St. Louis at Detroit

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St. Louis0003010116120
Detroit «12004003x10130

Verlander, Tigers survive strong game by Pujols

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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DETROIT -- Jim Leyland doesn't expect his Detroit Tigers to be able to stop Albert Pujols and Scott Rolen.

He just hopes that they can continue to limit the damage done by the Cardinals' pair of All-Stars.

Pujols and Rolen combined for seven hits, but only one RBI, and the Tigers went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-6 on Friday night.

"You've got Albert, who is arguably the best player in baseball, and you can't really walk him, because Scott Rolen might be the hottest hitter in the game right now," Leyland said. "So you just try to make sure that no one is on base when they come up."

Pujols went 4-for-4 with his 26th homer and a walk in his second game since coming off the disabled list. He had been sidelined since June 3 with a strained oblique muscle.

"I came out a little too anxious last night," said Pujols, who went 0-for-4 Thursday against the White Sox. "I thought my timing wasn't back, but I was able to hit the ball well tonight."

The Tigers lost catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a wrist injury after he was hit with a foul tip. X-rays were negative and his status is day-to-day.

"I'm sure it is officially a contusion, but to me, it is a bruise," Leyland said. "He's pretty sore, so we'll have to see how it plays out."

Rookie Justin Verlander (9-4) picked up the win, allowing four runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out five, but couldn't get past six innings for the fifth straight start.

"It wasn't pretty, but if I give up nine and we score 10, I'm happy," he said. "I'm still not focused enough, especially with two out."

Fernando Rodney pitched two innings before closer Todd Jones gave up Pujols' homer in the ninth. Pujols is now 5-for-6 in his career against Jones, including three homers.

"He's just a special hitter," Jones said. "I've thrown him everything I have, and he hits all of it.

"Their clubhouse guy does a great job hiding his antennae, because that guy's not from this planet."

Chris Carpenter (6-4) lost for just the second time in seven starts, allowing a season-high seven runs and nine hits in seven innings.

"I didn't get the ball down in the strike zone, and they capitalized," he said. "They've got quality from top to bottom, and you have to keep the ball down, because they don't make mistakes."

The Tigers broke open a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth inning. Craig Monroe led off with a double and scored on Curtis Granderson's one-out double. Placido Polanco followed with an RBI single, and took third on Vance Wilson's double before Magglio Ordonez made it 7-3 with a two-run single.

The Cardinals pulled within 7-4 in the sixth on Yadier Molina's second RBI double of the game. Molina, who added a run-scoring single in the eighth, finished with three hits and three RBI.

Detroit scored three in the eighth to make it 10-5 on RBI singles by Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge and a sacrifice fly by Monroe.

The Tigers took a 3-0 lead on Granderson's solo homer in the first and a two-run shot by Inge in the second, but the Cardinals tied the game with three runs in the fourth.

Notes

  • Pujols' oblique muscle appeared to pass a severe test in the first inning when he stretched to make a leaping catch at first base.
  • Carpenter started last year's All-Star game at Comerica Park.
  • The game was delayed for a few moments in the fourth inning while a squirrel ran around in the outfield. At the end of the inning, the grounds crew chased the squirrel through the outfield fence and into the Tigers bullpen.
  • Leyland dismissed recent rumors that the Tigers might trade hard-throwing rookie reliever Joel Zumaya. "We will not trade him. Period," he said.
  • Former Tiger Juan Encarnacion singled in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 14 games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Brandon Inge hits his 16th homer of the season in the bottom of the second inning.  (AP)
Brandon Inge hits his 16th homer of the season in the bottom of the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

B. Inge
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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St. Louis Cardinals
David Eckstein, SS5000002 .311
Scott Spiezio, DH5000040 .283
Albert Pujols, 1B4241100 .316
Scott Rolen, 3B5130011 .341
John Rodriguez, LF5001043 .300
Juan Encarnacion, RF3111000 .288
So Taguchi, CF3210101 .280
Yadier Molina, C4033000 .218
Aaron Miles, 2B3000102 .270
Totals376126399 
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (8, Verlander), Scott Rolen (23, Verlander), Yadier Molina 2 (12, Verlander, Verlander)
HR - Albert Pujols (26, T. Jones)
SF - Juan Encarnacion (3)
RBI - Albert Pujols (66), John Rodriguez (10), Juan Encarnacion (40), Yadier Molina 3 (26)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols (20), Yadier Molina 3 (16)
SB - Juan Encarnacion (3, 2nd base off Rodney/V. Wilson)
Team LOB - 8
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter (L,6-4) 7977092 2.97
Randy Flores0122100 4.03
Braden Looper 0.1311000 3.34
Tyler Johnson 0.2000020 4.15
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 108-76, Randy Flores 7-3, Braden Looper 15-9, Tyler Johnson 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 7-5
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 30, Randy Flores 2, Braden Looper 4, Tyler Johnson 2
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5222022 .286
Placido Polanco, 2B5111012 .287
Ivan Rodriguez, C2000010 .293
    Vance Wilson, C2110000 .299
Magglio Ordonez, RF3122100 .310
Carlos Guillen, SS4110012 .291
Marcus Thames, DH4221021 .313
Chris Shelton, 1B4010011 .272
Craig Monroe, LF3111021 .241
Brandon Inge, 3B4123011 .225
Totals3610131011110 
Batting
2B - Curtis Granderson (17, Carpenter), Vance Wilson (5, Carpenter), Marcus Thames (13, Carpenter), Craig Monroe (12, Carpenter)
HR - Curtis Granderson (11, Carpenter), Brandon Inge (16, Carpenter)
SF - Craig Monroe (3)
RBI - Curtis Granderson 2 (37), Placido Polanco (27), Magglio Ordonez 2 (54), Marcus Thames (26), Craig Monroe (33), Brandon Inge 3 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Inge 2 (14)
Team LOB - 4
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,9-4) 6744350 3.39
Fernando Rodney (H,8) 2311030 2.89
Todd Jones 1211011 6.83
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 92-62, Fernando Rodney 27-17, Todd Jones 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 5-7, Fernando Rodney 1-2, Todd Jones 2-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 27, Fernando Rodney 9, Todd Jones 5
Game Information
Attendance - 42238
Game Time - 2:42
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Brian O'Nora, First Base - Mike Muchlinski, Second Base - Jerry Crawford, Third Base - Phil Cuzzi