Saturday, March 22, 2014

Star-Struck, Detroit Wins Series 4-3!

The Tigers excited about their last win, want to shoot for wins in these last two games -- this series has been something of a Tug of War.

Game 6

Bob Knepper walks in with a 9-4 record & 2.80 ERA, while he faces off against Melido Perez. Perez is hoping for a better outcome this time, he's 8-6, 2.95 ERA.

Top of the 2nd
Julio leads off with a single to right. Terry Francona hits one hard to O'Malley, O'Malley only has one option & that's to first for the out, Franco to second. Jose Uribe draws a walk, and that sets up the double play. Bob Knepper comes to the plate, and that gets by Hassey, a wild pitch by Knepper as both runners move up a base. Bruce Benedict pops up to Johnny Ray at second for the 2nd out.  Jim Presley grounds out to short.

Top of the 3rd

Butler gets Stars started for huge 3rd Inning.
Brett Butler leads off with a single up the middle that gets by Johnny Ray. Tracy Jones hits one up the middle, Fermin gets to it flips to Ray for the force not in time, and Jones is safe at first, no outs. Knepper rocks & fires, and George Bell lays into this one, it's over the left field fence, Knepper would like to have that pitch back! Dave Parker puts a charge into this one, it's over Barfield's head in center, and is off the bottom of the wall, this is good for extra bases, Parker rounds second, but the third base coach flashes the stop sign. Knepper issues his 3rd walk already, this one to Franco. Runners on 1st & 2nd, still no outs, and the batter will be Terry Francona. Francona smacks this one to center, Barfield is charging in & it's off his chest, he keeps the ball in front of him, Parker to home, the throw and Parker is safe, as Franco makes it to third base. This is not going well for Knepper, bullpen is already warming up. Jose Uribe hits a deep sac fly to left, to score in Franco, the first out is finally logged -- two more to go. Bruce Benedict hits a single into the left-center gap, runners on 1st & 2nd. Jim Presley hits this one hard to short, this could be trouble, Fermin is able to knock it down, but everyone is safe, bases loaded & only one out. The lineup has made itself around as Brett Butler is back up, he led this inning off with a single. Butler hits a deep fly, it bounces off Carter's glove, oh & Barfield catches it tosses it, underhands it as he falls to the ground, Carter is up with the throw, but Francona scores on the sac fly -- two away. Knepper looking to end this nightmare against Tracy Jones at the plate. Jones flies out to left, end of the inning, but not before the Stars light up the scoreboard. Looks like the Tigers fans are heading for the beer stands early in this one. Detroit 6, Traverse City 0.

Top of the 4th
George Bell smashes 3-run HR in 3rd Inn.
Jose Rijo will get the nod in relief for Knepper, who allowed 6 runs & 8 hits, 3 walks -- Rijo will try to do his best, but the Tigers bats need to contribute as well, they have only one hit up to this point. George Bell leads off with a single past Felix Fermin at short, Bell's second hit of the game. Parker hits a grounder to short, Fermin over to second for one, but Ray is taken out by the runner, they will only get the force at second. Julio Franco lifts a single to right, Parker is around second & decides to test Carter's arm, and he's out! What was he smoking? Franco advances to second on the throw -- 10 hits for the Stars already!Two outs, a man on second, as Francona comes up to the plate, and grounds out to short.

Top of the 5th
Back-to-back singles for Jose Uribe & Bruce Benedict of the Stars. Passed Ball on Ron Hassey, as the runners move up. Rijo sets to pitch to Jim Presley again, the pitch, it's hit towards the gap, Carter's after it, and it's caught in his webbing -- the runners tag up, but they decide to hold. Brett Butler hits a line-drive at Felix Fermin, two outs. Tracy Jones flies out to Carter in right, to end the possible threat. Detroit still leads 6-0 in this one.

Bottom of the 5th
Ron Hassey hits a single in the gap in left, that's only the second hit by T.C.; O'Malley follows up by almost hitting into a double play, he just beats out the toss to first. Barfield strikes out & Fermin flies to center -- The Tigers' offense is flat right now.

Bottom of the 6th
With 2 outs, Melido Perez walks off the mound, the trainers are out, he does a practice throw, and there is not much steam to it -- The Stars quickly yank him, and will have go with a reliever. The Stars go with Craig Lefferts, in which the Tigers counter with Nick Esasky. Time for the Tigers to start sending in their subs soon. Esasky strikes out. Detroit 6, Traverse City 0

Top of the 7th
Tigers send Johnny Ray out to right field to play for Joe Carter, as Marty Barrett will play at second. Nick Esasky who came in for Pete O'Brien, will stay at first base. The Tigers also bring in Juan Agosto, after three innings of relief by Jose Rijo. Smooth sailing for Agosto, 1-2-3 in the 7th, as the Tiger fans are starting to head for the exits.

The Tigers could not do anything more, as Craig Lefferts & Rob Dibble kept the Tigers scoreless in 3.1 innings of relief. George Bell was the star in this one, 3-for-5, three-run HR.

