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>>caption: JACKSON ROBBED KC's
GORDON OF A B-1ST HOMER<<
@ KANSAS CITY, MO:
Although it sputtered late
with a chance to put the game
out of reach, the Tiger offense
gave ace Justin Verlander enough
of an early lead to edge the Royals
4-3 in Kansas City Saturday night.
The AL-Central first place
Tigers moved to a season-high
nine games over the .500-mark
at 61-52 by winning for the fifth
time in six outings.
In the final MLB game completed Saturday, a Cleveland 4-R/T-9th
comeback at Texas kept the second place Indians four games behind the
AL-Central leading Tigers.
The win was tempered by a sprained left knee suffered by Tiger 5-hole
hitter Victor Martinez, who will be reevaluated Sunday.
Verlander recorded 8-K in his 7-IP to surpass Denny McLain and move
into 9th place on the all-time Tiger strikeout list (1151-to-1150). Valverde
had his second consecutive 1-2-3/B-9th (this time with 2-K) to tie the team
consecutive save mark of 32 set by Guillermo "Willie" Hernandez in 1984.
Verlander re-tied NY Yankee C.C. Sabathia for most wins in the majors
(16-5 to C.C.'s 16-6). Verlander leads the bigs with 188-IP and 178-K. Papa
Grande is runner-up with his 32-SV.
Back-to-back 1-out basehits in the T-1st gave the Tigers an early 2-0
lead when Miguel Cabrera doubled and Martinez singled to plate Brennan
Boesch and Magglio Ordonez respectively.
Tiger CFielder Austin Jackson kept the Royals from countering in the
B-1st when he reached over the wall to rob Alex Gordon of a 410-foot
homerun on Verlander's first pitch.
Martinez brought home Cabrera with a T-3rd/1-out RBI-1B to make it 3-0.
Jeff Francoeur got KayCee on the board with a B-5th lead-off homer some
402-feet to LCField (#15).
Detroit got that run back in the T-7th on an Ordonez RBI-G'out that brought
in Alex Avila with 2-out.
The Royals made it close by touching-up Verlander for RBI-2Bs by Francoeur
with 1-out and Brayan Pena with 2-out for the 4-3 final.
Before Verlander was officially removed from the game, Detroit had a chance
to blow it open in the T-8th when Martinez singled and Jhonny Peralta doubled to
put two men in scoring position with none out. However, when pinch-hitter Andy
Dirks hit into a 4-2 fielder's choice for the second out, Martinez hurt his knee on
the play at the plate.
The Tigers also put runners on first & second with 1-out/T-9th, but again
failed to score.
Joaquin Benoit and Valverde each pitched a scoreless relief frame for Detroit.
Verlander went 7-IP and 110-pitches/72-strikes to yield 3-R/3-ER on 5-H & 2-W
Royals starter Danny Duffy took the loss (3-5) by allowing 3-R/3-ER in his 5-IP.
Martinez was 3-for-4 and Cabrera 2-for-5 (both doubles) for Detroit.
Francoeur was 2-for-4 for the Royals.
DET 4-9-1, 9-LOB (W) Verlander, 16-5; (S) Valverde, #32
KC 3-5-0, 3-LOB (L) Duffy, 3-5
TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND: "It’s August 6TH. We’ve got a long way to go. We’ve
just got to keep playing good baseball, but we’re going to have to take advantage
of some more [offensive] opportunities."
TIGERS SP JUSTIN VERLANDER: "I didn't have great control of my curveball. I was
kind of able to get a little feel in the fourth, fifth, sixth inning. A couple hits in
the seventh, one big hit by Pena, and next thing I know the tying run is on second
base. Luckily I was able to get through it with the lead...When you look at the body
of work that [Valverde has] had this year, they’re not easy saves, a lot of them. A
lot of them are one-run games against a solid offense. He’s done an outstanding job
and I think everybody in Detroit should be extremely proud of him. I know we are."
TIGERS 1B MIGUEL CABRERA: "It's very important to get the runs for starting
pitchers like Verlander. When they get run support they feel a lot of confidence.
And we got another one in the seventh. That really helped the bullpen."
TIGERS CF AUSTIN JACKSON: "At first I didn't know if I was going to make it back
there to get [Gordon's near-HR]. It kept going and I was getting to the track and
trying to time my steps right. I was able to get back to it."
ROYALS MGR NED YOST: "Talk about a catch [by Jackson]. That could be the best
catch I've seen all year. I didn't think he would get over there and then to time his
leap at the last second to catch it above the wall."
ROYALS SP DANNY DUFFY: "I didn't have very good command. I didn't do my job.
I didn't locate very well...I'm really frustrated with myself right now. I didn't keep
my team in the game."
Former Detroit INF (1951-52) and longtime Tiger minor league manager Al
Federoff has died at age 87. Federoff was skipper at Lakeland in 1964 when
current Tiger MGR Jim Leyland joined the organization as a first year pro catcher.
Federoff played 2Base in the second of Virgil Trucks' two 1952 No-Hitters (8/23/52
at Yankee Stadium).
The Tigers have agreed to terms with 17th-Rd draft pick Chad Smith, a RHP
from the Southern Cal Trojans. That puts 30 of this year's 50 Tiger selections
Probable pitchers for the Sunday matinee series finale are LHP Bruce Chen
(5-5) of the Royals and RHP Max Scherzer (11-6) for the Tigers.
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