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Mussina shows no progress in rout

Scuffling righty out after three innings as Yankees fall to Tigers
08/27/2007 10:29 PM ET
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com

Mussina walks from the mound after three innings.(AP)
DETROIT -- Mike Mussina's rhetorical question, in discussing his previous struggles, was to ask, "Who are they going to replace me with?" The Yankees may just need to answer it.

Mussina was hit hard for the third consecutive start, surrendering six runs and making an early exit from the Yankees' 16-0 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park on Monday.

While the Yankees were down early and stifled by right-hander Justin Verlander, who allowed just three singles over seven shutout innings, Detroit saw Mussina for the second time in three starts, and it wasn't pretty. Mussina allowed nine hits in three innings; his last three starts have produced 25 hits and 20 runs (19 earned) over 9 2/3 innings, a 17.68 ERA.

Most everyone in the Tigers' order got pieces of Mussina through the first three innings. Detroit scored just one run in the first, but the damage could have been much greater, as Curtis Granderson was cut down at home plate on an unorthodox 5-4-2 fielder's choice and Melky Cabrera made a terrific running catch in deep center to haul in a Carlos Guillen sacrifice fly, likely saving two runs.

It mattered little, though, as Mussina's difficulties in containing opposing lineups continued. In the second inning, Granderson stroked a hit that eluded the grasp of Cabrera's dive for an RBI double, and Placido Polanco followed by zipping a ground ball up the middle for another RBI. Detroit tacked on three runs in the third inning as Ivan Rodriguez, Ryan Raburn and Brandon Inge all contributed RBI singles.

Polanco greeted reliever Edwar Ramirez with a solo home run, his eighth, leading off the fourth. Sean Henn surrendered nine runs (seven earned) in 2 2/3 innings of relief, including a three-run double to Inge in the seventh. The loss sealed a 2-5 road trip to Anaheim and Detroit for the Yankees, who will open a three-game series with the Red Sox on Tuesday in New York.

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