Tigers

Turner Keeps Tigers Close In First Start Of Season

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DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 22: Jacob Turner #50 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on September 22, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

DETROIT – SEPTEMBER 22: Jacob Turner #50 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the first inning during the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park on September 22, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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Jacob Turner made his first major league start of the season Thursday and looked improved over the pitcher who was tagged for an 8.53 ERA over three spot starts for the Tigers last year. “He’s worked on some things,” manager Jim Leyland said. Turner walked five in five innings, but three were in the fifth (one intentional), when Turner gave up his only run on a sacrifice fly to right. He kept his fastball down for the most part, worked largely ahead in the count and showed good use and command of his breaking pitches. He was unable to control the running game at all last year but was quicker to the plate and gave C Alex Avila time to throw out the lone runner who tried to steal, Cardinals 2B Daniel Descalso after a leadoff walk in the fifth. “The most improvement has been in his slider and his curveball,” Avila said. “He’s got the stuff to be successful up here for a long, long time.”

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