Thursday, Apr 26, 2018
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Tigers have a good day: beat Giants, earn 4 stars

Detroit pitching coach, however, gets axed


Detroit Tigers' Brandon Inge, left, and Jhonny Peralta celebrate after scoring on a single by Magglio Ordonez to take a 4-3 lead in the seventh inningagainst the San Francisco Giants. The Tigers won, 6-3.


DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers capped a feel-good day with some sadness.

Magglio Ordonez hit a go-ahead, two-run single with two outs in the seventh inning and Detroit went on to beat the San Francisco Giants 6-3 Sunday.

The Tigers found out at least four of them were All-Stars before the game, but no one was in the mood to celebrate the win or the selections because pitching coach Rick Knapp was fired soon after the final out.

"Mixed emotions, obviously," manager Jim Leyland said. "We just felt like it wasn't working."

Bullpen coach Jeff Jones -- a longtime Mud Hens pitcher and pitching coach, and a former Bowling Green State University pitcher -- was promoted to replace Knapp, who was in his third season with the Tigers.

Mike Rojas becomes the team's bullpen coach after working as its director of player development.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland says Knapp is the first coach that's been fired from his staff during a season. Leyland says he and team president Dave Dombrowski made the mutual decision because something needed to be done.

Dombrowski says the Tigers have not pitched as well as they're capable of this season, insisting Knapp doesn't deserve all of the blame.

Detroit's pitching staff has a 4.39 ERA.

Rick Porcello (7-6) gave up three runs and five hits over seven innings in a much-needed performance for Detroit's suddenly shaky rotation. He became the fifth pitcher since 1919 to have three wild pitches and hit three batters in a game.

"A little bit wild, but his stuff was much better," Leyland said.

Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth, getting a lead-saving catch from left fielder Ryan Raburn. All-Star Jose Valverde closed the game for his 20th save in as many chances.

Jeremy Affeldt (1-2) took the loss after third baseman Miguel Tejada's throwing error extended the seventh inning.

Ordonez took advantage with a single off Santiago Casilla that put Detroit ahead 4-3.

Brandon Inge gave the Tigers a three-run lead in the eighth with a two-run, two-out triple.

Detroit had lost two straight and four of five, falling out of first place in the AL Central.

"It was a big win because good teams don't get swept," said Brennan Boesch, who hit a game-tying homer in the fourth.

The NL-West leading Giants had won 9 of 11.

"You can see why they're the world champions," Leyland said.

San Francisco appeared to have a shot to retake the lead in the eighth inning when Aaron Rowand drove a ball to left-center, but Raburn sprinted and fully extended to snatch the ball.

"From my angle I didn't think Raburn had a chance, but he made a great diving catch," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.

"If he doesn't make that, we take the lead and then we have a different bullpen strategy."

Porcello gave up a double on his first pitch, then allowed only one more hit before Brandon Crawford's RBI groundout in the fourth inning.

Detroit tied it in the home half with Boesch's solo homer off the foul pole in right.

The Giants went ahead in the fifth on Porcello's wild pitch and Cody Ross' RBI single gave them a 3-1 lead.

Detroit cut into the deficit when Miguel Cabrera hit a single to left and Ross mishandled it, allowing Boesch to score on the error.

Tejada had a chance to keep the Tigers scoreless in the seventh, but his throw across the diamond in the dirt wasn't scooped up by first baseman Pablo Sandoval on what should've been the third out of the inning.

"The error really hurt us because we had a chance to get out of that," Bochy said.

"This was a tough one to lose. It would have been a big boost to sweep this team.

San Francisco starter Ryan Vogelsong, a first-time All-Star, allowed three runs -- two earned -- on four hits and four walks in 6⅔ innings.

NOTES: The Tigers recalled LHP Adam Wilk from Triple-A Toledo and optioned RHP Brayan Villarreal to the Mud Hens.

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