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Jose Valverde earns save No. 40 as Tigers rally to beat Royals, 5-4


Final - 8.31.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City Royals 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 4 9 1
Detroit Tigers 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 X 5 10 1
WP: Daniel Schlereth (2 - 1)
SV: Jose Valverde (40)
LP: Blake Wood (5 - 2)

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BOX

KEY STAT

40-for-40: Jose Valverde, per the norm, had a bit of drama in the ninth inning. But, per the norm, he came away with the save. He is perfect for the season, and became just the second Tiger to reach the 40-save mark. (Todd Jones in 2000 was the first.)

KEY PLAY

Let's just credit all the key plays of the eighth inning: Austin Jackson's leadoff triple got it started; Ramon Santiago got the run home to cut the deficit to one. Delmon Young singled with an out, and Victor Martinez got him home with two outs to tie the game. Finally, Wilson Betemit doubled to give the Tigers the lead entering the ninth inning. (Unfortunately Alex Avila was thrown out at home for your daily Lamontroversy.)

KEY THOUGHTS

Jose Valverde and Todd Jones are linked together in Tigers history for each having 40 saves in a season. They're also linked together for causing a spike of Maalox sales in Michigan. But the Tigers beat the Royals, 5-4, so that's what counts.

I guess the big stories up until the eighth inning was that the Tigers couldn't string together any semblance of an offense against Royals starter Nathan Adcock, and Tigers starter Rick Porcello couldn't keep Eric Hosmer in the ballpark. It really felt like the game was going to end a loss.

It's a good thing the Royals are a young team -- er, in the long run maybe it's not. They're losing the kinds of games they'll be winning in a year or two. Fortunately for us, the Tigers were able to take advantage of the opportunities given to them the past two days and came up with a pair of wins. Too dramatic, but wins in the end.

A lot of credit today has to go to Jackson, who not only went 4-for-4 but also scored three runs. Some credit for that has to go to the batters behind him, obviously. But Jackson did well on the base paths to set up the teammates.

For the record, even though Jeff Francouer has a great arm I didn't mind third base coach Gene Lamont sending home Avila.With two outs, (almost) no matter who the next batter is the odds of the run scoring aren't really great. Ryan Raburn hasn't been awful lately, but he's not exactly Miguel Cabrera either.