Tigers 7, Rockies 5

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DENVER (AP)—Looking for more offense, the Detroit Tigers came to the right place.

Eric Munson, Bobby Higginson and Kevin Witt homered as the Tigers beat the Colorado Rockies 7-5 Friday night, snapping a four-game losing streak.

Alex Sanchez had three hits for the Tigers. Munson and Witt were among four Detroit players with two hits at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

“We hope we will get some more offense here,” Munson said. “When you swing the bats well, you hope it’s contagious and carries over to the next day.”

Mike Maroth (2-11) won for the first time in four starts. He went six innings, allowing nine hits and three runs—two earned.

“He has had some tough luck,” Munson said. “All of our pitchers have. We haven’t scored many runs for them. He did a good job of keeping us in the game.”

Tigers manager Alan Trammell agreed.

“The story of our year has been our inability to score runs,” Trammell said. “We haven’t scored any runs for Mike. Tonight, he got outs when he needed them. He should easily have six wins. That’s why we kept him in the rotation. He has pitched much better than his record indicates.

“I’m just glad we won one. They have been so few and far between.”

The win raised the Tigers’ record to 18-52, worst in the majors.

Maroth said he didn’t have much movement on his fastball and breaking balls, but his changeup was sharp.

“My changeup had the action I was looking for,” he said.

Scott Elarton (3-3) gave up nine hits and six runs in five-plus innings.

Colorado is 1-8 this season when giving up three homers to the opposition.

“Our record is not very good when we give up three home runs in a game,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “Scott struggled with his command. We didn’t get off the hill very well tonight, and we dug ourselves a hole that was tough to recover from.”

Hurdle paid tribute to the Tigers.

“You think that’s a terrible ballclub over there,” he said. “You play them every night and you’re going to find out different. They play hard. They play nine innings. They’re not getting the results they would like, but they haven’t backed off the pedal.

“Their kid over there (Maroth)—you look at his record, but you don’t stay in the big leagues and get 11 losses by being terrible. They keep giving him the ball for a reason.”

The Tigers jumped out to an early 4-2 lead off Elarton.

Higginson hit a two-out, solo homer in the first, his fifth.

With one out in the second, Witt hit a 435-foot solo home run, his eighth. Shane Halter followed with a triple into the gap in left-center and scored on A.J. Hinch’s single. Maroth sacrificed Hinch to second, and Sanchez hit an RBI double.

Colorado used four singles to score two runs in the bottom of the first. Juan Uribe and Jay Payton both singled, and Todd Helton hit an RBI single to center. After Preston Wilson grounded into a double play, Larry Walker lined a run-scoring hit to right.

The Rockies made it 4-3 with an unearned run in the fourth. Charles Johnson and Mark Bellhorn both singled. Elarton’s attempted sacrifice bunt was pounced on by catcher Hinch, whose throw to third was wide, allowing Johnson to score.

Bellhorn, acquired from the Chicago Cubs in a trade for Jose Hernandez on Thursday night, went 2-for-3 in his Rockies debut.

After pitching three straight scoreless innings, Elarton was tagged for Munson’s two-run homer in the sixth. Dmitri Young led off the inning with a single, and Munson hit a 432-foot shot to center, his 10th.

Chris Stynes led off the Colorado sixth with a triple over center fielder Sanchez, but he was promptly thrown out attempting to score on Johnson’s grounder to third baseman Munson.

Detroit added an unearned run in the ninth on shortstop Uribe’s throwing error on an attempted double play.

Rockies pinch-hitter Greg Norton hit a two-run homer off Franklyn German inthe ninth.


Hinch had his first two hits for the Tigers since joining the club on Wednesday. He came in 0-for-6. … The Tigers have homered in six straight games, a season high. … Despite the win, Detroit has lost 12 of its last 14 games. … Norton had the first pinch-hit homer for the Rockies this season. It was the sixth pinch-hit homer of his career, the last coming on May 24, 2002, against San Francisco. … Munson has eight hits in his last three games andhas homered in four of his last six games.

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