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Penny twirls gem, Jackson homers in a 5-2 Tigers victory

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Final - 5.8.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 1 0 5 11 0
Toronto Blue Jays 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 7 0
WP: Brad Penny (3 - 3)
SV: Jose Valverde (7)
LP: Jo-Jo Reyes (0 - 3)

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BOX

KEY STAT

7 2/3 innings, 2 ER: Brad Penny may have pitched his best game as a Tiger.

KEY STAT (B)

Jose Valverde made his 200th career save with a 1-2-3 all-strikeout ninth inning.

KEY PLAY

Austin Jackson broke a 2-2 tie in the top of the seventh with a two-run home run. He had another 3-hit day by the way.

KEY THOUGHT

Everyone was ready to write Brad Penny off after his fourth start of the season. His ERA had climbed to 8.44 and the Tigers lost three of his four starts. But there were some good indicators if you looked deeper that his might turn around, and we've seen that in recent games. Now, Penny has allowed two or fewer runs in three of his last four starts. Today he went deeper into the game than he has all season. (And in just 98 pitches). For a back of the rotation starter, he's doing just what you ask him to do.

With Austin Jackson, too, you knew his luck had to turn around eventually. Not that it was all a statistical fluke. There were some mechanical issues in his swing as well. But there was a lot of bad luck going on too. Six hits in two days, including a difference-making home run, gives us hope he'll find some consistency as the lead-off man. I don't have to tell you the Tigers' lineup does best when Jackson is getting on base at the top of the lineup.

I'm not sure what to make of 200 career saves. But I do know a 1-2-3 ninth for Valverde was just what the doctor ordered.