July 5, 2011

That first start is a memory now

South Portland's Charlie Furbush starts for Detroit, giving up three runs on five hits in 42/3 innings.

ANAHEIM, Calif. - On a cool California night, Charlie Furbush marked his Independence Day by making the first major league start of his career.

Charlie Furbush
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Charlie Furbush delivers a pitch against the Angels on Monday night in Anaheim, Calif. Furbush, who had been a reliever since he was called up to Detroit in May, was making his first start for the Tigers.

The Associated Press

It ended long before the fireworks.

Furbush, a lefty from South Portland, went 42/3 innings for the Detroit Tigers before Manager Jim Leyland walked to the mound to take the ball in the fifth inning at Angel Stadium.

Furbush took the loss as the Angels beat the Tigers, 5-1.

Furbush gave up three runs on five hits to the Los Angeles Angels, including a homer to Torii Hunter.

Furbush also balked a runner home in the third.

His final line: 42/3 innings, three earned run on five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

He threw 65 pitches, 45 for strikes as his dad and older brother looked on from the stands along the first-base line.

Furbush, who had been pitching out of the bullpen in relief since being called up from Triple-A Toledo on May 21, was promoted to the starting rotation Thursday.

Leyland had said prior to the game he planned on keeping Furbush to a 75-80 pitch count.

He got out of a jam in the fourth inning when second baseman Howie Kendrick reached scoring position with a two-out double.

He finished the inning when first baseman Mark Trumbo flew out to center field.

But Leyland saw enough in the fifth.

Furbush gave up a leadoff single to third baseman Alberto Callaspo, who scored on a short single to center by shortstop Erick Aybar.

That ended his night. The Tigers trailed 3-1 at the time.

Hunter homered over the center-field wall in the first inning before Furbush settled down in the second.

In the second, Furbush got Kendrick on a first-pitch fly to right, Trumbo on a dribbler to second base and struck out Callaspo on three pitches.

In the third inning, Furbush gave up a first-pitch single to center fielder Peter Bourjos, who stole second and third.

Furbush struck out catcher Jeff Mathis but balked, sending Bourjos home to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.

He shook his head on the mound and finished the inning when Hunter was caught in a rundown after reaching base on a walk.

Furbush's record was 1-1 with a 2.49 earned-run average in 12 relief appearances this season.

He now reports to Jeff Jones, who was promoted from bullpen coach to pitching coach Sunday, after Rick Knapp was fired.

Monday was Furbush's first appearance against the Angels. He's seen work in Detroit, Chicago, Texas, Colorado and against the Dodgers in Los Angeles on June 22.

The Angels added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Trumbo and another in the eighth on a home run by Vernon Wells.

Jhonny Peralta drove in Detroit's run with a fourth-inning single.

Joel Pineiro (4-3) got the win for the Angels, pitching seven innings. He allowed five hits, three walks and struck out one.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:


Twitter: JennMenendez


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