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Mon August 31, 2009
Polanco's 3-run HR in 8th lifts Tigers over Rays
DETROIT – Placido Polanco hit a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth inning, lifting the Detroit Tigers to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.
Third baseman Brandon Inge sealed the victory, leaping to snag B.J. Upton's high hopper down the line with a runner on first and throwing across the diamond for the final out.
Justin Verlander (15-7) gave up three runs, six hits and four walks over eight innings and struck out four, matching a season low. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 29th save in 30 chances.
The AL Central-leading Tigers improved to 42-21 at home. The Rays, trying to stay in the wild-card race, fell to 28-38 on the road.
Grant Balfour (5-3) spoiled Jeff Niemann's strong start.