Tigers 7, Cardinals 6

BY foxsports • March 16, 2009

Zach Miner's bid for a spot in Detroit's rotation isn't going as well as he had hoped, and he's getting a little dejected. "It's tough when you don't get results," Miner said Monday. The 27-year-old right-hander allowed four runs and five hits with three walks in three innings but steadied himself after a dismal start in the Tigers' 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. "It's really frustrating," Miner said. "I've been working hard. I got here two weeks before spring training began. It's been one little thing here, one little thing there." A year ago, Miner posted career highs in wins (eight), appearances (45) and innings (118). But he entered Monday's game 1-2 this spring with a 9.00 ERA in four appearances. Miner has allowed 14 runs in his last 11 innings, even though he says he's pitching about as well as he did in 2008. He seemed concerned after his latest outing that his chances at landing a starting job were slipping away. Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn't as pessimistic. "I think he's throwing fine," Leyland said. The Cardinals touched Miner for four runs in the first inning on four hits, including a three-run double by Khalil Greene. After that, Miner recovered, giving up only one hit the rest of the way. Albert Pujols homered for St. Louis, and 40-year-old slugger Gary Sheffield had a stolen base for the Tigers. Cardinals starter Todd Wellemeyer also struggled at times, allowing four runs and six hits over five innings. He gave up homers to Timo Perez and Brent Clevlen, but closed his day by tossing shutout innings in the fourth and fifth. "Later on, he started pitching," manager Tony La Russa said. "He started mixing things up and he had better results." Greene continued his strong spring by going 3-for-3. He is batting .447. Perez had four of the Tigers' 13 hits. In addition to his homer, he also tripled. Detroit reliever Ryan Perry, a 22-year-old right-hander who was drafted in the first round last year, pitched a scoreless ninth. In four spring training games, he has yet to allow a run.

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