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Tigers come up big in pinch to lift Verlander over Phillies

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Justin Verlander nearly went from a no-hitter in one start to a no-win situation in the next.

Then Detroit came through in a pinch to get Verlander off the hook.

Verlander lost his bid for another no-hitter early and watched the Tigers come through late, scoring five runs in the seventh to rally and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 on Sunday.

"I didn't treat it differently than any other start," Verlander said.

The Tigers used three pinch-hitters in the seventh, including Gary Sheffield, who hit for Verlander and knocked in a run off Geoff Geary (1-2) that cut it to 3-2. Craig Monroe and Magglio Ordonez followed with consecutive two-RBI hits to complete the rally for a 6-3 lead.

Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 17th save.

Verlander (8-2) who no-hit Milwaukee and struck out 12 on Tuesday night, allowed a one-out single to Abraham Nunez in the second inning to end any possibility of becoming the second pitcher to throw no-hitters in two straight starts.

Johnny Vander Meer is still the only "JV" to throw back-to-back no-hitters.

"I didn't want to have any of that on my mind," Verlander said. "I just wanted to win the game."

Verlander kept his fastball humming in the high 90s throughout his six-inning stint, striking out six with two walks. He gave up seven hits and three runs.

Two of those hits were by Phillies starter Adam Eaton. Eaton had an RBI single in the sixth that made it 3-1 and he seemed poised to beat the Tigers with his arm and bat. Eaton gave up a run in the first, then settled down and was effective over the next five innings.

Then everything went wrong for the Phillies.

Brandon Inge doubled and pinch-hitter Carlos Guillen singled off Eaton with one out in the seventh. Eaton was pulled for Geary, who gave up the run-scoring single to Sheffield.

"If the ball was down a little bit, it might have been a groundball double play," Geary said. "I was trying to minimize the damage as much as possible."

Instead, he gave up the hit that put some steam in the rally.

Geary was out and Mike Zagurski was in. He retired pinch-hitter Omar Infante on a grounder that advanced the runners to second and third.

Exit Zagurski, enter Yoel Hernandez. That made it four different pitchers for four straight batters.

He walked Placido Polanco to load the bases, then Craig Monroe knocked a full-count pitch off Nunez's glove for a two-RBI single. Ordonez lined a pitch to right for his major-league best 33rd double and a 6-3 lead.

"In the last couple of years in that kind of situation, I've learned to relax," Monroe said. "I was just glad I was able to come through."

Then came the sound as familiar in Philly as the vendors shouting "Hot dogs!"

Boooo!

The fans weren't the only ones angry and it showed after the Phillies made it an unusual 1-2-3 eighth.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke in and manager Charlie Manuel was tossed moments later. Third base coach Steve Smith argued from the dugout and was thrown out by first base ump Laz Diaz. Smith sprinted from the steps toward the umps and had to be restrained by Manuel.

Manuel said he protested a check swing on a called ball that Welke never checked with Diaz on for another opinion. Ruiz said he was angry over some of Welke's calls and was tossed when he started complaining.

"I said a couple of bad words," Ruiz said. "In English."

Verlander's no-hit luck ran out in the second. He walked Aaron Rowand and hit Greg Dobbs. Then Nunez lined a run-scoring single that tied the game at 1. Eaton added an infield single to load the bases with two outs, but Jimmy Rollins struck out swinging to end the threat.

The Tigers went up in the first on Ordonez's RBI single to center. Guillen's RBI single in the eighth off Hernandez made it 7-3.

"It was a tough loss, but we didn't play bad," Rowand said. "We just didn't get the 'W' at the end of the day."

Notes

  • Tigers manager Jim Leyland originally wanted to give C Ivan Rodriguez the day off. But Leyland said Rodriguez insisted that he play on Father's Day and instead will take a day off on Tuesday.
  • A crowd of 45,537 was the eighth sellout at Citizens Bank Park this year and the second-largest crowd in the stadium's four-year history. Some of the fans in the first few rows outside the open air press box cheered that announcement.
  • Rowand left the game in the eighth with cramping in his left leg.
 
