Tigers 10, Brewers 1
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Rookie Zach Miner was thrilled to pitch his first major league complete game.
“I’ve never went nine innings,” said Miner, who has had five complete games in the minor leagues, all seven innings or shorter. “I like to get the cheap sevens, I had a five-inning complete game too with rain, but that one really doesn’t count.”
This one did for the Tigers, who are now a major-league best 28-10 on the road, five more wins than any other team.
Meanwhile, Miner (3-1) efficiently kept the Brewers off-balance with a big breaking ball and a fastball in the low 90s.
“As he got into the game, he started using his changeup and that made him a whole different pitcher,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.
After a single in the second, the 24-year-old right-hander retired every batter before giving up a double in the ninth to Corey Koskie, who came around to score with two outs.
Miner, who was acquired as part of a deal with Atlanta for Kyle Farnsworth, finished by scattering five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
“I just wanted to get back to the dugout and keep the momentum going,” Miner said. “The guys were swinging the bats well.”
Miner, who wasn’t on the 40-man roster until May 31, didn’t swing that bad either.
He doubled in his first major-league at-bat and later scored a run, the first of six in the third inning.
“I got lucky, and the guys got back to hitting,” Miner said. “I wouldn’t say I sparked anything, maybe a match stroke, but it wasn’t a spark.”
Ordonez hit both of his home runs off Brewers starter Rick Helling (0-1) to give him five in 21 career at-bats against the veteran right-hander, who exited after allowing seven runs on six hits and a walk in 2 1-3 innings.
“Probably lucky,” Ordonez said. “For some reason I do good against him.”
It was Helling’s first start since coming off the disabled list with a sprained elbow, and was his shortest since Sept. 23, 2000 with the Rangers, when he gave up six runs to Anaheim in 1 2-3 innings.
“We’ll give him another start and see where he’s at,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Detroit scored two runs in the second on Ordonez’s solo homer and Monroe’s sacrifice fly.
The Tigers batted around in the third. Miner doubled and scored on a double by Curtis Granderson.
After Placido Polanco singled and Rodriguez struck out, Ordonez blasted Helling’s pitch to left to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. Helling, who struck out five, then walked Carlos Guillen and was pulled for reliever Carlos Villanueva, who gave up two more homers.
Monroe hit his 11th home run of the season later in the inning to make it 8-0, and Rodriguez hit a two-run shot of his own into the right field party patio in the fourth inning.
Helling started off by striking out all three Tigers in the first inning on nine pitches.
“There’s nowhere to go after that,” Helling said. “It was fun while it lasted.”
Milwaukee’s Ben Sheets was the last major league pitcher to strike out a side on nine pitchers when he did it in the third inning of a game against Houston in 2004. … It was the 18th time in Ordonez’s career that he hit two home runs in a game. … The Tigers are 16-3 on the road since May 10. … Detroit has a major league-best 67 home runs away from home this year. … It was the 14th different starting lineup for the Brewers in the last 15 games. … Helling also went 2 1-3 innings in two starts in 2002.
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