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Tigers hold off Royals, 4-3

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Final - 8.5.2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 R
Detroit Tigers 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 4
Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 3

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BOX

KEY STAT

Brennan Boesch, 2-for-5, 2 RBI

KEY PLAY(S)

Wilson Betemit walked to lead off the top of the 10th. (Andy Dirks pinch ran). That's key one. Aaron Crow threw a wild pitch, allowing Dirks to advance to second. Brennan Boesch singled, driving in Dirks for the game-winning run.

KEY THOUGHTS

Aftter taking a 3-0 lead into the seventh inning, the Tigers tried to rip defeat out of the jaws of victory, but failed. The game, like a typical Jose Valverde appearance on the mound, had far too much drama but ultimately resulted in a "W" for Detroit. That's win No. 60 on the season. Not too shabby.

But let's admit it. The win is going to be an afterthought for many people. The discussion topic that will come up the most is (yet again) Jim Leyland's management of the pitcher and the bullpen. In this case, Rick Porcello's shutout was blown up in the seventh inning when hit after hit found a way around the Tigers' infield. Not that it's that difficult. But that's what happened. After three of the first four batters singled, Porcello came out of the game. He led 3-1 and left two runners on base. Phil Coke allowed a hit to the only batter he faced, then David Pauley allowed another hit before getting out of the game with a double play. At that point it was 3-3. Porcello could not earn the win and was charged with all three runs.

No big deal right? Pitchers tire. Well ... Porcello's pitch count was just 82 when he left the game. He didn't appear to be tired. He just appeared to be playing the game of baseball with a sub-par infield defense. The reason Porcello was pulled was to get the lefty-lefty matchup. Leyland told the media in his postgame interview:

"It wasn't a tough call for me because you could see they were starting to get a little momentum going. Maybe we could have made a play but those balls were hit pretty hard. You got a guy (Mike Moustakas) up hitting 071 against left handed pitching. ... It just didn't work."

I know people want to get upset with this. Some will. But I find it hard to get too riled up, honestly. If a Tigers batter was hitting 071 against left handers, the opposing manager would probably have done the same. Maybe Porcello would have got out of it. Maybe he would have allowed 3 runs, too. Who knows. But I am not gnashing teeth. Teams have a bullpen for a reason. It just didn't work.

In any case, we don't want to miss two key bullet points. Porcello pitched a great game up until the seventh inning. He struck out seven batters through the first six innings, allowing two walks and three hits. Porcello told Fox Sports Detroit

I felt good, but Skipper wanted to go with Coke and he's the manager. Whatever he says goes.

Porcello also said he thought like he got a little lucky early and the Royals hit balls at people, then he got a little unlucky and they hit the balls where the defense wasn't.

As well, Daniel Schlereth pitched well in the game's final two innings. Schlereth hasn't exactly been great this season, so to allow one walk and no hits was solid.

The final note: The Tigers opened the game with back-to-back triples from Austin Jackson and Brennan Boesch. So that was pretty cool.

Other news:

Texas rallied from a 7-1 deficit to the Indians (on Ubaldo Jimenez's Indians debut) to tie the game at 7-7. It is now in the 10th inning.