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Slugging it out

Slugging it out
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- No lead appeared safe Wednesday night when the Detroit Tigers played the Los Angeles Angels.

With Justin Verlander opposing Joe Saunders on the mound, it didn't seem likely the game would end up having a slowpitch softball score. But neither of the recent All-Stars was in good form, and the Tigers won a 12-10 slugfest against the Angels.

Fernando Rodney was one out from a quick, scoreless ninth inning. But two singles and a two-run double by Juan Rivera brought the tying run to the plate in No. 9 hitter Erick Aybar. Rodney got him to ground out to first and end the onslaught.

Detroit scored five times in the seventh inning for the fourth and final lead change, and did so without an extra-base hit. The Tigers pecked away at relievers Scot Shields and Jose Arredondo to pull out the game.

quot;Both teams played the full nine innings, and we were fortunate to come back and get one,quot; Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. quot;That's an outstanding effort, an outstanding effort.quot;

Gerald Laird walked with the bases loaded to open the scoring in the seventh.

Brandon Inge's infield single tied the score, 8-8, and Carlos Guillen scored the go-ahead run on a fielding error on the same play.

Tigers right fielder Ryan Raburn and Verlander, whose ERA is 9.00 after four starts, were off the hook.

Verlander didn't deserve to give up any runs in the first inning, when Raburn botched a fly ball to start a three-run rally. But Verlander couldn't pitch around that, and gave up four more runs that were all his. He was charged with seven runs in five innings.

quot;Sometimes you just want something too bad, too much,quot; Leyland said. quot;He's going to be outstanding for us, there's no doubt in my mind. You get in a stretch like that where you wait for something bad to happen.quot;

And it did.

Raburn said he hoped to make the most of his opportunity with the Tigers after getting called up Wednesday from Toledo to take Marcus Thames' roster spot. But he sure didn't make a good first impression, misplaying two fly balls that both were generously ruled doubles.

The second miscue didn't lead to any scoring, but his first one paved the way to a three-run first inning for the Angels.

quot;The first one fooled him,quot; Leyland said, quot;and the second he lost in the lights.quot;

Verlander then walked Bobby Abreu, but struck out Torii Hunter. He was one strike from getting out of the inning before first baseman Kendry Morales drilled a three-run homer.

Detroit took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first with Placido Polanco and Magglio Ordonez each driving in runs. But that momentum quickly was lost.

The Tigers came back. Adam Everett started a two-run rally in the third with a pop fly double dropped by shortstop Aybar and scored on a two-out single down the right field line by Ordonez. Miguel Cabrera and Guillen followed with singles to plate another run.

A solo homer in the fifth by Curtis Granderson -- his third in two games here -- gave Detroit a 5-4 lead in the fifth.

Morales capped a three-run uprising with a two-run single in the fifth for a 7-5 Los Angeles lead.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 24, 2009

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