for this game

Tigers nearly squander nine-run lead in win over Blue Jays

Apr 4, 2007 - 10:11 PM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Curtis Granderson gave Nate Robertson plenty of support. It almost wasn't enough.

Granderson hit his first career grand slam to back Robertson and the Detroit Tigers came dangerously close to squandering a huge lead in a 10-9 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

On what felt more like a winter afternoon rather than a spring day with a game-time temperature of 43 degrees and winds of 20 miles per hour, Granderson's blast capped an eight-run third inning in what turned into a wild game.

"I don't really think it was ugly," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It was just real tough conditions for both teams. That's the kind of stuff that can happen when you're playing in those kind of conditions."

Granderson also contributed a run-scoring triple in the seventh to match his career high in RBI, previously set on May 26, 2006 vs. Cleveland.

"He's (Granderson) probably the most improved player by far over the last year and this year," Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. "He's an excellent ballplayer. He's going to win us a lot of games this year."

The Tigers built a 9-0 lead after five innings, then nearly gave it all back.

All the support had to be a welcome sight for Robertson (1-0), who won 13 games last season but often was burned by his offense. The lefthander received just 4.5 runs of support in 2006, ranking 67th out of 80 pitchers who qualified for the ERA title.

"That's not an issue. This offense is very capable of scoring runs like that at any time," Robertson said. "I'll just expect that more often."

Staked to the big cushion, Robertson gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked two, struck out four and departed after throwing 57 of 104 pitches for strikes.

Despite leaving with a 9-2 lead, Robertson watched his bullpen come very close to costing him a win.

Jason Smith ripped a two-run triple and Vernon Wells drove in two more with a double as part of a seven-run eighth inning that pulled the Blue Jays within 10-9.

With the tying run on third and two outs, Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney got Troy Glaus to fly out to right field.

Todd Jones worked around a single and walk in the ninth for the save. The veteran righthander got Reed Johnson to pop out to end it.

"It's one of those days, if you need 10 runs, you need 10 runs," Jones said. "Because we're going to win games 1-0 and 2-1 so there's going to be some times when we need some runs and this was one of them, for sure."

A.J. Burnett (0-1) was abysmal in his 2007 debut for Blue Jays, getting ripped for six runs and five hits in two-plus innings. The hard-throwing righthander also had no grasp of the strike zone as he walked four, throwing just 26 of 55 pitches for strikes.

"You can't blame the wind for my pitching performance," he said. "Their pitchers and the rest of our pitchers overcame it, but I couldn't."

Placido Polanco added three hits and Carlos Guillen and Craig Monroe had two RBI apiece for the Tigers, who rebounded from an extra-inning loss to the Blue Jays in Monday's opener.

Polanco and Guillen had run-scoring singles and Monroe drew a bases-loaded walk as part of the Tigers' uprising in the third.

The top seven hitters in Toronto's lineup each had two hits. The Blue Jays finished with 16 overall.

"We hung in there and gave ourselves a chance to win," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "But they are a good team that can pitch, hit and take advantage of mistakes." We took them to the wire, but couldn't finish it.

Robertson held the Blue Jays off the board for the first five innings before Aaron Hill reached him for a two-run homer with two out in the sixth.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 7 0 9 16 0
    DETROIT 0 0 8 1 0 0 1 0 x 10 13 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TOR - A.J. BURNETT, SHAUN MARCUM (3RD), JEREMY ACCARDO (5TH), VICTOR
    ZAMBRANO (7TH), JASON FRASOR (8TH) AND GREGG ZAUN
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON, JASON GRILLI (6TH), FER

    Apr 4 4:39 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY VERNON WELLS SCORED REED JOHNSON AND LYLE
    OVERBAY.
    SITUATION: 7 RUNS IN, V WELLS ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 9
    DETROIT 10 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: F THOMAS (.375, 2-FOR-4)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 4:05 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY REED JOHNSON SCORED JASON SMITH.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, R JOHNSON ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 7
    DETROIT 10 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: L OVERBAY (.429, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 4:02 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY JASON SMITH SCORED TROY GLAUS, ALEX RIOS AND
    GREGG ZAUN.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J SMITH ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 6
    DETROIT 10 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R JOHNSON (.125, 1-FOR-4)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 3:57 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY GREGG ZAUN SCORED FRANK THOMAS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G ZAUN ON FIRST, A RIOS ON SECOND, T GLAUS
    ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 3
    DETROIT 10 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: R CLAYTON (.200, 0-FOR-3)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 3:54 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CURTIS GRANDERSON SCORED BRANDON INGE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GRANDERSON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    DETROIT 10 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: P POLANCO (.667, 3-FOR-4, RBI)

    Apr 4 3:35 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY CURTIS GRANDERSON SCORED BRANDON INGE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C GRANDERSON ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    DETROIT 10 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: P POLANCO (.667, 3-FOR-4, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 3:35 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - MID INNING UPDATE
    PLAY: V Zambrano relieved J Accardo.
    SITUATION: 0 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 0 OUTS
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2
    DETROIT 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B Inge (.000, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 4 3:30 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - PITCHING CHANGE
    TOR: VICTOR ZAMBRANO (NO RECORD) STARTING THE 7TH
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, DETROIT 9
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.000, 0-FOR-3)

    Apr 4 3:30 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 7 0
    DETROIT 0 0 8 1 0 0 9 11 0 (BOT 7)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - JEREMY ACCARDO
    DET - JASON GRILLI

    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.000, 0-FOR-3)
    C GRANDERSON (.375, 1-FOR-3, BB, HR, 4 RBI)
    P POLANCO (.667, 3-FOR-4,

    Apr 4 3:29 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY AARON HILL (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 6TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON SCORED FRANK THOMAS.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 2, DETROIT 9
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 3:10 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
    DETROIT 0 0 8 1 9 9 0 (TOP 5)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - SHAUN MARCUM
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON

    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: G ZAUN (.000, 0-FOR-1)
    R CLAYTON (.333, 0-FOR-1)
    R JOHNSON (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Apr 4 2:41 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C MONROE ON FIRST, C GUILLEN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    DETROIT 9 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.000, 0-FOR-2)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 2:39 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY CURTIS GRANDERSON (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF SHAUN MARCUM SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN, IVAN RODRIGUEZ AND
    CRAIG MONROE.
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0, DETROIT 8
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: P POLANCO (.714, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 2:18 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO CRAIG MONROE SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, C MONROE ON FIRST, I RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, C
    GUILLEN ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    DETROIT 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 2:14 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS GUILLEN SCORED PLACIDO POLANCO AND GARY
    SHEFFIELD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C GUILLEN ON FIRST, M ORDONEZ ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    DETROIT 3 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 2:02 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY PLACIDO POLANCO SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, P POLANCO ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TORONTO 0
    DETROIT 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: G SHEFFIELD (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Blue Jays vs. TigersApr 4 1:54 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TORONTO 0 0 0 2 0
    DETROIT 0 0 1 0 (BOT 2)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: TOR - A.J. BURNETT
    DET - NATE ROBERTSON

    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    S CASEY (.333, 0 HR, 0 RBI)
    C MONROE (.000, 0 HR, 0

    Apr 4 1:31 PM