Tony Gwynn: Early season surprises
Rogers pitched eight strong innings, helping Detroit end a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Cleveland Indians.
“He came through big time,” new Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “A good ballgame is dictated by pitching, and Kenny dictated the game.”
Rogers (2-1) allowed one run and seven hits, five days after giving up five runs and 12 hits in a loss to Texas.
“Without a doubt, you are happy to be the one that gets you off a losing streak,” he said. “Hopefully, there will be plenty more to come.”
The 41-year-old struck out five and walked three.
“We couldn’t do anything with him,” Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. “He never got into a pattern, and he didn’t make any mistakes. When a guy can do that, you are going to be in trouble.”
Detroit’s Dmitri Young strained his right quadriceps while running the bases in the sixth inning and likely will be placed on the disabled list.
“I’m no doctor, but it hurts,” Young said. “I’m going to take care of it now, while it is early. I’m not exactly blazing with the stick right now.”
Brandon Inge, Detroit’s ninth-place hitter, homered twice, while Chris Shelton had a triple and a double and is now hitting .512 with a 1.293 slugging percentage. Detroit has 13 extra-base hits in its last two games.
“When a guy that hot is still hitting sixth, it tells you all you need to know about their lineup,” said Cleveland starter Jake Westbrook.
Westbrook (2-1) allowed five runs—two more than in his first two starts combined—and nine hits in six innings. Cleveland lost its third in a row.
“I just got carried away with trying to throw the ball too hard,” he said. “You can’t make bad pitches against that team.”
Inge led off the third with a homer to right and, two pitches later, Curtis Granderson hit a long home run to left-center field. Carlos Guillen doubled with one out in the fourth and scored on Inge’s two-out homer.
Guillen also ranged far into the shortstop hole in the third to take an RBI single away from Travis Hafner, and flipped the ball from his glove on Eduardo Perez’s grounder in the fourth to second baseman Placido Polanco, starting a 6-4-3 double play.
“Carlos was outstanding,” Rogers said. “They played great behind me, and I appreciate that probably more than any other pitcher, because I need my defense more than most.”
Perez grounded into a run-scoring double play in the fifth.
Shelton has 15 extra-base hits, two more than Cecil Fielder’s 1996 total for the most by a Tiger in April since 1960. … Inge’s two homers tied a career best, last done last Sept. 26 against the Chicago White Sox. … Victor Martinez extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a fourth-inning single. … Westbrook has a career 6.18 ERA against Detroit.