Tigers come back late to trip up Twins
Joyce, Granderson spur rally as Zumaya shuts the door
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tigers outfielder Matt Joyce, called up when Magglio Ordonez was placed on the DL on Sunday, was surrounded by media after Monday's game. His undershirt was a victim of the postgame spread, sullied with a gob of barbeque sauce.The rookie might have gotten himself into a sticky situation after the game, but he removed his team from one during it, getting a pinch-hit RBI triple in the eighth inning to tie the game at 4, and scoring the winning run one batter later on Curtis Granderson's single. Joel Zumaya pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the save -- closer Todd Jones had pitched on consecutive days and needed a break -- and the Tigers prevailed, 5-4. Joyce pinch-hit for Ryan Raburn, and was called upon to face right-handed reliever Matt Guerrier. "I didn't know anything [about Guerrier]," Joyce said. "I was told [by manager Jim Leyland]: 'Joyce, grab a bat' and [hitting coach Lloyd McClendon] was in my ear two seconds later: 'He's got a fastball, it sinks, slider, curveball.' And I'm just walking up to the batters box, and I don't know what he said." Joyce worked the count full, fouling off three pitches, and on the seventh pitch, hit a drive into the right-field corner that Twins outfielder Denard Span overpursued as the ball ricocheted past him back towards center field. Joyce raced to third to be greeted by third-base coach Gene Lemont. "I think I was so excited that I don't even know what he said," Joyce said. "It was something like: 'Good job, kid,' or something like that ... I was too amped up." Granderson's single put the Tigers ahead for good. With one out, Granderson said he was just looking to drive a pitch to the outfield. It bounced just in front of center fielder Carlos Gomez and Detroit had its first lead of the night. Zumaya recorded two outs to get out of the eighth, but made things interesting in the ninth. He gave up one-out singles to Span and Gomez before eliciting a flyout from Alexi Casilla. Up came one of the best hitters in the game, Joe Mauer, against a reliever with only two career saves. Zumaya gave him all gas, climbing the ladder from 97-mph fastball to 98 to 99, with Mauer meekly grounding out to shortstop Edgar Renteria to end the game.
|"I don't back down. I don't care if it's Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, guys like that."|
|-- Joel Zumaya|
Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.