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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-02

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-02
It's not critical yet, but it's certainly important.

Detroit started a 13-game stretch against American League Central opponents Friday night with a 6-5 loss to the visiting Cleveland Indians. Shades of 2008.

The Tigers were only 27-45 against division foes last year and manager Jim Leyland made it one of his points of emphasis this spring that Detroit would improve against teams within its division.

The loss to Cleveland, the Indians' eighth in a row over the Tigers, made them 3-3 versus AL Central teams this season.

Detroit plays Cleveland, Minnesota, the Chicago White Sox, then Cleveland and Minnesota again before leaving divisional play.

A big inning has plagued Detroit in each of the three straight games it has lost. A 10-run and a 7-run inning gave New York wins over Detroit and Cleveland put up four in the second as a springboard to its victory.

"I thought (starting pitcher) Armando (Galarraga) was tentative," Leyland said. "We've done that a little lately, pitching away from bats. You've got to throw strikes to succeed up here."

Hitting has been a problem for Detroit, too. In the heart of the order, only Miguel Cabrera is batting above .300 -- or even close to it -- at this point.

"Those are your guys," Leyland said. "They'll hit. They always have. Right now, we're just not hitting real good.

"We've had a couple games, but we really haven't hit the way we're capable of hitting. Some of that's due to the pitching against you, and some of it's due to (the fact that) we just haven't hit. ...We have to get some consistency going in our offense."

INDIANS 6, TIGERS 5: 1B Miguel Cabrera's three-run home run completed a five-run eighth inning Friday night but going scoreless in the other eight innings doomed Detroit to its third straight loss. 3B Brandon Inge hit a hustle double to start the rally, reaching base for the 22nd straight game this season, and scored on a hustle double by SS Adam Everett. 2B Placido Polanco had an RBI single and Cabrera hit his fifth home run of the season. RHP Armando Galarraga, who entered the game 3-0 against Cleveland, gave up four runs in the second and one in the third. LHP Nate Robertson worked three innings and allowed one run.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 2, 2009

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