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Fielder, Jackson get a rest late in blowout loss

The Sports Xchange
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--1B Prince Fielder was given three innings off Tuesday night, removed in a one-sided loss so he could get a little bit of rest. Fielder played the first six innings and was taken out for a pinch runner after being hit by a pitch in the sixth inning. He'll start again Wednesday. Fielder has been given the option at least twice this season by manager Jim Leyland to serve as a designated hitter rather than play first base as a way to get him off his feet for part of a game. In each instance, Fielder has declined. "That's a common-sense thing," Leyland said, "particularly with Prince and Miguel (Cabrera). They play every day. The only thing is, the fans come out to see them."

--CF Austin Jackson batted just three times Tuesday night before being removed after six innings in a blowout loss. Because Jackson did not reach base, his streak of scoring at least one run in every game ended at 13, the longest such streak by a Tiger since OF Johnny Groth had a 13-game stretch in 1950.

--LHP Duane Below took one for the team, as the saying goes, by pitching extended innings Tuesday night when starter RHP Jacob Turner lasted only two innings. Below began the third and pitched shutout ball for three innings before getting roughed up in his fourth frame as manager Jim Leyland avoided having to use his primary back-end relievers in a blowout loss. "We extended him a little more than I wanted to," Leyland said, "but we had to be careful with the bullpen." Below's longest relief outing was a six-inning effort early in the season.

--LHP Darin Downs allowed the first runs of his short rookie season Tuesday night. Downs had not given up a run in any of his four previous appearances for the Tigers, although he needed a double play Saturday night after walking the bases loaded with one out in the eighth. He worked the last two innings of Detroit's 13-0 loss to the Angels on Tuesday and gave up a home run to Kendrys Morales in the eighth and an RBI double to Peter Bourjos in the ninth.

--RHP Brayan Villarreal saw his first action since the All-Star break Tuesday night, pitching 1 2/3 innings of a lopsided loss. Villarreal had been out of action due to a stiff neck, missing four games. He allowed one hit and struck out two. Villarreal saw a neck specialist Monday and could have pitched that night, but manager Jim Leyland wanted to give him one more day. Villarreal showed his upper-90s fastball and sharp slider in his 1 2/3 innings. "Villarreal had to get his feet wet again," Leyland said. "We didn't want him to throw more than 20 pitches, so that worked out all right."

--RHP Jacob Turner is still looking for his first major league victory. He was lit up Tuesday for seven runs in a two-inning start against the Angels in the worst outing of his brief big-league career. Turner allowed a three-run home run in the four-run first and a pair of home runs as in a three-run second. He was not throwing inside, and too many pitches were over the fat part of the plate.

BY THE NUMBERS
158 -- Franchise-record number of games played in a row without being shut out, a steak that ended Tuesday night with a 13-0 loss to the Angels. Detroit was previously shut out July 16, 2011, in a 5-0 loss to the White Sox.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"He needs some more seasoning, I think. I wouldn't overreact one way or the other. He will be at the top of a rotation, or close to it, at some point." -- Manager Jim Leyland, on the disappointing start Tuesday night by RHP Jacob Turner, who gave up seven runs in two innings.

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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