BALTIMORE (AP)—Tired of being ridiculed, the Detroit Tigers are doing the only thing that can guarantee an end to their misery: win.
Craig Monroe homered and drove in four runs for the Tigers, who have won four straight following a 3-25 start. Detroit outscored the Orioles 22-11 in its first series sweep in Baltimore since September 1993.
“We felt confident, we really did. Did we think sweep? No,” Monroe said. “Our first goal was to go out and win the series. This just put a cherry on top.”
The Tigers went 34-for-109 (.309) in the series, raising their batting average from .195 to 207. Detroit has won more games in the last four days than in the first 34 days of the season.
“I don’t know how many more wins it will take for everyone to stop being sarcastic about ‘The Tigers win,”’ Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. “We’re getting a lot of national publicity, a lot of national press—and not the way you’d like to have it.”
Trammell has done his best to keep his players upbeat, and it seems to have produced the desired results.
“Tram has done a good job of keeping us believing in this team,” Monroe said. “I don’t know how’s he’s done it, but he did it.”
Inge, who entered with a .127 batting average, homered in his first two at-bats against Omar Daal to send Detroit to its first three-game sweep on the road since May 1-3, 2001, at Texas.
Inge worked with hitting Bruce Fields earlier in the week, focusing primarily on the weight transfer to his front foot while swinging.
“I didn’t expect anything this soon. Usually when you make a change it takes a while,” Inge said.
Inge entered looking for his first homer run since July 15. He’s hitting .065 against right-handers and was 7-for-57 (.123) since April 6, but he’s hitting .147 now after his first multihit game since July 15. Detroit starter Gary Knotts (1-3) allowed four runs and six hits in five innings to earn his first AL win. He was 4-2 in two seasons with the Florida Marlins.
David Segui went 3-for-3 with a homer and a walk for the Orioles, who have lost four straight to fall under .500 (16-17) for the first time since April 26.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” Baltimore second baseman Jerry Hairston said. “You never want to get swept by anybody, whether it’s the Yankees, Boston, Twins or Tigers. You knew those guys weren’t going to hit .180 all year, and unfortunately, they got hot against us.”
Daal (2-4) gave up five runs and eight hits in four innings. The left-hander had allowed only one homer in 35 2-3 innings before yielding two to Inge.
The Tigers went up 6-4 in the seventh when Rick Bauer issued a bases-loaded walk to Monroe. It marked the fifth straight game that Detroit has scored six runs, following a 27-game run in which the Tigers reached six only twice.
Segui put the Orioles up 1-0 with his first homer, but Detroit took the lead for good in the second when Inge homered after a walk to Shane Halter.
An RBI single by Monroe made it 3-1 in the third. Segui singled and scored on a groundout by Jay Gibbons in the bottom half.
Baltimore scored twice in the fifth when Jeff Conine drove in a run with a groundout and Gibbons followed with a sacrifice fly.
Tigers DH Dmitri Young, coming off a 5-for-5 night in which he amassed 15bases, went 1-for-5.
The Tigers optioned RHP Matt Anderson to Triple-A Toledo after the game. Detroit will announce its corresponding move later in the week. … The Orioles will place C Brook Fordyce on bereavement leave Thursday and purchase the contract of C Roberto Machado from Triple-A Ottawa. Fordyce’s father died Tuesday. … Bobby Higginson had his fifth straight multihit game for Detroit.He also drew his team-high 19th walk. … Palmer’s hit ended a 2-for-31 skid.