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News » Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-05

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-05

Detroit Tigers Notes, Quotes 2009-05-05
--LHP Clay Rapada might be a better late inning option to get a left-handed hitter out than LHP Nate Robertson but his results have been mixed since being brought up as an additional option out of the bullpen. Rapada came in Monday night during the seventh inning with three runs already in to face the top of the Minnesota lineup, heavily tilted to the left side. CF Denard Span greeted him with a single to left center, loading the bases, then switch-hitting 2B Alexi Casilla lined a two-run single to left center. Rapada retired C Joe Mauer and 1B Justin Morneau, both left-handed hitters, but the damage was done.

--3B Brandon Inge's streak of reaching base in every game this season ended Monday night. Inge went hitless in four at-bats and did not walk. He had been on base in the Tigers' first 24 games.

--RHP Justin Verlander was solid for the second consecutive start Sunday, taming Cleveland on just two hits and striking out a major league high of 11 batters. "Justin was brilliant," manager Jim Leyland said. "Bases loaded, none out, no runs, tremendous. He answered some questions, answered some critics." Verlander hit a batter and issued a walk in the third, allowing a run on a single. Leyland called the situation "a test" and said Verlander showed some progress by holding the Indians to one run. Verlander retired 10 in a row until walking the leadoff batter in the seventh. Cleveland loaded the bases with nobody out but Verlander retired the next three batters without a run scoring. He threw 121 pitches but was throwing harder at the end -- 99-100 mph -- than his 92-93 in the first inning. "This is certainly the best I've felt in a while," Verlander said. "This is why I worked so hard in the spring to get back to my natural arm angle. It wasn't easy -- I felt like I was throwing sidearm for a week when I had only moved it an inch -- but it is paying off."

--2B Placido Polanco did one of those little things that don't show up in the box score in the seventh inning Sunday, which is why manager Jim Leyland sings his praises. CF Curtis Granderson had just doubled home the tie-breaking run and Polanco's assignment was to get the runner over. "We put the bunt on, then took it off," Leyland said, "and he hit a ground ball to second to move him over." The unsung move paid off when RF Magglio Ordonez grounded an RBI single up the middle.

--C Matt Treanor's bad news is likely good news for C Dane Sardinha. Treanor, backup to C Gerald Laird, underwent surgery Thursday to remove a bone spur from his right hip and post-operative indications were the rehabilitation time means the reserve will probably miss the rest of the season. Detroit brought Sardinha up to take Treanor's place on the roster and is now the primary backup to Laird. Manager Jim Leyland likes Sardinha's game despite the fact he isn't much of a hitter.

BY THE NUMBERS: 2 -- Career grand slams for SS Adam Everett after hitting a home run with the bases loaded Saturday against Cleveland. Everett's only other slam came for Houston against Cincinnati on July 9, 2003.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I can't stand the Yankees, man, and I'm going to go right after them. There are little things about them I can't stand. They're just the Yankees." -- RHP Joel Zumaya, returning from the disabled list to work two scoreless innings against the Yankees on April 29, his third game of the season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 5, 2009

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