FINAL SCORE: Detroit 6, Traverse City 0

Game 7

This one is for the series, it's between Charlie Hough (7-12, 3.46 ERA) against Danny Jackson, who pitched a shutout in Game 2 against the Tigers, lowering his ERA to 1.96, while improving his record to 11-4.

Top of the 2nd
Jose Uribe draws a lead-off walk. Jim Presley hits one that ricochets off Hough's leg, he'll make it safely to first. Runners on 1st & 2nd, no outs, Hough fires it past Boone to the backstop, as the runners will advance one base on the wild pitch; Cerone settles again in the batter's box. Hough to the plate, healthy cut by Cerone, and his strikes out. Vince Coleman goes fishing for the ball in the dirt, strike three -- two away. Hough just needs to get past Brett Butler to avoid a score in this inning -- the pitch, Butler grounds it to Barrett, Barrett is up with it & flips it to first, side retired.

Bottom of the 2nd
Joe Carter hits a little looper just out of second baseman Franco's reach for a lead-off single. Mookie Wilson follows up Carter's hit, with a liner just over Uribe's glove at short, Parker is up for it, Carter takes a few steps toward third, but he'll hold up. Danny Jackson sets up to pitch, outside corner, ball four to Pete O'Brien, and the bases are loaded with no outs! Marty Barrett to the plate, the pitch, he hits it right to Presley at third, Presley tags third for the force, a run scores though. One out, runners on 1st & 2nd for Ramirez, Jackson to the plate,easy bouncer to Franco, could be two, over to second for one, over to first, double play. Traverse City only manages one run, we'll see if that comes back to haunt them.
Presley tames Tigers in final game.

Bottom of the 3rd
One-out triple by Tim Raines, hit into the right field corner -- it's his 2nd hit of the game & his 5th triple of the season. Bob Boone pops up behind third, for the second out. Winfield hits a routine grounder to short, as Uribe fires to first, side retired.

Top of the 4th
Jim Presley gets a hold of a fastball and sends this one to center, buh-bye! Two-run homer, as Detroit has taken the lead, 2-1.

Top of the 5th
Brett Butler leads off the inning with a lead-off triple. Whitaker finds his pitch, and sends this one over the centerfield wall, 4-1 Stars' lead.

Top of the 6th
Lead-off single for Jim Presley, 3rd hit of the game for Presley. Another wild pitch for Hough, as Presley advances to second. Hough strikes out Rick Cerone for the first out. Vince Coleman pops up for the second out. Brett Butler hits a two-out double, as Presley scores easily. Hough issues his 5th walk to Lou Whitaker, runners now on 1st & 2nd. The Tigers will go to the bullpen for the southpaw Ken Dayley (2.73 ERA in 25 appearances), he will try to keep the Tigers in the game. Kruk pops up behind third for the final out.
Detroit 5, Traverse City 1

Bottom of the 6th
Joe Carter delivers a two-out single to right, for his second hit of the game. Mookie Wilson comes up, the pitch, Carter is off-and-running for second, it's grounded to Franco, and Franco throws it past John Kruk towards the stands, Kruk is chasing after it, Carter rounds third, Kruk is up with and they now have Carter off third, the throw to third, Carter breaks for home, the throw to the plate now by third baseman Jim Presley, and.... he's SAFE! Mookie is on second. T.C. only cuts into the lead by one run, 5-2, Detroit leads.

Top of the 8th
After Coleman got on with a two-out single, the Tigers go to the pen to replace Eric King, with southpaw John Candelaria to face lefty Brett Butler, Butler hits it into the right field corner, as Coleman will score all the way from first -- RBI double. Detroit 6, Traverse City 2

Bottom of the 8th
The Stars bring in a reliever for Jackson, going with Mike Bielecki (2.39 ERA in 26 innings). One-out single by Dave Winfield. Ron Hassey pinch-hits for Bob Boone, and pops up for out number two. Tigers go to the bench to pinch-hit for Joe Carter this time, and goes with Johnny Ray. The Tigers got Winfield running for second, Ray connects and sends a single to left, Winfield strolls into third, executing the fundamentals, successful hit-and-run. The Detroit Stars' skipper now will make a pitching change, and elects to have Rob Dibble come in for Bielecki, before the lead slips out of their hands. Mookie Wilson steps up to the plate to face the righty, the pitch from Dibble, Ray is going for second, strike, the throw from Cerone, and Ray is safe! Runners on 2nd & 3rd now. Dibble sets & fires, and Mookie pops it up to Kruk -- Tigers come up empty!

Bottom of the 9th
Lead-off double for Pete O'Brien. Marty Barrett steps up to the plate & Dibble fires a wild pitch over his head, O'Brien advances to third. Barrett flies to right, O'Brien tags up, the throw at the plate by Butler, and he's out by inches! O'Brien is not happy with the ump. A double play, no one on now, and the hope to stay alive is up to Rafael Ramirez. Ramirez grounds it to Franco, and that does it, Detroit wins!

FINAL SCORE: Detroit 6, Traverse City 2

Detroit wins the series 4-3.

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