BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers didn't need this kind of
excitement, not after taking a seemingly comfortable lead in their
bid to end a four-game losing streak.
After Dmitri Young and Craig Monroe homered, the Tigers held on
to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Friday night.Detroit led 4-0 in the sixth inning behind starter Nate
Robertson, who left in the eighth inning with a three-run lead.
Kyle Farnsworth then gave up two-out RBI singles to Melvin Mora and
Miguel Tejada.With the tying run on second base, Sammy Sosa grounded into a
fielder's choice.The ninth inning wasn't any easier for Detroit.Ugueth Urbina gave up a leadoff double to Rafael Palmeiro, then
walked Geronimo Gil and Brian Roberts to load the bases with two
outs before striking out rookie Jeff Fiorentino to earn his sixth
save."My heart's still pounding. A little exciting, wasn't it?"
Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We did good enough to win.
That's all that matters."It was the first time in seven games the Tigers scored as many
as four runs, and it was the most runs they've provided Robertson
this season."I look at it as a win. I don't care if we won 2-0," Trammell
said. "Most important is we won. But we're better than this
offensively."Robertson (2-3) allowed three runs, six hits and a walk in 7 2/3
innings. He has a 1.97 ERA in five starts this month."The way I've pitched previous to tonight made me a better
pitcher," the left-hander said.Young hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and Monroe made it
4-0 with a two-run drive in the sixth. Both homers were off Sidney
Ponson, who has yielded four home runs in his last two starts after
allowing only two in his first eight appearances."He kept us in the game," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said.Ponson (5-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits in eight innings.
Baltimore was averaging 7.33 runs in his nine starts, but couldn't
muster that kind of support against Robertson.Palmeiro had three hits for the Orioles, whose three-game
winning streak ended."You can't fault them or be upset when your team gives you
everything they have," Mazzilli said. "They just fell a little
short."The Orioles have been fighting injuries of late, and this game
was no exception. Outfielder Larry Bigbie was unavailable because
of a leg strain, and that left Mazzilli strapped when looking to
make a move in the whirlwind ninth inning."It's an unbelievable lineup even with Javy (Lopez) and (Luis)
Matos out," Robertson said.After being limited to three hits over the first five innings,
Baltimore rallied to make a game of it despite playing
short-handed."You can't get frustrated," Mazzilli said. "You do what you
can do. We have 25 men on this team, and we'll use them all.
Tonight we just about did."Detroit went up 1-0 in the first. After Brandon Inge led off
with a double, Ponson retired the next two batters before Rondell
White bounced an 0-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single.Young ended a 3-for-25 skid by leading off the fourth with his
seventh home run, only the second since April 25.In the bottom of the inning, an error and Sosa's second single
of the game enabled the Orioles to put runners at the corners with
two outs, but Robertson retired Palmeiro on a grounder.Young hit a leadoff single in the sixth and scored on Monroe's
fifth home run.Baltimore closed to 4-1 in its half when Roberts tripled and
scored on a groundout by Fiorentino. Roberts extended his hitting
streak to a career-best 16 games.
White extended his season-high hitting streak to 15 games.
... Palmeiro is 10-for-20 in his last six games. ... Detroit's
Carlos Pena ended an 0-for-18 skid with a sixth-inning double, and
teammate Omar Infante snapped an 0-for-13 drought with a
seventh-inning double. ... Orioles RF Jay Gibbons' run of 20
consecutive starts ended.