Tigers rally for another victory

DETROIT — Wilson Betemit had the game-winning hit Wednesday at the expense of his former teammates while Jose Valverde did it again on the mound.

Betemit’s double brought home the winning run in a three-run eighth inning for the Tigers, who defeated Kansas City 5-4 Wednesday at Comerica Park.

Jose Valverde picked up his 40th save in the ninth inning, which is the longest such streak during a single season in Tiger history. The only other Tiger to reach 40 was Todd Jones with 42 saves in 2000.

“40 for 40, that’s a good number,” Valverde smiled afterwards. “I try to do as much as I can. I’ll try for 50, what do you think?”

Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler had delivered RBI base hits in the top of the sixth to give the Royals a 4-2 lead.

Eric Hosmer homered with the bases empty in the second and fourth innings off Detroit starter Rick Porcello.

Austin Jackson scored Detroit’s first three runs. He scored off of Delmon Young’s sacrifice fly in the first inning and on a wild pitch in the third inning by Kansas City starter Nate Adcock.

Jackson tripled and scored on Ramon Santiago’s sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth. Victor Martinez’s RBI double after Delmon Young reached base on a single tied the game 4-4.

“Jackson has had some good confidence going, no doubt about it,” said manager Jim Leyland. “Hopefully, it can keep us going. The triple is an exciting play. People get excited about triples.”

Betemit’s double against his former teammates brought in the winning run.

“Willie’s a great player,” Hosmer said. “You knew it was only a matter of time before he’d come up. That’s what good players do, they come up big in those situations. You have to tip your cap to him.”

Dan Schlereth was the winning pitcher and is 2-1.

The Tigers, 75-61, have a 5 1/2-game lead over the White Sox for first place in the American League’s Central Division. The Royals are 56-81.

“It’s usually a combination of a lot of things when we win games like this,” Leyland said.

 

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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