Tigers 4, Braves 2

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DETROIT (AP)—The long wait was worth it for the Detroit Tigers.

Eric Munson and Carlos Guillen homered, sending Detroit to a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

Craig Dingman got his first major league win, pitching three scoreless innings of relief in a game delayed by rain for 2 hours, 24 minutes in the second inning.

“He was our first choice after the rain delay,” manager Alan Trammell said. “He hadn’t pitched in a while. We knew we could get three innings from him and we did.”

Chipper Jones and Eli Marrero homered for Atlanta, which dropped back to .500.

The Tigers won for only the fifth time in 16 games.

Neither starting pitcher—John Thomson for Atlanta and Jeremy Bonderman for Detroit—returned after the rain delay.

Thomson (5-3) allowed a run and four hits in one-plus inning. Bonderman gave up one hit in two innings.

“Both teams lost their starter and their pitchers dealt with it a little bit better than ours,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.

Armando Almanza took over for the Braves, and Dingman (1-0) for the Tigers. Dingman gave up three hits.

Atlanta loaded the bases with one out in the third on three singles, but Dingman got J.D. Drew to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Dingman also walked Mark DeRosa and Rafael Furcal with two outs in the fifth, but Nick Green field out.

“We had opportunities, but we didn’t take advantage,” Andruw Jones said. “They had opportunities, but they took advantage.”

Ugueth Urbina pitched the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.

Detroit went ahead 1-0 in first on Dmitri Young’s RBI single to right. It was Young’s first RBI of the season. He missed most of the year with a broken leg.

Munson gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead in the fourth with a two-run shot deep into the right-center stands. Guillen, who singled with one out, scored ahead of Munson.

“He really crushed the ball on the home run,” Trammell said. “He’s a guy who hasn’t had a good start, but he’ll get his chances. He played today and will play tomorrow.”

Chipper Jones’ home run with one out in the sixth made it 3-1, but Guillen’s drive in the bottom half restored the Tigers’ three-run lead.

Guillen’s home run was his ninth of the season, tying his career high set in 2002 with Seattle.

“This is my best start in the last four or five seasons,” he said.

Travis Smith, who followed Almanza, allowed both Tigers home runs in four innings.

“Just one of those nights,” Smith said. “I threw the ball and they hit it.”

Marrero homered for the Braves in the seventh to make it 4-2.


Detroit’s Ivan Rodriguez stretched his hitting streak to nine games and is 21-for-44 in his last 11. … Braves OF Dewayne Wise missed the game with apulled left hamstring. He was hurt Tuesday and is day-to-day.

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