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Nov 7, 2012 9:37pm
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DETROIT —At times, Andrew McCutchen looks like the only threatening hitter in
the entire Pittsburgh lineup. Vonta Leach Jersey . And on some days, his
power alone is enough to give the Pirates a win. McCutchen hit a pair of two-run
homers and A.J. Burnett pitched six solid innings to lead Pittsburgh to a 4-3
victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday. A day after Detroits
Justin Verlander took a no-hitter into the ninth while shutting out the Pirates,
McCutchen struck back with his second multihomer game in three days. “I really
wouldnt say I had real tough at-bats against Verlander. I had some decent
at-bats, but he just got the best of me,” McCutchen said. “You just show up
tomorrow and get em the next day.” McCutchen certainly did that against Tigers
rookie Drew Smyly (1-1). It was the sixth career multihomer game for McCutchen,
who has seven home runs on the season. Pittsburgh is hitting .218 as a team, but
McCutchen is at a lofty .346 and establishing himself as one of the games best
outfielders. On Thursday night, he homered twice in a win at Washington. “We
joke in the dugout, Why do you throw this guy a strike?” Burnett said. “But some
pitches hes hitting are good pitches too, so it just shows you what kind of
player Cutch is.” Prince Fielder hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, who
stranded 10 runners, but struck out swinging with a man on first to end it.
Burnett (2-2) allowed two runs and seven hits before three relievers finished it
off, with Joel Hanrahan pitching a hitless ninth inning for his ninth save.
Josh Harrison, who broke up Verlanders no-hit bid Friday night, also had
Pittsburghs first hit off Smyly on a bunt single in the first. McCutchen
followed with a long homer to left-centre. After Fielder tied it in the third
with his seventh homer, McCutchen connected again in the fifth, hitting an
opposite-field shot to right after Harrison had been hit by a pitch. Burnett,
meanwhile, outdueled Smyly in a matchup of Arkansans on the mound. Both are from
the Little Rock area. Burnett was traded to the Pirates at the start of spring
training and hurt himself almost immediately when he fouled a ball off his right
eye during a bunting drill. Now healthy, hes given his new team some quality
performances. Against St. Louis on May 2, he allowed 12 runs in 2 2-3 innings,
but in his other five starts, hes gone 2-1 with a 2.06 ERA. Its an encouraging
trend for Burnett after three erratic years with the New York Yankees. “I feel
comfortable being a Pittsburgh Pirate,” Burnett said. “I just feel like I can be
more myself, and do more of the things I want to do on the mound, and have fun.”
Smyly allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings. It was the shortest
start for the left-hander since he went four-plus innings in his big league
debut April 12. The Tigers have not won back-to-back games since their 9-3
start, and they failed to build on Verlanders gem. After falling behind on
McCutchens second homer, Detroit got a run back in the seventh on a passed ball
by Pittsburgh catcher Rod Barajas, but Alex Avila struck out with the tying run
on second to end that inning. Brennan Boesch hit a leadoff single in the bottom
of the eighth, but Jhonny Peralta struck out and Ramon Santiago lined into a
double play. “It looks like some of the guys are beginning to swing better,”
Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “Weve got to have some timely two-out hits.”
NOTES: Leyland was still gushing Saturday after Verlanders one-hitter the
previous night. “Ive never seen a better-pitched game than that one last night
—never,” Leyland said. ... Pittsburgh RHP Jeff Karstens (right shoulder
inflammation) is scheduled to pitch Monday for Double-A Altoona as part of a
rehab assignment. ... Boesch extended his hitting streak to 12 games. ... The
teams honoured the Negro Leagues by wearing the uniforms of the Detroit Stars
and Pittsburgh Crawfords. ... The Pirates are 19-8 when scoring two or more
runs. ... McCutchen is 10 for his last 15 against left-handers and is 18 for 40
against them on the season. ... Detroits Max Scherzer (2-3) takes the mound
against Pittsburghs Kevin Correia (1-4) in the series finale Sunday. Joe
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will serve as team captain in his international career, also doing the honours
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. —The Arizona Cardinals will pay quarterback Kevin Kolb his $7 million roster
bonus, effectively ending their pursuit of free agent Peyton Manning. Ed
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. Nashville blueliner Shea Weber, whose status as a
restricted free agent is already making headlines this summer, thought
Minnesotas new $98 million man would stay with the Predators and build on last
seasons success. Terrell Suggs Jersey . Realizing on the
second hole that Lara was using 15 clubs for Thursdays round at the Gut
Larcenhof course in Pulheim, the caddie tried to hide the extra club in some
bushes. Lara thought the caddie had taken a diversion for a “call of nature,”
but his playing partners, Damien McGrane and Peter Hedblom, became
suspicious.MINNEAPOLIS—Chris Sale produced his usual strong pitching
performance to help the Chicago White Sox win their fifth straight series
against the Minnesota Twins. There were bonuses for the White Sox on this steamy
afternoon, too. Sale didnt have to work very hard, never facing more than four
batters in any inning, and the lagging lineup snapped to life with a season-high
21 hits. Sales seven smooth innings were supported by Adam Dunns three-run
homer, and the White Sox beat the Twins 12-5 Wednesday. “Any time you go out
there and get that kind of run support it kind of calms you down a little bit,”
said Sale, the American Leagues earned run average leader. The White Sox matched
their season high with a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL Central, ahead of Cleveland.
