Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez each had two-run home runs as Detroit took down Los Angeles, 7-5, in the finale of a three-game series.
Casper Wells and Don Kelly also went deep for the Tigers, who dropped the first two games in the series before salvaging Wednesday’s contest.
Al Alburquerque (4-1) earned the win with 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief for starter Rick Porcello. Jose Valverde worked out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to notch his 17th save.
Ted Lilly (5-7) allowed six runs on six hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. He also struck out eight as the Dodgers had their season-high tying three-game win streak snapped.
Valverde entered for the ninth and allowed a single to Andre Ethier, a Matt Kemp walk and a James Loney single to load the bases with one out. After fanning pinch-hitter Casey Blake on a 96 mile an hour fastball, Dioner Navarro crushed a ball to deep center field. Austin Jackson, who was just placed in center for a defensive substitution, got a great break on the ball and made a running catch to end the game.
“I didn’t think Dioner’s ball was going to get caught, but Austin outran it. Our offense kept us in the game. We gave ourselves a chance today,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Detroit jumped out to a quick lead after Wells led off the game with his first career leadoff home run, breaking a streak of seven straight games by the Dodgers without allowing a homer.
“I think that’s the first game I have ever led off,” said Wells. “Lilly kept a couple pitches up and we capitalized on it today.”
The Dodgers answered right back in the bottom half of the first with two runs of their own to take the lead. Juan Uribe singled with one out and scampered home on Kemp’s triple two batters later. Loney then lined one into left field to score Kemp.
But the lead didn’t last long as Ordonez smacked a two-run shot into the bleachers in left field in the second.
Detroit added to its lead in the third. After Brennan Boesch doubled, Cabrera came up a hammered a ball into right field. Ethier tracked the ball to the wall and leapt for it, but just missed it as the ball bounced off the top off the wall and into the seats, giving the Tigers a 5-2 lead.
Kemp led off the fourth with a single and Loney followed with a walk before Marcus Thames knocked in Kemp with a base hit to left. A Navarro sacrifice bunt moved Loney and Thames up to second and third.
Jamey Carroll came up next and sent a fly ball to right field. Ordonez made the catch and fired the ball to the plate as Loney tagged up. The ball got there before Loney, and Martinez blocked the plate with his left foot, deflecting Loney off the dish as he made the tag for the inning-ending double play.
The Tigers answered back yet again with three straight two-out hits in the fifth. After two quick outs, Boesch lined a ball into center for a base hit and Lilly was removed from the game.
Mike MacDougal entered next and back-to-back singles by Cabrera and Martinez brought home Boesch.
Los Angeles returned the favor in the home fifth with a two-out rally of its own to pull within a run.
Juan Uribe grounded into a double play with runners on first and second and no outs, moving Tony Gwynn to third. Ethier then blooped a ball into shallow center field to bring in Gwynn.
A Kemp single moved Ethier to second and forced Porcello off the mound. Charlie Furbush then gave up an RBI single to Loney and was replaced by Alburquerque on the bump, who issued a walk to Thames that loaded the bases, but fanned Navarro on a low-and-inside slider to end the inning and keep it a 6-5 game.
The Tigers added an insurance run in the eighth on Kelly’s pinch-hit home run.
Aaron Miles extended his hit streak to six games and has now hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games…Porcello lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on nine hits and a walk for Detroit…Detroit struck out 13 times in Wednesday’s game and 35 times in the series…Los Angeles fell to 3-6 in its season-long 12-game homestand.