Sports
5:23 am
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.