Tigers 10, Devil Rays 4

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Carlos Guillen had a special night at the plate and Justin Verlander added to his impressive rookie season on the mound. They combined to help the Detroit Tigers match last season’s win total.

Guillen hit for the cycle and Verlander won his seventh consecutive decision to become the major leagues’ first 14-game winner, leading the Tigers over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 10-4 on Tuesday night.

Guillen is the 10th Detroit player, and third since 1951, to complete the cycle. He had an RBI triple in the second, a solo homer in the third, a single in the sixth and a double in the eighth.

“That was awesome,” Tigers first baseman Sean Casey said. “I felt like a fan. If he didn’t go for second (in the eighth), I was going to go out and tackle him.”

Guillen hit his double to right center and slide safely into second, beating a throw from Damon Hollins.

“Inside I felt pretty good,” Guillen said. “I was looking for the double. As soon as I hit the ball, I tried to run hard. If I don’t run hard my first at-bat, I don’t get the triple. If I don’t run hard my last at-bat, I don’t get the double.”

The last two Tigers to accomplish the feat were Damion Easley in 2001 and Travis Fryman in 1993. It was Detroit’s first road cycle since George Kell did it on June 2, 1950, at Philadelphia.

Verlander (14-4) gave up three runs, eight hits, two walks and four strikeouts over five innings. He had gone six or more innings, and allowed one run or less in his each of his five previous starts.

“It was one of those days where the stuff wasn’t there and I had to battle out there to keep our guys in it,” Verlander said. “Our offense put up a pretty bold number today. That was great.”

Over his past nine starts, Verlander is 7-0 with a 2.04 ERA. His last loss was 4-3 to the Chicago White Sox on June 7.

The AL Central-leading Tigers (71-35) matched their win total from last season.

Brent Clevlen hit his first two major league homers and Casey, acquired from Pittsburgh on Monday, added another and had RBI single in his debut with the Tigers.

Devil Rays center field Rocco Baldelli left in the sixth inning with a bruised right biceps after being hit by a pitch from Jason Grilli. Baldelli was making his 43rd start since being activated from the disabled list June 7 after missing all last season with a variety of injuries.

“I’m going to see how it feels,” Baldelli said. “I plan on being ready to play tomorrow.”

The pitch hit a nerve on the inside of the biceps.

“My arm just went numb,” Baldelli said. “It was a little scary, not being able to feel it. After five minutes it started to come back. Besides being a little sore, it feels fine now.”

Craig Monroe had a two-run single during a five-run second inning that put the Tigers ahead 5-2. Guillen made it 6-2 with his 13th homer one inning later.

Casey and Clevlen, playing in his third game in the majors, hit solo homers in the fifth to extend the lead to 8-3.

Travis Lee had a run-scoring single in a two-run first for Tampa Bay.

Starting pitcher J.P. Howell, third baseman B.J. Upton and shortstop Ben Zobrist all made their 2006 debuts with the Devil Rays after being recently called up from Triple-A Durham.

A majority of the 13,808 in attendance booed Upton before he singled in his first at-bat in the second. Upton, and minor league outfielders Delmon Young and Elijah Dukes were quoted in a published report last week in which they complained about the conditions at Durham and wondered why they hadn’t been called up to the major league club.

“We talked about it,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “We put everything out on the table. There’s no hidden agendas around here. The guys are good with it.”

Howell (0-1) lasted 3 2-3 innings, allowing six runs and nine hits.

The Devil Rays are 5-13 since the All-Star break.


Upton was 2-for-4. He hit .258 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 45 games with Tampa Bay in 2004. “It was new at first,” Upton said. “After a couple innings, it felt comfortable.” … Zobrist went 0-for-4 in his major league debut. Howell went 3-5 with a 6.19 ERA over 15 starts with Kansas City last season. … Dukes was suspended indefinitely by the Devil Rays pending a review of an incident that led to a five-game suspension last week by the International League.

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