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Berry enjoys his eighth three-hit game

The Sports Xchange
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--LF Quintin Berry went back to his short swing, hitting the ball to left Wednesday night, and he was rewarded with three hits and a pair of RBI. It was the eighth time Berry has had three hits in a game. Berry, 27, played his first major league game May 23 in Cleveland, and as a singles hitter, he will continually be in a battle to keep his spot on the team. "It's been awesome, man, I'm having a blast up here," Berry said. "I'm just glad we won."

Berry's first-inning single set CF Austin Jackson up to score on a base hit by 3B Miguel Cabrera. Berry had RBI singles in the second and sixth.

"Quintin had a great night," manager Jim Leyland said, "just laying the bat on the ball, not trying to do too much. Sometimes when he gets a little aggressive, his swing lengthens out, he tries to do a little too much. He's just done a heckuva job for us. I like when he just stays within himself, slaps the ball around. He's done a whale of a job for us."

--RHP Max Scherzer struggled early in the game Wednesday but ended well, as he picked up his first victory ever in Cleveland and his 10th of the season. Scherzer got a strikeout-throwout double play after walking the first batter he faced, and he gave up a two-run home run in the third inning. Those were the only two runs he allowed in seven innings. His slider was spotty and his fastball control was a little off until about the fourth inning. "When I really started getting after it, that's when my fastball command starting coming back," Scherzer said. "My slider against lefties was very good. That was the difference."

Manager Jim Leyland said, "His control was a little erratic at times. In the sixth or seventh, he made a great pitch to Hafner. He made some great pitches when he had to."

Leyland was referring to the 99 mph 0-2 fastball that DH Travis Hafner took for a third strike in the sixth. Scherzer struck out eight.

--C Alex Avila has been fighting it at the plate but showed some signs of a rebound Wednesday night, when he had a double and a single and scored two runs. Avila has battled a bad left knee, but manager Jim Leyland, a former catcher, views him as his primary receiver.

--1B Prince Fielder showed his ability as a hitter in the fifth inning Wednesday. The big first baseman was up after three walks loaded the bases, but he fell behind in the count, 1-2. He went down after an ankle-high sinker and lofted it into center field far enough for a sacrifice fly.

--3B Miguel Cabrera drove in another run for the Tigers. Cabrera's line single to right in the first inning got Detroit off to a 1-0 start. He leads the major leagues with 82 RBI.

--CF Austin Jackson makes a nice top-of-the-lineup partner with LF Quintin Berry. Jackson singled to open Wednesday's game and scored Detroit's first run in a 5-3 victory at Cleveland. He drew the first of three straight walks in the fifth and scored on a sacrifice fly by 1B Prince Fielder. It was the 15th time this season Jackson has scored at least twice in a game.

--OF Andy Dirks was scratched from Class AAA Toledo's starting lineup Wednesday night with renewed soreness in his right Achilles tendon. Dirks had started in center field twice and served as the Mud Hens' designated hitter once since starting his rehab assignment Sunday. He is 3-for-9 with a home run for Toledo, but there really is no need to rush his return because creating a roster spot would be a bit of a problem. He is expected to return to Toledo's lineup Thursday.

--RHP Al Alburquerque allowed two runs on three hits two-thirds of an inning for Class A Lakeland on Tuesday in his first rehab appearance. Alburquerque has been on the disabled list all season while recovering from right elbow surgery performed in December.

BY THE NUMBERS
10 -- Walks drawn this season by DH Delmon Young after his seventh-inning base on balls Wednesday night in Cleveland. His walk and home run totals are now equal.

QUOTE TO NOTE
"I don't know what we're going to when (OF Andy) Dirks comes back. I don't know. It's obvious. It's out there in front of you guys. You know what we've got. One thing for sure, Dirks and (LF Quintin) Berry both can't play. I'm sure you've all got that figured out." -- Manager Jim Leyland, anticipating the topic of discussion when Dirks' rehab assignment ends at some point in the next two weeks.

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

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