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Rony García goes five innings, Eric Haase homers in win

Rony García goes five innings, Eric Haase homers in win

SAN FRANCISCO — Rony García almost got through the first inning cleanly. Then came hot-hitting Giants third baseman Evan Longoria, who lofted a ball to deep right field to put the Tigers behind early.

There was nothing else for García to do but move on. And he did: He dug in and retired the side on seven pitches the next inning. Then he settled into a groove, working around some traffic and ultimately putting up zeros the rest of the way.

But García was missing one thing: a lead. His battery partner, Eric Haase, took care of that on one swing in the sixth inning, planting a two-run blast in left-center field. Haase’s home run gave the Tigers their first lead of the series and carried the team to a 3-2 win over the Giants, earning a series split before they head back to Detroit after a three-city road trip.

“Today he was our savior,” García said through interpreter Carlos Guillén. “All of us were happy for him, because as soon as we saw that he hit a home run to go ahead, we knew that we could hold a game and win today.”

Giants starter Alex Wood made quick work of the Tigers in the early innings, retiring nine straight batters after Robbie Grossman led off the game with a double. But when the order flipped around, the Tigers began seeing him better. Haase knew exactly what he was looking for when he stepped to the plate in the sixth.

“I was definitely looking slider. I saw it quite a bit the last couple of at-bats,” Haase said. “Even if you’re sitting on it, it’s still a tough pitch not to swing at. Fortunately for me, I got one in the zone, and it was just something I could handle.”

Haase certainly got all of the 85-mph slider Wood served up, driving it to the seats at 102 mph off the bat and breaking the 1-1 tie. But though García said Haase saved the day, the catcher was equally excited to put his pitcher in line for a win.

“Rony has been picking us up day in and day out with these starts that he’s been putting together,” Haase said. “Anything we’ve…

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