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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-10

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-10

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-04-10
One blown lead and two games with deficits expanded.

After four games, that's not a good beginning for a Detroit bullpen already under pressure for its shabby performance in 2008.

Newcomer Juan Rincon, who did a nice job in spring training to win a job as a non-roster player, was roughed up for the second time in two appearances Thursday. Another newcomer to the bullpen, former starter Nate Robertson, gave up a key hit in his second game after doing a good job in his first outing of the season.

"For any team in baseball, losing games late is a killer," manager Jim Leyland said. "It happened too often last year from the seventh inning on. Those are not good for the overall health of your team."

Rookie Rick Porcello, two years removed from high school ball and just months removed from being a teenager, pitched three innings of shutout ball before giving up single runs in the fourth and fifth innings and two in the sixth. He pitched five-plus innings, allowing four runs, eight hits and a walk.

Detroit lost the first game of the season at Toronto 12-5 but had chopped a 9-1 deficit to 9-5 before the Blue Jays tacked on runs to take away the Tigers' hopes.

Detroit had a 3-1 lead in the second game, but a three-run home run in the eighth off Rincon and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the ninth gave Toronto a 5-4 victory.

"We've got to get the tail end of our bullpen going," Leyland said, "and you've got to mess with it a little bit until things fall into place."

The Tigers led 2-0 Thursday until the Blue Jays started chipping away in Porcello's fourth inning of work.

BLUE JAYS 6, TIGERS 2: Prized rookie Rick Porcello gave up two solo home runs and Juan Rincon gave up a two-run blow to pave the way for Detroit's third loss in four games heading into Friday's home opener. Curtis Granderson hit his second home run of the season, and Magglio Ordonez drove in the Tigers' other run with a bad-hop single. Porcello pitched shutout ball through three innings in the first matchup of former first-round draft choices making their major league debuts, but he yielded an RBI single in the fourth and a solo home run in the fifth. He gave up another home run leading off the fifth and a single before being removed. Nate Robertson gave up an RBI double before Rincon served up a two-run home run.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 10, 2009

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