<
>

Yoshii leaves after taking line drive to face

6/12/2002

DETROIT (AP) -- Shane Halter made a good case as to why he should
be back in the Detroit Tigers lineup.

Making a rare start in left field Tuesday night, Halter had
three hits -- including a 424-foot game-tying homer -- to lead the
Tigers to a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Expos.

"I've been in this situation before. I know just how it feels
to try to win a lineup spot,'' he said. "I hope I keep having
games like this and I'm out there every game again.''

Halter started the season as Detroit's regular shortstop, but
lost the job to rookie Ramon Santiago.

"I think that when we were struggling, I was trying to do too
much,'' he said. "Now I am back in a situation where I feel a
little more comfortable.''

Detroit has won two straight after losing 10 of 11. Montreal has
lost three straight.

"I think we are regrouping after that tough stretch,'' Tigers
manager Luis Pujols said. "We've gotten some good pitching, and I
think that Jeff Weaver will give us another good game tomorrow.''

Mark Redman (3-6) gave up one run on seven hits in eight innings
to improve to 3-1 in his last five starts. Juan Acevedo got three
outs for his ninth save in 10 tries.

"I had a couple of stretches in my rookie year where I won four
in a row, but when it comes to eating up innings with a low ERA,
this is the best stretch of my career,'' Redman said. "I told my
catcher that if they got me two runs, I'd win the game.''

Matt Herges (2-1) allowed two runs in just two-thirds of an
inning, taking the loss in relief of starter Masato Yoshii. Herges
had gone eight straight appearances without allowing a run.

"He just couldn't miss a bat tonight,'' Expos manager Frank
Robinson said.

Yoshii left with one out in the fourth inning after he was
struck in the side of the face by a line drive hit by Randall
Simon. X-rays of Yoshii's jaw were negative.

"I wasn't scared,'' Yoshii said through an interpreter. "I
just regret that I wasn't able to keep pitching. I knew it was
coming, but I didn't see it.''

No one in the park seemed more relieved to see Yoshii get up
than Simon.

"I thought he was done -- I didn't think he would get up at
all,'' he said. "It was a real relief to see him get up, and then
Frank Robinson told me that he was going to be OK, so I was able to
get my head back into the game.''

Yoshii, Joey Eischen and Herges nursed a 1-0 lead into the
seventh, but Halter led off with a homer into the evergreen trees
beyond the center field fence. Halter's first homer since May 4 was
the first to clear that fence since Dean Palmer did it on June 9,
2001.

"I knew I hit it hard, but I started running, because it is a
long way out there,'' he said. "I've hit a lot of balls here that
I thought were gone that didn't even come close.''

One out later, Santiago and Damian Jackson singled off of
Herges, who was then relieved by Scott Stewart. Young followed with
a single to left to drive in Santiago, who beat Troy O'Leary's
throw to the plate to make it 2-1.

The Expos took the lead in the first. Former Tigers player Jose
Macias led off with a double to left, moved to third on Mike
Mordecai's sacrifice bunt and scored when Jose Vidro's grounder
bounced off the glove of shortstop Ramon Santiago for an error.

The Tigers got two runners on in the fourth on Simon's single
off Yoshii and an error by Mordecai, but Wendell Magee grounded
into a double play.

Detroit also got two hits in the fifth and three in the sixth
without scoring.

In the sixth, center fielder Macias threw out Simon as he tried
to score from second on Chris Truby's single.

Montreal only got one runner to third in the final eight
innings.

"We aren't scoring many runs, so we have to take every chance
we get,'' Robinson said. "I didn't figure it was going to be a
low-scoring game, but certainly we're not producing a lot of runs
offensively. It isn't just tonight. It is almost every night we go
out there.''

Game notes
Simon was safe at first on the liner off Yoshii. The play
was ruled a single. ... Detroit's Robert Fick extended his hitting
streak to a career-best 14 games. ... Truby and Macias were traded
for each other on May 16. ... Halter's homer was the ninth to
center field in Comerica Park's three seasons, and just the fourth
by a Tigers player. ... Eischen's last major league win was Aug.
29, 1996, when he pitched for Detroit.