Grahe Gets Rude Lesson in Angels' Loss to Tigers

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Falling behind hitters is a failing not allowed rookie pitchers, as Angel right-hander Joe Grahe learned in his second major league start.

"The good hitters are going to take advantage of it," Grahe said. "It's something to file away."

Grahe filed it under "M" for the mauling Lloyd Moseby and the Detroit Tigers inflicted in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday. Moseby drove in Detroit's first three runs with a triple, scored the fourth and homered for the fifth, leading the Tigers to a 6-2 rout at Tiger Stadium and saddling Grahe (0-1) with his first major league loss.

Grahe got ahead of Detroit's first two hitters Tuesday. He had a 1-and-2 count on Tony Phillips before Phillips singled to left and an 0-and-2 count on Travis Fryman before hitting Fryman on the left arm. "Then you're sitting there and looking at the teeth of their lineup," pitching coach Marcel Lachemann said.

Grahe walked major league home run leader Cecil Fielder on four pitches to load the bases. That brought up Moseby, who took the first pitch for a ball.

"He's been around long enough to know I was going to have to come after him," Grahe said. "Hey, I'm not the first guy he's done this to and I won't be the last."

He is one of the few Moseby has done it to recently, however. Moseby was three for 32 before lacing the next pitch over the head of center fielder Max Venable to drive in three runs.

"I imagine he might have been nervous. I can remember back when I was a rookie. It had to be nerve-racking," said Moseby, who scored when Grahe didn't field Dave Bergman's grounder cleanly and was able only to get a force at second on Larry Sheets, who had walked. "I was guessing fastball, as any hitter would in that situation, and I'm a fastball hitter.

"He looks like a pretty good pitcher. You can put one up for me, but he'll be back. I'm sure we'll meet again and fight again."

Moseby won their second meeting, too, lining an 0-and-1 pitch into the right field seats for his 12th home run and a 5-1 Tiger lead. It was more than enough for former Angel Dan Petry (10-9), who reached double figures in victories for the first time since he won 15 in 1985 with the Tigers. Detroit traded him to the Angels for Gary Pettis in December of 1987 and re-signed him last January as a free agent.

"I can't complain about the offensive support I've gotten all year. I've gotten my share of runs," said Petry, who went five innings before yielding to Paul Gibson and Edwin Nunez. "There's a lot of guys here who can drive in runs."

The Angels had a few chances to get back into the game but took themselves out of it. They scored once in the third inning on a two-out walk by Luis Polonia--his first walk in 106 at-bats since July 15--an infield hit by Pete Coachman and Venable's double, but Coachman was thrown out over-running third.

Dave Winfield led off the fourth inning with his 15th home run of the season, and the Angels managed to load the bases after two out on singles by Lance Parrish and Donnie Hill and a walk to Dick Schofield. But Phillips, a late replacement at second when Lou Whitaker begged off because of a sore knee, defused the threat by moving quickly to his left to scoop up a grounder by Polonia and get the fleet outfielder at first by a step.

The Tigers scored in the fourth against relief pitcher Cliff Young. Right fielder Dante Bichette slipped and couldn't catch Phillips' fly-ball double, and Phillips went to second on a wild pitch and scored the Tigers' sixth run on Alan Trammell's sacrifice fly.

"You can break the game down in probably three or four different things," Manager Doug Rader said. "The (12) men we left on base, a three-run swing in the fourth inning--Phillips catches the ball Polonia hits and Dante slips on Phillips' ball--Grahe got ahead of the first two hitters and lost both and really wasn't able to recover, and Moseby accounts for five runs. There it is in outline form."

No one had to outline for Grahe the areas in which he must improve.

"What hurt me today was my inability early to get my off-speed stuff over," the 23-year-old right-hander said. "I didn't make the adjustments I needed to make quick enough, and that's something I can take into my next start. I feel once I'm able to make the correct adjustments as far as what's working and not working, and once I'm able to get the stuff that's not working to work, I can win here."

Angel Notes

Cliff Young and Mike Fetters pitched well in relief of Joe Grahe, with Young giving up one run and striking out three in 3 1/3 innings. Young entered the game with runners on first and second in the third inning and retired the first batter he faced, the first time in six appearances he had done so.

"I learned you've got to bear down a little harder and make your pitches because you always want to get that first guy out with runners on base," Young said after his first appearance since Aug. 12. "I was getting behind and giving hitters their pitch. I was able to bear down tonight."

Chili Davis and Brian Downing were held out of Tuesday's game, Davis because of stiffness in his lower back and Downing because of his chronic rib muscle ailment. Davis was on the disabled list from July 17 to Aug. 9 because of back problems, so extra precaution was taken.

Donnie Hill returned after missing two games because of a strained left hamstring. . . . Pitcher Bert Blyleven, who was placed on the disabled list Sunday, is following a strengthening program in Anaheim with physical therapist Roger Williams. . . . Pitcher Greg Minton was sent to double-A Midland on a rehabilitation assignment and is scheduled to pitch today. . . . Pete Coachman has two hits in each of the four games he has played since being recalled from triple-A Edmonton.

Dante Bichette is again taking grounders at third and is the emergency third baseman behind Coachman and Hill. "He has the physical tools and the ability to do it," Rader said. "Willingness is the first step and he has that."

Tiger first baseman Cecil Fielder struck out twice for a season total of 142, surpassing the club record of 141 set by Jake Wood in 1961.

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