Tigers 7, Indians 1
CLEVELAND (AP)—Kenny Rogers put on a pitching performance that Detroit desperately needed and the Tigers backed him with four home runs, beating the Cleveland Indians 7-1 Sunday and ending a four-game losing streak.
Curtis Granderson led off the game with a homer and Marcus Thames, Carlos Guillen and Ivan Rodriguez later connected as the Tigers averted a sweep. They won for only the sixth time in 19 games since Aug. 7—when they held a 10-game lead in the AL Central.
Detroit, with the best record in the majors, began the day a four-game division lead over Minnesota. After an off-day, the Tigers start a three-game series against New York at Yankee Stadium.
Rogers (14-6) won his third straight start, allowing one run and four hits in seven innings. Cleveland had won four in a row overall and eight straight at home.
Rogers struck out three and walked three. The lefty has yielded only three runs over 19 innings during his win streak.
The 41-year-old All-Star had been 0-3 with a 6.37 ERA in six second-half starts before topping Texas on Aug. 17 and pitching seven scoreless innings in a win over the White Sox five days later.
The Tigers are 20-7 overall in games started by Rogers this season.
Granderson hit the third pitch of the game from Cliff Lee (10-10) over the wall in right-center for his 13th homer. The rookie came in hitting only .132 (19-for-76) in 23 games in August.
Granderson doubled to open the third and one out later, Thames—hitting only .171 (12-for-70) over his previous 24 games—hit a 418-foot shot to center for his 23rd homer and 3-1 lead.
Guillen hit his 15th homer in the sixth for a 5-1 lead. The shortstop is hitting .358 (34-for-95) with eight homers and 34 RBI in 26 games this month.
Rodriguez hit a two-run homer, his 10th, off Edward Mujica to make it 7-1 in the eighth.
Lee fell to 0-4 this season and 3-5 in his career against Detroit. The left-hander allowed five runs and 10 hits over 5 2-3 innings, striking out three without a walk. He is 1-4 with 9.00 ERA over his last eight starts, allowing 60 hits over 46 2-3 innings.
The Tigers have hit 110 homers at Jacobs Field, most by an opponent since the park opened in 1994. … Rogers is 16-16 with a 5.28 ERA in 55 career appearances, including 32 starts, against Cleveland. He has pitched 233 2-3 innings against the Indians. … Martinez has hit .337 (29-for-86) with 14 RBI in 23 games in August.