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21.12.2018 08:06
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DETROIT (AP) — Justin Verlander knew this would be one of the most emotional games of his major league career.He still wasn’t prepared.In his return to Detroit [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-russell-wilson-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-russell-wilson-jersey[/url] , Verlander received three standing ovations while pitching the Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Tigers on Monday night.Verlander (15-9) made his major league debut with the Tigers in 2005 and ranks among the top 10 on several of the team’s career lists. He struck out 10 over seven innings in his first time on the Comerica Park mound since being traded to Houston in August 2017.“Our hotel is right near my old house, so I got to spend some time in the neighborhood today,” he said. “I was trying to keep my routine as much as possible.”That hope ended early, as the scoreboard played a tribute video as Verlander was walking in from the bullpen after his pregame warmups. He stopped, alone in shallow right-center field, and watched the entire show.“It was almost normal until the tribute video, but that really got to me,” he said. “I had a lot of great memories in my 13 years here, and that brought it all back. I wanted to get to the dugout before it started, but once it started playing, I had to watch.”Verlander received his first ovation at the end of the video, and another when he came out for the first inning. Each time, he tipped his cap and waved to the fans.The longest cheer, though [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-martin-perez-jersey]Martin Perez Jersey[/url] , came when he walked off the mound after the seventh, having thrown 104 pitches.“The one after the seventh really meant the world to me,” he said. “The fans here were always great to be here, and they showed that again tonight. That was a really emotional moment.”The crowd was announced at 19,711 — the Detroit Lions opened their season next door Monday night against the New York Jets.“Tonight mattered a lot to him,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “It is important to him that he pitched here and succeeded here, so it was special for him to get back on that mound.”The World Series champion Astros opened a three-game lead over Oakland atop the AL West despite a sloppy game that came after a Sunday night loss in Boston.“I’m proud of our guys, because there was a lot going on today, and we didn’t play our best game, but we still found a way to pull out a win,” Hinch said.Verlander allowed two runs on six hits and one walk, improving to 98-50 at Comerica Park. Max Scherzer is second in career wins at the stadium with 46, while Jordan Zimmermann leads current Tigers with 14.“He got exactly the response he deserved from our fans,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He was a great pitcher here for a long time [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-jurickson-profar-jersey]Jurickson Profar Jersey[/url] , and he did a lot of great things for this city.”The Tigers put two runners on in the seventh, but Verlander struck out JaCoby Jones and Jeimer Candelario to escape with a 3-2 lead. He tipped his cap again as the fans came to their feet after the final pitch to Candelario.“This was a special night,” Verlander said.Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 16th save, including seven with Houston.Francisco Liriano (4-10) allowed three unearned runs on four hits and four walks in six innings. He struck out seven in his longest outing since pitching six innings on July 4.The Tigers took the lead in the second. Niko Goodrum doubled and later scored on a single by Dawel Lugo.Liriano’s wild pitch and an error by shortstop Ronny Rodriguez allowed the Astros to score three unearned runs in the third. Tyler White and Marwin Gonzalez hit RBI singles, while the Tigers failed to turn two potential double plays.“You have to make plays,” Gardenhire said. “When you miss plays, that’s what always happens. We had a chance to get some outs, didn’t do it, and it cost us runs.”Verlander settled down after the second, retiring the next nine batters. Candelario walked to start the sixth, Christin Stewart followed with his first major league hit and Nicholas Castellanos had a sacrifice fly.