Detroit Tigers Notes And Quotes 5-14-11
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–RHP Justin Verlander went 5 2/3 innings into his bid for a second straight no-hitter, giving up an RBI triple to CF Melky Cabrera. He faced 51 batters without allowing a hit. “He was really good again,” manager Jim Leyland said. “He got pretty deep into the game before giving up a hit.” Verlander allowed two hits in the eight innings he worked, throwing 105 pitches. “The only guy I played with in my life like Verlander is Randy Johnson,” said RHP Jose Valverde, who came on for his ninth save. “He’s the best pitcher in the American League.” “It was the same as last time,” Verlander said. “I started thinking about it in the third or fourth inning or so. If I had got that last out (in the sixth), come the 7th, 8th and 9th I was going after it with everything I had.”
–RF Magglio Ordonez was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 11, with weakness in the right ankle he fractured last July. “It’s been bothering me every day,” admitted Ordonez, batting just .172 with one home run and five RBI in 26 games. “At this time we can’t answer (how long he’ll be on the DL),” head trainer Kevin Rand said. “We’ll have a better idea once he’s seen next week. “We’re going to send him back out to Los Angeles to see the specialist who did the surgery (Dr. Phillip Kwong of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles). Maybe we need to give it a blow for a couple of weeks.” Ordonez fractured the ankle late last July and underwent surgery a month later.
–SS Jhonny Peralta now has four home runs in five games after hitting a two-out solo shot in the fourth inning. Peralta went 1-for-2 and is now hitting .298. A good sign: in the at-bat where he hit his home run, Peralta pushed two outside pitches to right for foul balls. Remaking Peralta from a dead pull hitter into a batter who occasionally goes the other way with a pitch is paying off.
–CF Austin Jackson hit his first Comerica Park home run. Jackson ripped the second pitch he saw over the left field fence. It was his third career leadoff home run. Manager Jim Leyland worries Jackson will become home run happy, which he feels was part of the reason for his early season struggles.
–DH Victor Martinez singled leading off the second inning, his seventh hit in his last nine at-bats. Martinez got a sign of respect when he was intentionally walked following a one-out double by 1B Miguel Cabrera in the sixth. He has a 12-game hitting streak.
–OF Andy Dirks had his contract purchased by Detroit and reported to replace RF Magglio Ordonez, placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 11 due to weakness in his right ankle. “He’s been pretty good,” said manager Jim Leyland, impressed with Dirks in spring training. “He’s had a couple games where he’s struck out a little bit, but he’s done a good job.” Dirks hit .328 with six home runs, 20 RBI and 10 stolen bases in 34 games with Class AAA Toledo. Leyland indicated he isn’t exactly sure how he’ll use Dirks, but he will play.
–2B Carlos Guillen came to Detroit, took batting practice and will await the next step in his slow comeback from microfracture right knee surgery. “I ran the bases hard (Thursday) and swung from both sides of the plate,” he said. “It doesn’t bother me now. We’ll see Saturday how it feels, but that’s a good sign for me.” Guillen said he’s encouraged by his recent progress. Guillen will continue to work out with the team this weekend before returning Sunday to Tampa. “He’s encouraged,” head trainer Kevin Rand said. “He’s feeling a lot better. He’s starting to make some strides again and hopefully we’ll be get a chance to get a little bit closer to a timetable pretty soon.”
BY THE NUMBERS
14 2/3 — Consecutive hitless innings thrown by RHP Justin Verlander, after he went 5 2/3 innings into his quest for his second straight no-hitter before giving up an RBI triple to Kansas City CF Melky Cabrera. That encompassed 51 batters.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If I have the stuff and it happens; things have to go in your favor for something like that to occur. Things really have to go in your favor to do it twice. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. I’m not saying it never will. I’d like to say I’m a guy who could do it.” — RHP Justin Verlander, commenting before his start about his chances of pitching a second straight no-hitter.
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