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Maroth gives up one run in 7 1/3 innings

4/19/2004 - Detroit Tigers

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Mike Maroth never knew winning could be so much
fun.

A 21-game loser a year ago, the left-hander won his fourth
straight decision Saturday, leading the Detroit Tigers over the
Cleveland Indians 6-1.

"It feels really good," said Maroth (2-0). "It's a lot better
than losing, for sure."

Detroit, which dropped an AL-record 119 games last year,
improved to 7-4. The Tigers didn't get their seventh win in 2003
until May 7 -- putting them at 7-25.

"There's a much better feel around here," Tigers manager Alan
Trammell said. "Obviously we are a better club."

Maroth gave up 10 hits but only one run in 7 1-3 innings and
struck out seven. He worked out of three jams in the middle
innings, twice retiring Jody Gerut in key situations.

A year ago, Maroth went 9-21 and became the first 20-game loser
in the major leagues since Brian Kingman in 1980. He had been 0-2
with an 11.37 ERA against Cleveland.

"I only went one-and-a-third (innings) against them last
time," said Maroth, who is 4-0 in five starts since his last loss
Sept. 18. "But this is a different year and a different team. I
was able to make some good pitches and things worked out. There's
only so many times you can get into a jam before they get to you."

Gerut came in hitting .338 in his career against Detroit after
going 5-for-5 Friday night and has 30 of 81 career RBI against the
Tigers. But he took a called third strike with the bases loaded in
the third, and Maroth then struck out Casey Blake to end the
inning.

Maroth got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth and
escaped a first-and-third no outs jam in the fifth.

Gerut bounced back to Maroth, who threw to Omar Infante at
second for the force. The shortstop then threw out Ronnie Belliard
at the plate to complete the double play, and Blake followed with a
groundout.

"I thought I could score," Belliard said. "I think it was the
right decision. I was trying to tie the score."

Indians manager Eric Wedge disagreed.

"Ronnie's got to go right away on that play," Wedge said. "He
hesitated and got caught."

Jason Davis (0-1) gave up three runs, five hits and four walks
in 5 1-3 innings.

"I didn't have my best stuff, tried to overthrow and got out of
my routine a little," said Davis, who came in with a 1.80 ERA in
15 career innings against Detroit.

Alex Sanchez opened the game with an infield single, stole
second, took third when Tim Laker's throw went wild for an error
and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's grounder.

Rodriguez doubled to open the sixth and scored on Rondell
White's single. Eric Munson's RBI single off Scott Stewart and
Infante's sacrifice fly made it 4-0.

Fernando Vina's run-scoring single and White's RBI groundout
extended the lead to 6-0 in the eighth.

Pinch-hitter Matt Lawton had a sacrifice fly off Al Levine in
the bottom half.

Game notes
Five players had two hits apiece for the Tigers, who
improved to 21-53 at Jacobs Field, which opened in 1994. ... The
Indians put RHP Jose Jimenez on the disabled list with a strained
left ribcage muscle and purchased the contract of RHP Dave Lee from
Triple-A Buffalo ... Indians SS Omar Vizquel popped as a pinch
hitter in the ninth and remained three hits shy of 2,000 ... White
is 10 hits shy of 1,200. ... Rodriguez has multihit games in six of
the 10 games he has played. ... Belliard went 2-for-4 against
Maroth and is hitting .571 (12-for-21) against lefties.