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Tigers Survive Five Run First By Orioles

Luke Scott drove in a pair in the first inning and that capped off a five run first inning for the Orioles in what looked to be a meltdown start for Justin Verlander.  Fortunately for the Tigers, Verlander bounced back and threw seven shutout innings after that and the offense got just enough for the Tigers to sneak away with a win in this one.  Verlander ended up throwing 119 pitches and he gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in eight innings.  Fernando Rodney pitched a shutout ninth and improved to 2-2 on the season.

I think a big reason the Tigers came back in this one was because they immediately answered the Orioles big inning with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first.  Placido Polanco doubled home Curtis Granderson and then Miguel Cabrera belted a two run double to make it 5-3.  Cabrera later hit a solo home run in the fifth to make it 5-5.  Then in the bottom of the ninth, Clete Thomas put one over the fence at the deepest part of the ballpark for the game winner.  Thomas reached base three times with a single, a home run and a walk.  Ramon Santiago had a big hit in the fourth when he singled home Marcus Thames with two outs in the inning.

The White Sox and Twins were both off so the Tigers picked up a half game on each of them.  Tomorrow, Jarrod Washburn makes his much anticipated Tigers debut while the Orioles throw Brian Matusz, who’s making his major league debut.  Matusz was the Orioles first round (fourth overall) draft pick last year.

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