Tigers 6, Dodgers 2
LOS ANGELES (AP)
Rick Porcello felt more like a clay pigeon in a shooting gallery than a pitcher.
The Detroit Tigers' 6-foot-5 right-hander fought off three line drives right back at him to get his first road victory of the season, and the Detroit Tigers got home runs from Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez in a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
``I've had games where there's been a lot of base hits up the middle, but I haven't been hit this many times in one game,'' Porcello said. ``I said to myself, 'Put it where I'm supposed to put it, and that won't happen.' I just knew I wasn't getting the ball down, and that's why they were putting good swings on it.''
Porcello, who turned Matt Kemp's line drive into an inning-ending double play in the first, had to fend off another liner by James Loney in the fourth that hit him in the arm before he scrambled to get the force at second.
``I saw them all for a split-second,'' Porcello said. ``I think the hardest ball that was hit back at me was the one Kemp hit that I caught. I didn't have time to move, and it kind of found its way into my glove, really. The one on the forearm hit me pretty square. But it's only a bruise and I should be fine. It's sore, but I have full range of motion with everything.''
Porcello (4-4) got drilled by another line drive in the fifth, this one off the bat of Blake DeWitt, whose single caromed off the back of Porcello's right leg. DeWitt got to third on a single by Jamey Carroll that Ordonez bobbled for his second error of the season. A walk to Russell Martin loaded the bases for Xavier Paul, whose single sliced Detroit's lead to 3-2.
After all those line drives at him, Porcello still managed to maintain his focus. And he wasn't intimidated at the possibility of the next one going at his head.
``If I start worrying about that stuff, then I'd lose sight of what I'm out there to do,'' he said. ``And if it does come at my head, I've just got to hope that I've got quick enough reflexes to get out of the way.''
Danny Worth had three hits for the second time in just six big league games, but fellow rookie Austin Jackson was out of the lineup after getting beaned by Ramon Troncoso in the eighth inning of Saturday's 6-4 loss.
Porcello allowed two runs and nine hits over six innings in his Dodger Stadium debut, striking out two and walking two. He is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five interleague starts. His biggest out came in the sixth, when Manny Ramirez pinch-hit for Hiroki Kuroda with the bases loaded and grounded out to third on the first pitch to end the inning.
``Getting him out on the first pitch, that was absolutely huge,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``You're not ever comfortable when you see Manny Ramirez walk off the bench with the bases loaded. It's not a very good feeling. But Porcello threw a real good sinker to him, it got in on him a little bit and he rolled it over.''
Kuroda (5-2) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one. Ronald Belisario gave up a solo homer to Ordonez in the eighth.
Dontrelle Willis, who got the loss for the Tigers in Friday's series opener, was sent to bat for reliever Phil Coke in the ninth. Dodgers manager Joe Torre replaced Belisario with George Sherrill and Leyland countered with Adam Everett, who drove in Inge with a sacrifice bunt. Johnny Damon followed with an RBI single.
``If you put the squeeze on, it seems like an eternity before the play happens,'' Leyland said. ``I don't like the play and I never have, but I took a shot and it worked out OK.''
Kuroda gave up hits to three of his first four batters, including an RBI single by Ordonez and Cabrera's two-run homer. Nine of Cabrera's 10 homers have come on the road.
``Some pretty good hitters got him, but I thought he pitched great after that and gave us a strong outing,'' Torre said.
NOTES: Flags flew at half-staff and a moment of silence was observed in memory of former Dodgers and Tigers pitcher Jose Lima, who died Sunday of an apparent heart attack at age 37. A video tribute played after the sixth inning. ... Leyland said that Cabrera probably would miss the entire series at Seattle. He is returning to Miami, where his wife Rosangel is expecting the couple's second daughter. ... Joe Torre said that SS Rafael Furcal (left hamstring strain) will be activated from the DL on Tuesday at Chicago.