“If someone had told me that I was going to get my first hit off Justin Verlander in my first major league start . geez,” Stewart said. “It was a pretty out-of-body experience.”Castellanos made a leaping catch at the right field fence to take an extra-base hit away from Gonzalez in the eighth.Josh Reddick, in the game for Houston as a defensive replacement, started an inning-ending double play in the eighth with a sliding catch in left field.EARLY STARTThe game started at 6:10 p.m. [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-delino-deshields-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-delino-deshields-jersey[/url] , an hour earlier than originally scheduled, to try to ease traffic congestion with the Lions playing at Ford Field. A day game wasn’t possible because of the Astros playing on Sunday night in Boston.UP NEXTThe teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night with Zimmermann (7-6, 4.03 ERA) facing Houston’s Framber Valdez (3-1, 1.37). BOSTON (AP) — Chris Sale waited eight years to make his first postseason start and then another 365 days for a chance to put that memory behind him.The Red Sox left-hander will start Game 1 of the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees on Friday night, one year after he was bombarded by the championship-bound Houston Astros in his playoff debut.He’s thought about it. He’s learned from it.And he wants to make sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes again.“Last year, obviously, I got my feet wet. Didn’t do too well. But sometimes you learn from the bad more than the good,” Sale said Thursday, a day before the AL East rivals open their best-of-five series.“It happened. I’m not going to run away from it. I don’t think that’s the right thing to do,” he said. “I’m not going to hide from it. You can Google it now, tomorrow and 100 years, and it’s going to be there. I own it. I accept it. And like I said, I’m going to be better. I’m going to go do everything I can to be better. That’s all I can do.”A seven-time All-Star who was the ace of the White Sox staff before coming to the Red Sox in 2017, Sale had never pitched for a playoff team before starting the opener of Boston’s series against Houston. He gave up seven runs in five innings; he pitched well in an emergency relief appearance in Game 4 but couldn’t keep the Astros from advancing.On Friday night [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-joey-gallo-jersey]Joey Gallo Jersey[/url] , Sale will face Yankees lefty J.A. Happ in the first-ever meeting of the teams in the ALDS. They have not met at all in the postseason since Boston’s epic comeback in the 2004 AL Championship Series before the Red Sox went on to win the World Series and their first title in 86 years.“This is everything we show up for,” Sale said. “We don’t play the game for anything else. Personal stats, wins in the regular season are obviously what get us here. And winning games and winning the division and having the record and all that. We appreciate it, don’t get me wrong. We worked hard for that. We grinded for that, and we earned it.“But now is the crunch time,” he said, punctuating his comments by pounding his finger on the table in front of him. “We know what’s ahead of us. And we know what we have to do.”And what they have to do now is get past their longtime nemesis, a 100-win team that is coming off of a 7-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the AL wild-card game. The Red Sox watched that game on TV as a team.“It was fun. It was very relaxing,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “Hopefully we can do it a few more times in October, get together.”After partying into the night and then riding what manager Aaron Boone called “a slow-moving train” to Boston, the Yankees decided not to work out at Fenway Park on Thursday.Boone, whose extra-inning homer in Game 7 of the ALCS in 2003 eliminated Boston, said what he remembered from that series was that neither team could count on any momentum from one game to the next.“I kind of throw that out the window,” he said. “In those years [url=http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-nomar-mazara-jersey]http://www.rangersfanproshop.com/authentic-nomar-mazara-jersey[/url] , both teams were so good. And one team would kill the other team one day, and you would think, ‘here we go.’ And the next day the other team would answer back.”Happ went 7-0 for the Yankees after coming to New York before the trade deadline. Masahiro Tanaka will pitch Game 2 of the series against David Price. Boone added reliever Stephen Tarpley and lefty CC Sabathia to the roster in place of infielder Tyler Wade and catcher Kyle Higashioka.Cora has said that 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello will pitch Game 3, with Nathan Eovaldi scheduled to go in Game 4.Sale is still recovering from left shoulder inflammation that landed him on the disabled list twice in the second half of the season and limited him to 12 innings from July 11 until Sept. 11. He made four starts down the stretch as he tried to build up arm strength, but in his previous outing last Wednesday his fastball was the slowest he’s had all year.Sale adjusted his preparation because of rain Tuesday, pushing back some of his work to Wednesday so he could pitch off a regular mound instead of in the batting cage. Manager Alex Cora said Sale is “a full go,” and the problems with his velocity were related to his mechanics and not his health or arm strength.Either way, Sale insisted, “if I take the mound, I expect to win.”“Sometimes you go out there and you have your best, sometimes you don’t,” he said. “You have to find a way with whatever you have on any given day, and roll with it.”

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