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News » Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-14

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-14

Detroit Tigers Inside Pitch 2009-05-14
Wednesday's outburst aside, what Detroit's offense needs more than anything, manager Jim Leyland feels, is a return to form by right fielder Magglio Ordonez and a healthy Carlos Guillen.

"We've talked about this," Leyland said. "I think for us to be good, we need Magglio to hit third. We need stuff like that. We need guys knocking in some runs, and that's one of the scenarios that would help us."

Ordonez had a double Wednesday, but the way he's hitting, he's still a good week away from reaching double digits in extra base hits.

Guillen remains on the disabled list, healing a sore right shoulder along with an Achilles tendon. He could be a week or more away. Guillen has a batting average flirting with the Mendoza Line.

That means Leyland's preseason third and fifth hitters aren't contributing significantly to the offense.

Detroit has gotten good contributions from outfielders Josh Anderson and Clete Thomas, and recently first baseman/third baseman Jeff Larish has given the Tigers a power boost.

"I think the kids have done a great job," Leyland said. "Obviously, Larish has done a good job. Thomas is getting on base. But in actuality, we need the big guys to knock in runs. That's as simple as it is. That's not putting any pressure on anybody. That's just a fact of life. The young guys you don't really expect to knock in a lot of runs, so your veteran players are the guys who have to knock in the runs."

First baseman Miguel Cabrera keeps hitting for power and average despite not having production in front of him and power behind him, but how long that can continue is not certain.

"It takes time to learn how to knock in runs," Leyland said. "That at-bat becomes a little bit different for (young players). They press a little bit more. They get a little antsier."

TWINS 14, TIGERS 10 (13 innings): Tiring RHP Brandon Lyon gave up a grand slam to 3B Joe Crede with two out in the bottom of the 13th inning Wednesday night as Minnesota outslugged Detroit. Lyon, who pitched 2 2/3 innings in his longest outing of the season, made his 60th pitch of the game a hanging curve that Crede hit out. DH Jeff Larish hit a solo shot, 3B Brandon Inge a two-run home run and 1B Miguel Cabrera a three-run home run for Detroit. LHP Dontrelle Willis started the marathon, working 4 2/3 innings and allowing four runs with only two walks. CF Curtis Granderson tripled in the top of the 13th and jockeyed RHP Jesse Crain into a balk that broke a 9-9 tie. The Cabrera and Larish home runs put Detroit ahead 9-7, but RHP Joel Zumaya gave up a two-run home run to PH Jason Kubel in the eighth.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 14, 2009

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