Archive for Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tigers make ‘weird’ history

Five-run first lifts Detroit to 9-7 victory over Indians

July 25, 2006

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— The Detroit Tigers have done everything much faster than expected this season.

On Monday night, they made history in a hurry.

With a five-run first inning, Detroit became the first team in 115 years to score at least five runs in the first at-bat of three straight games, and the Tigers held on for a 9-7 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Tigers are the first team since the 1891 St. Louis Browns of the American Association to score five runs or more in the first inning of three consecutive games.

"I don't think it's impressive," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I think it's weird. It's hard to believe that it hasn't happened before. What is that, 115 years? That's hard to believe."

It's been that kind of season for the Tigers, who now lead the AL Central by 71â2 games over the Chicago White Sox.

Detroit's fast start enabled Jeremy Bonderman (11-4) to remain unbeaten on the road this season. The right-hander lasted just five innings, allowing four runs and five hits before leaving with a 7-4 lead. He's 7-0 in 11 road starts, and hasn't lost anywhere since May 29 - going 6-0 in a span of 10 outings.

"He was fighting himself all night," Leyland said. "He wasn't himself, but he's entitled to that. I'm glad we could pick him up."

Leyland has seen a lot during his baseball career, but although he found it interesting that the Tigers had scored early runs in bunches the past three games, he had no idea his team was making history.

After learning that Detroit had matched the 1891 Browns by scoring five, six and five runs in the first, Leyland had one more question about that St. Louis squad.

"How'd they finish?" he asked, and was told second place. "I don't like that at all."

Yankees 6, Rangers 2

Arlington, Texas - Randy Johnson struck out seven to win the matchup of the last two pitchers to throw no-hitters, and slumping Alex Rodriguez returned to Texas with two hits and an error-free game. Lustily booed by the fans of his former team that gave him the record $252 million contract, Rodriguez snapped an 0-for-11 streak with a single in the fourth and then scored the go-ahead run.

Angels 8, Devils Rays 4

St. Petersburg, Fla. - John Lackey allowed five hits in eight innings, and Adam Kennedy drove in three runs.

Twins 7, White Sox 4

Chicago - Joe Mauer hit a three-run homer, and Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau also connected. Brad Radke pitched six solid innings for the Twins, who pulled within two games of second-place Chicago in the AL Central with their 32nd win in 40 games.

Red Sox 7, Athletics 3

Oakland, Calif. - David Ortiz hit his major-league-leading 34th home run to help Josh Beckett become baseball's first 13-game winner. Ortiz connected for a solo shot to right for his 95th RBI of the year, and Manny Ramirez hit a three-run homer.

Mariners 7, Blue Jays 3

Seattle - Kenji Johjima homered and drove in four runs to back Joel Pineiro's first win in more than a month. Johjima hit a two-run single during Seattle's four-run second inning off Casey Janssen.

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