Verlander Wins Again

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Detroit came through in a pinch to get Justin Verlander another win.
Verlander lost his bid for another no-hitter early and watched the Tigers come through late, scoring five runs in the seventh to rally and beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-4 on Sunday.
The Tigers used three pinch-hitters in the seventh including Gary Sheffield, who hit for Verlander and knocked in a run off Geoff Geary (1-2) that cut Philadelphia's lead to 3-2.
Craig Monroe and Magglio Ordonez followed with consecutive two-RBI hits to complete the rally for a 6-3 lead.
Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 17th save in 21 chances.
Verlander (8-2) saw his bid for consecutive no-hitters spoiled early. The 2006 AL rookie of the year, who no-hit Milwaukee and struck out 12 on Tuesday night, allowed a one-out single to Abraham Nunez in the second inning to end any possibility of becoming the second pitcher to throw no-hitters in two straight starts.
Johnny Vander Meer is still the only "JV" to throw back-to-back no-hitters.
Verlander will gladly settle for the victory. He kept his fastball humming in the high 90s throughout his six-inning stint, striking out six with two walks. He gave up seven hits.
Two of those hits were by Phillies starter Adam Eaton. Eaton had an RBI single in the sixth that made it 3-1 and he seemed poised to beat the Tigers with his arm and bat. Eaton gave up a run in the first, then settled down and was effective over the next five innings.
Then everything went wrong for the Phillies.
Brandon Inge doubled and pinch-hitter Carlos Guillen singled off Eaton with one out in the seventh. Eaton was pulled for Geary, who gave up the run-scoring single to Sheffield.
Geary was out and Mike Zagurski was in. He retired pinch-hitter Omar Infante on a grounder that advanced the runners to second and third.
Exit Zagurski, enter Yoel Hernandez. That made it four different pitchers for four straight batters.
He walked Placido Polanco to load the bases before Craig Monroe knocked a full-count pitch off Nunez's glove for a two-RBI single. Ordonez lined a pitch to right for his major-league best 33rd double and a 6-3 lead.
Then came the sound as familiar in Philly as the vendors shouting "Hot dogs!"
Boooo!
The fans weren't the only ones angry.
Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz was ejected by plate umpire Bill Welke in the eighth and manager Charlie Manuel was tossed moments later. Third base coach Steve Smith also was thrown out for arguing from the dugout. Smith sprinted from the steps toward the umps and had to be restrained by Manuel.
Verlander's no-hit luck ran out in the second. He walked Aaron Rowand and hit Greg Dobbs. Then Nunez lined a run-scoring single that tied the game at 1. Eaton added an infield single to load the bases with two outs, but Jimmy Rollins struck out swinging to end the threat.
The Tigers went up in the first on Ordonez's RBI single to center. Guillen's RBI single in the eighth off Hernandez made it 7-3.


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