, we can just get it settled in now where he's
going to pitch the eighth and Valverde the ninth."

TIGERS CA ALEX AVILA:   "In order to be a championship team you've got to be
able to come from behind and win one-run games and withstand that kind of
pressure."

TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER:   "It wasn't a great night for me. It was a great
night for the ballclub. I couldn't be more happy."

TIGERS RP JOAQUIN BENOIT:   "[Leyland's] confidence [in him] is back and my
confidence is back."

RAYS MGR JOE MADDON:   "Ramos against Avila was exactly the matchup I wanted,
and [Avila] just got us."

RAYS RF MATT JOYCE:   "It has been a tough week. We've got to find ways to win
these games."

EXTRA INNINGS:

      Tuesday morning the Tigers placed LHP Phil Coke on the 15-day DL with a right
foot bone bruise, suffered in Monday night's game vs the Rays.
      To take Coke's place on the roster Detroit purchased the contract of LHP Adam
Wilk from 3A Toledo. Wilk was 3-4 with a 3.86-ERA, 32-K and only 5-W in his 49-IP over
eight Mud Hens starts. To create 40-man roster room for Wilk, the Tigers designated
the contract of Toledo RHP Robbie Weinhardy for assignment.
      Wilk's Detroit stay may be short. Detroit will recall LHP Andy Oliver from Toledo
to take Coke's rotation spot for Saturday night's home start vs Boston.      
      In Wednesday afternoon's series finale vs Tampa Bay, probable pitchers are Brad
Penny (4-4) for Detroit vs Andy Sonnanstine (0-1) of the Rays.

                                                                                                         ###            

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