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COMBINED WHITEASH.....TIGERS 2, Tampa Bay 0, Th 8/25/11
Posted on: 08-25-2011

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      Doug Fister (7-IP), Joaquin
Benoit and Jose Valverde (1-IP each)
combined to shutout the Rays
and the Tigers took a 2-0 Thursday
matinee decision at Tampa Bay.
      Austin Jackson gave Fister
(W, 6-13, 3-1 with Detroit) a
1-0/T-1st lead when he sent
the game's third pitch from Rays
starter Jeremy Hellickson (L,
11-9) into the LField seats for a
lead-off homer (#7).
      Jackson also produced the game's other run in the T-5th. Ryan Raburn
led-off the inning with a double to LField, moved to third on a groundout
and scored on a Jackson sac-fly.
      The win improved Detroit's AL-Central lead to six and a half games over
Cleveland and seven games over Chicago. The Indians and White Sox were
both idle Thursday.   
      Fister retired the first 13 Tampa Bay batters and 14 of the first 15.
A pair of B-5th singles put Rays at the corners with 2-out, but Fister
struck-out Sean Rodriguez to end the mild threat. The only other jam Fister
got into was in the B-7th when Sam Fuld's 2-out double put men on second &
third. Fister got John Jaso on a flyout to end the frame and conclude his
afternoon's work.
      Benoit allowed a 1-out/B-8th Desmond Jennings double, but otherwise
struck-out the side.
      Valverde walked Casey Kotchman and allowed a Matt Joyce single with
1-out/B-9th. Fuld then flew-out to Raburn in RField on a hit-&-run play, Joyce
was all the way to second before he picked up the ball and got doubled-off first
to end the game.            
      Fister went 7-IP to allow 5-H with no walks and 5-K, throwing 99-pitches/
63-strikes. Valverde improved to 38-of-38 in save situations.
      Wilson Betemit went 2-for-3 as the only Tiger with multiple hits.
      Kotchman was 2-for-3 and Desmond & Fuld were both 2-for-4 for the Rays.   

         DET          2-6-0, 6-LOB          (W) Fister, 6-13; (S) Valverde, #38
         TB             0-7-0, 7-LOB            (L) Hellickson, 11-9            


TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:    "Fister was tremendous. We needed to shut them down.
Fister was just what the doctor ordered for us. You might have better stuff sometimes,
but you can't pitch better than that. He knows exactly what he wants to do with the
next pitch...We, kind of, countered their pitching this series. We got just enough to
win three games, which was huge. This could have been an 0-4 trip, that's how good
[T-Bay's] pitching is. To come out of here with three wins, very pleased...The final play
of the game we caught a break. If you're winning a few games, that ball's caught and
you double a guy off. If you're struggling, that ball is down the line. They score the
tying runs and you've got the winning run at third. That's just the way the game goes."

TIGERS SP DOUG FISTER:    "My focus every time I go out there, use my fastball and my
secondary (pitches) off that...We're on a roll right now, guys have a lot of confidence
in themselves and their teammates and that's where we need to be right now."

TIGERS CF AUSTIN JACKSON:    "I got myself in a good hitter's [2-0] count, got some good
wood on it [for his T-1st HR]...Being patient in those [T-5th] situations, slowing the game
down, not trying to do too much. When you have a runner on third, you try to get a ball
to the outfield. That's what I did."

RAYS MGR JOE MADDON:    "We got great pitching from Jeremy, played really good
baseball, but just not enough hitting."


      The Tigers won the T-Bay series 3-1 and took the season series from the Rays 6-1.
      Jackson's homer was his second lead-off homerun this year and the fourth of his
two year MLB career.
      Omir Santos got a one-game call-up from Toledo to give Alex Avila a day off at
catcher. Santos went 0-for-3 with 1-K.
      Miguel Cabrera's "family leave" absence created a roster spot from Santos.
Cabrera went to Miami to be with his wife as doctors induced labor for the couple's
third child and first boy named Christopher.   
      Hellickson became the first pitcher in T-Bay franchise history to register
four strikeouts in an inning Thursday. The rookie RHander accomplished the
rare feat in the T-3rd by striking-out Austin Jackson, Ramon Santiago, Delmon
Young and Victor Martinez. Jackson reached base on a wild pitch after going
down swinging to give Hellickson the unusual accomplishment.
      Tiger RFielder Brennan Boesch was out of the lineup Thursday afternoon
after reinjuring his right thumb during Wednesday night's loss at the Rays.
Boesch struck-out in all three plate appearances Wednesday, the first time
he's whiffed three times in a game this season. Boesch told MGR Jim Leyland
the pain began running up his right arm because he was attempting to protect
his thumb. Boesch originally sprained the thumb AUG 9TH. Since his return to
the lineup Boesch batted .261 (6-for-23) with no RBIs. It's not yet known if
Boesch will go on the disabled list.   
      The Tigers open a weekend series at Minnesota Friday night. The Detroit
rotation for the 3-game set is Rick Porcello (11-8), Justin Verlander (19-5) and
Brad Penny (9-9). The Twins probable pitchers are listed as Scott Diamond
(up from 3A Rochester),   RHP Carl Pavano (6-10) and LHP Brian Duensing (8-13).
Anthony Swarzak had been scheduled to pitch Friday's contest, but was needed
in relief Thursday (and took the loss) when Minnesota starter Francisco Liriano
came out of a home matinee vs Baltimore with a left shoulder strain.


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