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Tigers 6, Padres 2

The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander beat the San Diego Padres with his arm and bat Saturday night.

Verlander, who the Padres passed on with the first pick of the 2004 draft, held the Padres to two runs on eight hits over seven innings as the Detroit Tigers evened their three game-series with a 6-2 victory before a sellout crowd of 42,182 at Petco Park.

Verlander also got the first two hits of his major league career and scored his first run, which turned out to be the eventual winning run for the Tigers.

Prior to Saturday night, Verlander was 0-for-26 as a hitter in interleague games in National League ballparks with 15 strikeouts and no walks.

Verlander singled through the middle in the second and lined a single to right in the fourth to ignite a two-run inning against Padres right-handed starter Ian Kennedy, who allowed four runs on eight hits in six innings to suffer his second loss in as many starts.

The Tigers scored before Kennedy recorded an out. Rajai Davis single to lead off the game and scored on the first of two straight Ian Kinsler doubles.

The Padres tied the game in the bottom of the first as Verlander struggled through a 31-pitch inning. Chris Denorfia singled and stole second and third ahead of Jedd Gyorko's sacrifice fly.

Doubles by Kinsler and Miguel Cabrera in the third gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead that was extended to 4-1 an inning later. Back-to-back singles by Verlander and Davis and a grounder to the right side by Kinsler set up a two-run single by Torii Hunter, who missed Friday night's opener to the series with a sore left knee.

The Tigers last two runs came on center fielder Austin Jackson's bases-loaded, ground-rule double in the top of the ninth.

The Padres scored their second run in the bottom of the fourth on a lead-off double by Chase Headley and a one-out single by catcher Yasmani Grandal.

The Padres won their first challenge in club history Saturday. In the eighth, second base umpire Mike Winters ruled Detroit's Nick Castellanos was safe on catcher Yasmani Grandal's pick-off throw to second. However, replays conclusively showed that Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera tagged Castellanos out before he got back to second.

Padres manager Bud Black had attempted one previous challenge April 2 against the Dodgers at Petco Park on a play at first. But the umpires ruled Black took too long to challenge the play.

NOTES: Torii Hunter is 13-for-42 lifetime against the Padres with five home runs and 12 RBIs in just 10 games ... The Padres had the first draft in the 2004 draft and took local high school product infielder Matt Bush, who is regarded as one of the worst draft picks in Padres history. The Tigers selected Verlander with the second pick in that draft ... Padres manager Bud Black said disabled left fielder Carlos Quentin could begin on-the-field activities as soon as Monday or Tuesday, Quentin has been on the disabled list since the end of spring training with a bone bruise to his left knee.
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