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DETROIT (AP)—The Detroit Tigers haven’t had a winning streak like this in more than a dozen years.
“It’s pretty good, but nobody will care about that tomorrow,” said Detroit manager Jim Leyland, who has made all the right moves in his first season back in the dugout in seven years.
Kenny Rogers (7-2) allowed two unearned runs, five hits and two walks while striking out four in 5 2-3 innings for his fourth consecutive victory.
Rogers, who wasn’t feeling his best, became baseball’s first seven-game winner, providing an early return on the $16 million, two-year contract the Tigers gave the free agent during the offseason.
“A lot of guys probably wouldn’t have pitched, he’s sick,” Leyland said. “I give him a lot of credit for going out there and giving us that performance. It says a lot about Kenny Rogers, and that’s why we signed him.”
Jason Grilli gave up a bases-loaded walk in the sixth, making it 5-2, and pitched the seventh. Fernando Rodney struck out two in the eighth, then Todd Jones closed the game for his 12th save in 13 opportunities.
It was Jones’ 154th save with the Tigers, matching Mike Henneman’s team record.
Fittingly, Jones kept things interesting by giving up three straight two-out hits, including Mike Redmond’s RBI single that cut Detroit’s lead to two runs.
Detroit swept the three-game series against the Twins and has beaten them seven games in a row at home, dating to last season, for its longest winning streak against the AL Central opponent since 1981-82.
The Twins have dropped five straight games.
“They seem to have everything rolling for them and we can’t seem to get anything done,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Brad Radke (4-5) allowed five runs—three earned—on 10 hits and three walks and had six strikeouts in six innings. Radke had won two of his previous three starts after giving up six runs in just 2 1-3 innings at Detroit last month, his worst outing during a rough season.
“I was pleased,” Radke said. “A couple homers there, but I thought they were pretty darn good pitches.”
Polanco, the second batter to face Radke, hit a solo homer in the first and Carlos Guillen later followed with an RBI single.
After Rondell White’s sacrifice fly pulled Minnesota within a run in the second, Inge’s two-run homer in the home half made it 4-1.
The Tigers last won seven straight from Aug. 21-Aug. 28, 1993, and they went on to finish 85-77. … Detroit DH Dmitri Young was charged with domestic violence after his former girlfriend accused him of choking her, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday. He plans to turn himself into police on Monday. “It’s a bum deal,” Young told the paper. “Unfortunately, it’s public knowledge. I don’t see this person anymore.” Young, 32, and the 21-year-old woman were staying at a hotel in suburban Detroit on April 14 when she said he attacked her. … SS Juan Castro was back in Minnesota’s lineup for the first time since jamming a finger against Chicago on May 14. … Gardenhire expects RHP Kyle Lohse to accept his assignment to Triple-A Rochester by Friday. … Detroit beat Minnesota 10 times in a row during the 1981-82 seasons. … Radke is 1-4 on the road with an 8.84 ERA this season.