for this game

Verlander, Ordonez lift Tigers over Red Sox

May 16, 2007 - 4:02 AM BOSTON (Ticker) -- For one night at Fenway Park, speed mattered - and not on the basepaths.

Magglio Ordonez slammed a three-run home run and Justin Verlander outpitched Tim Wakefield as the Detroit Tigers pinned a 7-2 defeat on the Boston Red Sox.

Verlander, the reigning American League Rookie of the Year, shrugged off a shaky first inning and was dominant thereafter in snapping the three-game winning streak of Boston, which has the best record in the major leagues (26-12).

"We got everything and more," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said of Verlander's outing. "We needed something like that. He had everything going early. He had pretty good command and didn't walk anybody. Pretty good stuff you saw tonight from a pretty good pitcher."

The pitching matchup presented quite a contrast in styles, with Verlander hitting 99 miles per hour on the radar gun - 30 to 40 mph faster than Wakefield's soft serves.

"He had everything going," Leyland said. "He reached back a little back but it was pretty easy. Sometimes when he reaches back he labors a little bit but tonight it was pretty easy. He hit 99 a few times and 100 once. I don't know if the gun was juiced up a little bit but he was throwing pretty good."

"He was throwing his fastball that came close to 100," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "What really complements that, though, is his off-speed is so good. It seemed like the first hitter of each inning, he got us out quick. We were trying to work pitch counts and he was ready to pitch right away every inning."

In winning his third straight start, Verlander (4-1) bounced back after allowing three hits and a run in the Red Sox's first at-bat. He averted more damage by getting Mike Lowell, who had 10 hits in his last 23 at-bats, on a fielder's choice grounder.

"I thought that was big," Verlander said of his first-inning escape. "With their lineup, I knew one run wasn't going to be the end of the game. So I just went out there from that point forward and just decided to bear down and not give up any more and my teammates stepped up big for me."

The 24-year-old righthander allowed two runs and six hits, ending his night after giving up a two-out solo home run to Kevin Youkilis in the eighth inning.

"Yeah, I think that was the best I've thrown this year," Verlander said. "I had good command and was able to throw my breaking ball for strikes. I was trying to take the ballpark, the players and everything out of it and really just pitch my game and not think about who was hitting, who was on-deck or who was in the hole and just make my pitches and take it one batter at a time."

Detroit broke the game open with four runs in the eighth against reliever Brendan Donnelly with three straight two-out RBI hits for a 7-1 lead..

Ivan Rodriguez went 3-for-4 and Brandon Inge had a solo home for the Tigers, who had lost their last two games but were picked up by Verlander.

"He pitched tremendously," Rodriguez said. "He threw a lot of strikes and threw over 100 pitches but more than 50 percent were for strikes on the first pitch. His breaking ball was very good today. He always has his fastball but his breaking ball was very good tonight."

Wakefield (4-4) quietly has put together one of the best seasons by a pitcher in the major leagues, leading the American League in ERA (1.79) and tossing 14 scoreless innings in his previous two starts.

The 40-year-old righthander's shutout streak came to a crashing halt in the third inning as Wakefield served up a pair of home runs in a four-run outburst by the Tigers.

Inge slammed a one-out shot into the bullpen to tie it at 1-1. Right fielder J.D. Drew appeared to have a chance to catch the ball but crashed hard into the wall and tumbled to the ground.

Drew suffered a lower back contusion and left the game in the seventh. He is day-to-day.

Curtis Granderson singled, stole second and moved to third on Gary Sheffield's infield single. Ordonez, now 15-for-32 (.469) lifetime against Wakefield, then cleared the bases with a towering three-run homer to left to hike the margin to 4-1.

"I got ahead of him 0-1 and threw a pitch that just broke right into his wheelhouse," Wakefield said. "Unfortunately, it happens that way and in that situation it was a three-run homer and kind of put us out of the game."

It was the eight homer of the season for Ordonez and gave him 37 RBI, second in the American League to the New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez.

Wakefield again was in trouble in the fourth, allowing three singles, but he escaped unscathed when left fielder Manny Ramirez gunned down Rodriguez at the plate on a single by Granderson.

Wakefield settled down from there, retiring seven straight batters before departing after walking Sheffield to lead off the eight. He allowed five runs and nine hits, striking out four and not walking a batter.

Boston had taken a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat against Verlander, stringing together three singles, including one by Drew that plated Youkilis.

The Red Sox did not have another scoring chance until the sixth, when David Ortiz doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch, but Verlander retired Drew on a flyout to center.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 3 0 7 12 1
    BOSTON 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - JUSTIN VERLANDER, FERNANDO RODNEY (8TH) AND IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, BRENDAN DONNELLY (8TH), KYLE
    SNYDER (8TH) AND DOUG MIRABELLI

    HOME RUNS: DET

    May 15 9:51 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY KEVIN YOUKILIS (4) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 8TH OFF JUSTIN VERLANDER.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 7, BOSTON 2
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: D ORTIZ (.315, 1-FOR-3)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 9:23 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SEAN CASEY SCORED CRAIG MONROE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S CASEY ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 7
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.224, 2-FOR-3, HR, RBI)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 9:13 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CRAIG MONROE SCORED IVAN RODRIGUEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C MONROE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 6
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: S CASEY (.230, 0 HR, 5 RBI)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 9:11 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY IVAN RODRIGUEZ SCORED GARY SHEFFIELD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I RODRIGUEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 5
    BOSTON 1 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C MONROE (.240, 0-FOR-3)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 9:08 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MAGGLIO ORDONEZ (8) TO LEFT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 3RD OFF TIM WAKEFIELD SCORED CURTIS GRANDERSON AND GARY
    SHEFFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 4, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GUILLEN (.318, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 7:44 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRANDON INGE (6) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF TIM WAKEFIELD.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, BOSTON 1
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.273, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT BOSTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY J.D. DREW SCORED KEVIN YOUKILIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J DREW ON FIRST, M RAMIREZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    BOSTON 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR BOSTON: M LOWELL (.318, 7 HR, 30 RBI)

    Tigers vs. Red SoxMay 15 7:18 PM