DETROIT (AP)—Mike Maroth was hardly discouraged after falling behind by three runs in the first inning.
“It’s not the way you want to start,” he said. “But you can either go out and put up some zeros or you can throw in the towel, and I was not about to do that.”
Held hitless by Russ Ortiz until the sixth, the Tigers scored twice in that inning and four more times in the seventh to take the lead.
“It was a big win, no question,” said Detroit manager Alan Trammell, who was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. “For us to start that slowly, then come back, it felt very good.”
Bobby Higginson singled leading off the sixth for Detroit’s first hit against Ortiz, who wound up with a no-decision. Maroth (5-3) pitched seven innings for the win.
Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer for the Braves.
After Higginson’s single to center in the sixth, Carlos Guillen walked. One out later, Pena’s double to center cut it to 4-3. The Tigers had runners at second and third with one out, but Eric Munson flied out and Brandon Inge popped out, ending the inning.
That was all for Ortiz, however.
Guillen’s RBI single tied it at 4, and Young followed with a run-scoring single. Craig Monroe added an RBI single with two outs, and another run scored on Alfonseca’s wild pitch.
“Our bullpen’s been excellent all year but it just didn’t hold today,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said.
Braves pitchers walked nine.
“Today we had trouble throwing strikes,” Jones said. “You walk nine or 10 guys in a game, I don’t care who you’re playing, they’re going to make runs out of them. That’s what happened today. That was the difference in the ballgame.”
Maroth gave up four runs—three earned—and eight hits. He allowed one baserunner in every inning, but permitted only one run after the first.
“You never like to pitch with a guy on base every inning,” he said. “But I was able to fight my way out of it.”
Alfonseca gave up four hits and walked two in two-thirds of an inning.
“Antonio’s been throwing the ball real well so there was no reason to think that we weren’t going to come away with the win,” Ortiz said. “I could be a little satisfied with the way I threw, but at the same token, allowing them to score two more runs in the sixth inning put the game too close.”
The Tigers scored a run in the second on three walks and Inge’s sacrifice fly.
Furcal had three hits for the Braves, including an RBI double in thefourth.
The Tigers got an extra-base hit for the 26th consecutive game. … Trammell’s ejection was his second as a manager. … Jones’ home run traveled an estimated 448 feet to the flagpole in left-center, the third-longest homer ever hit at Comerica Park. … The series marked the first time the Bravesplayed in Detroit. The teams had previously played two series in Atlanta.