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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Ivan Rodriguez high-fives Gary Sheffield in the seventh after Sheffield drives in a run and scores.  (AP)
Ivan Rodriguez high-fives Gary Sheffield in the seventh after Sheffield drives in a run and scores. (AP)

Players of the Game
Detroit

M. Ordonez
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Philadelphia

C. Utley
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF3120000 .295
   a- Omar Infante, PH-CF2000012 .326
Placido Polanco, 2B4100103 .338
Craig Monroe, LF5112002 .238
Magglio Ordonez, RF3023200 .371
Sean Casey, 1B4000002 .286
    Fernando Rodney, P0000000 .000
   b- Mike Maroth, PH1000001 .000
    Todd Jones, P0000000 .000
Ivan Rodriguez, C5120001 .297
Brandon Inge, 3B3120111 .254
Neifi Perez, SS2000001 .172
   c- Carlos Guillen, PH-SS2121000 .309
Justin Verlander, P2000010 .000
   d- Gary Sheffield, PH1111000 .287
    Bobby Seay, P0000000 .000
    Marcus Thames, 1B1000012 .223
Totals38712744  
a-grounded out for Granderson in the 7th
b-grounded out for Rodney in the 9th
c-singled for Perez in the 7th
d-singled for Verlander in the 7th
Batting
2B - Magglio Ordonez (33, Y. Hernandez), Brandon Inge (9, Eaton)
RBI - Craig Monroe 2 (39), Magglio Ordonez 3 (64), Carlos Guillen (43), Gary Sheffield (47)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Monroe 2 (19), Magglio Ordonez 3 (22)
SB - Curtis Granderson (8, 2nd base off Eaton/Ruiz)
Team LOB - 8
Detroit Tigers
Justin Verlander (W,8-2) 6733260 2.90
Bobby Seay (H,5) 0.2200010 4.50
Fernando Rodney (H,5) 1.1211120 5.74
Todd Jones (S,17) 1100000 5.06
IBB - Ruiz by Justin Verlander
HBP - Dobbs (by Justin Verlander)
Pitches-Strikes - Justin Verlander 98-58, Bobby Seay 10-9, Fernando Rodney 39-24, Todd Jones 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Justin Verlander 3-9, Fernando Rodney 2-0
Batters Faced - Justin Verlander 28, Bobby Seay 4, Fernando Rodney 7, Todd Jones 4
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5011015 .278
Shane Victorino, RF4010120 .278
Chase Utley, 2B5130002 .320
Ryan Howard, 1B5000024 .232
Aaron Rowand, CF3111112 .325
    Jayson Werth, LF1000000 .239
Greg Dobbs, LF2110001 .285
   a- Wes Helms, PH1000012 .248
    Michael Bourn, CF1010000 .263
Abraham Nunez, 3B5121012 .270
Carlos Ruiz, C2000102 .272
    Rod Barajas, C1000000 .205
Adam Eaton, P3021000 .182
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
    Mike Zagurski, P0000000 .000
    Yoel Hernandez, P0000000 .000
    Jose Mesa, P0000000 .000
   b- Pat Burrell, PH1000011 .211
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
Totals39412439  
a-struck out for Dobbs in the 7th
b-struck out for Mesa in the 8th
Batting
2B - Chase Utley (30, Verlander), Aaron Rowand (16, Verlander)
3B - Greg Dobbs (2, Verlander)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (43), Aaron Rowand (38), Abraham Nunez (13), Adam Eaton (3)
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins (19), Aaron Rowand (21), Adam Eaton (2)
SB - Jimmy Rollins (13, 2nd base off Rodney/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Aaron Rowand 1
Philadelphia Phillies
Adam Eaton 6.1633220 5.33
Geoff Geary (L,1-2)0111000 4.35
Mike Zagurski (H,3) 0.1000000 4.15
Yoel Hernandez (BS,1) 0.1533100 4.61
Jose Mesa 1000020 10.13
Brian Sanches 1000100 0.00
IBB - Polanco by Yoel Hernandez
WP - Brian Sanches (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Adam Eaton 101-66, Geoff Geary 3-1, Mike Zagurski 5-3, Yoel Hernandez 29-15, Jose Mesa 14-8, Brian Sanches 18-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Adam Eaton 11-5, Mike Zagurski 1-0, Jose Mesa 1-0, Brian Sanches 3-0
Batters Faced - Adam Eaton 26, Geoff Geary 1, Mike Zagurski 1, Yoel Hernandez 7, Jose Mesa 3, Brian Sanches 4
Game Information
Attendance - 45537
Game Time - 3:33
Temperature - 85
Umpires - Home - Bill Welke, First Base - Laz Diaz, Second Base - Rob Drake, Third Base - Wally Bell