Sale (9-2) struck out five and walked one with six hits and two runs allowed.
The Twins talked before the game about trying to disrupt his rhythm and make him
sweat on a day when the temperature moved toward the 90s, but they were
unsuccessful. “Its hard to keep saying the same things over and over again, but
hes just a mature kid,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. Dunn had three
hits and four RBIs, including his 24th home run of the season, and
recently-acquired Kevin Youkilis went 3 for 4 and drove in two runs. Alex Rios
also had three hits and a homer. “Hes going to help us in so many ways,” Rios
said of Youkilis, who fouled off three pitches before his single right before
Dunn went deep. The third, fourth and fifth hitters were 10 for 15 with eight
RBIs, mostly against Twins starter Nick Blackburn (4-5). The right-hander
watched his ERA balloon to 7.74 after five rough innings for the Twins, giving
up nine hits and six runs. “We havent been swinging the bats well the last
couple weeks so hopefully today it gets everybodys confidence back up and we
start rolling again,” Dunn said. Ventura gave regulars Paul Konerko,
Gordon Beckham and Dayan Viciedo a rest, but an offence that managed only 13
runs over the previous five games finally had a breakout game. Dunn ended a
0-for-24 skid with his homer, and the White Sox posted a double-digit sccore for
the first time in 16 games. Jimmy Smith Jersey. Sale pitched that one,
too, June 9 against Houston. “He goes straight to what he has to do, and does it
with power. Hes unbelievable,” Rios said. Twins first baseman Justin Morneau,
now 7 for 73 against left-handers this season with 22 strikeouts, talked his way
into the lineup by telling manager Ron Gardenhire before the game he wanted “a
piece of this kid,” but a seventh-inning single was the only dent he put on yet
another stellar performance by the lanky left-hander Sale with the whipsaw,
sidearm delivery. “Hes got some funk to it, and his breaking ball, for it to be
a strike it pretty much has to start behind you,” Morneau said. “I think hes got
a pretty good feel for that also. When he needs to get a strike with it, he can.
When hes ahead in the count and he feels like he needs you to chase, hes also
good at that one.” Brian Dozier homered and Ben Revere tacked on a sacrifice
fly, but that was the only damage done against the 23-year-old 2010 first-round
draft pick. In seven starts on the road this season, Sale is 5-0 with a 2.91 ERA
and 54 strikeouts in 46 1-3 innings. Those sure look like All-Star statistics.
The teams are revealed Sunday. “Its something that you think about, but you try
not to pay attention to it. My focus is on this team and what Im doing here. Im
just trying to keep the same approach Ive had all year,” Sale said. NOTES: Damon
Mastroianni hit his first career home run, a two-run shot against Will Ohman in
the eighth, for the Twins. Ohman was designated for assignment after the game.
He hit two batters in the ninth and gave up another run. ... The Twins have lost
eight of their last 10 games against the White Sox at home. ... The White Sox
start a four-game series in New York on Thursday, with RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-1,
5.54 ERA) making his third start this season against Yankees RHP Ivan Nova (9-2,
4.25). ... The Twins are off on Thursday before four games in three days here
against Kansas City. LHP Brian Duensing (1-3, 3.82) pitches on Friday, with RHP
Luis Mendoza (2-4, 4.95) taking the mound for the Royals. ’ ’ ’ 

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