Series: Game 1 of 3

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 5/14)

Game 1: Friday, May 14
Game 2: Saturday, May 15
Game 3: Sunday, May 16

Rangers 1

(21-14, 8-8 away)

Tigers 7

(17-18, 9-10 home)

    7:05 PM ET, May 14, 2004

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000010000 1 2 0
    DET 12000202 - 7 9 0

    W: G. Knotts (1-0)

    L: J. Benoit (1-1)

    S: E. Yan (2)

    Knotts allows one run in first start

    DETROIT (AP) -- Gary Knotts surprised the tigers with a dominant outing.

    Knotts did not allow a hit until the fifth inning in his first start of the season Friday night, and Brandon Inge and Omar Infante hit consecutive homers in the second for Detroit in 7-1 win over the Texas Rangers.

    "My gosh, it was more than I was expecting, just the fact he hasn't started in such a long time," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "I don't know when the last time was (Sept. 27). He's pitched, I believe, 63 pitches the most, he was right around 70 today (67) and was outstanding."

    Knotts (1-0) retired the first eight batters he faced before hitting Rod Barajas with a pitch with two outs in the third. He gave up a double to Mark Teixeira leading off the fifth and was pulled after Michael Young tripled to start the sixth.

    "I was lucky that tonight I had a majority of right-handed hitters," the right-handed Knotts said. "For me, with my pitch selection, I probably would rather face right-handed hitters. They only had two lefties and a switch-hitter in the lineup so that's usually an advantage for me."

    Esteban Yan relieved after Young's hit and struck out Hank Blalock, Alfonso Soriano and Brad Fullmer. Yan didn't allow a hit in four innings for his second save.

    "We'd have liked to get back with the game 3-2 there," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "But you've got to tip your hat to him. He made some great pitches."

    Knotts allowed a run in five-plus innings, while striking out five and walking one.

    "You've got to give Knotts credit. He got ahead all night," Brian Jordan said. "And when a pitcher gets ahead of you, you have to hit his pitch."

    Texas starter Joaquin Benoit (1-1) allowed five runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings.

    Detroit took the early lead on Rondell White's RBI single to center with two outs in the first. It scored Bobby Higginson, who doubled and advanced to third on a line out to right.

    The Tigers made it 3-0 in the second on the home runs by Inge and Infante with two outs. Inge drove a 2-0 pitch just inside the left-field foul pole and Infante then sent an 0-1 delivery to left for his first homer since Sept. 10, 2002.

    "A couple of bad pitches and he paid for it," Showalter said.

    The Rangers scored in the fifth when Teixeira doubled, advanced on a sacrifice by Eric Young and scored on Kevin Mench's fielder's choice.

    Detroit stretched its lead to 5-1 on Ivan Rodriguez's two-run homer in the sixth. It was his seventh homer and gave him 32 RBI this season.

    "It was a fastball cutter," Rodriguez said.

    Craig Monroe added an RBI single and another run scored on a balk by reliever Franklin Francisco in the eighth.

    Third base umpire Randy Marsh left the game in the bottom of the first inning with a torn plantar fascia in his left foot. The game continued with three umpires, two on the bases.

    Game notes

    Texas OF Laynce Nix was scratched from the starting lineup because of a sore neck. ... Rangers reliever Jeff Nelson underwent surgery on his knee and elbow on Friday. Manager Buck Showalter said his earliest return would be in August. ... Rangers reliever Franklin Francisco made his major league debut. ... Rodriguez has driven in at least a run in nine of his 11 games in May.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press