DETROIT (AP) -- When Alan Trammell comes to the mound, it usually
means a pitching change.
Trammell broke his habit Saturday when he visited starter Jason
Johnson with two outs in the eighth. Detroit led by two runs, but a
double by Matt Stairs had brought the tying run to the plate.Trammell talked to Johnson, then headed back to the dugout.
Terrence Long grounded out to end the inning, and the Tigers held
on to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3."I wanted to look in his eyes," Trammell said. "He was
cruising, and if they had gotten another runner on, he would have
come out, but I got the reaction I wanted."Johnson (6-7) allowed three runs and seven hits in eight innings
for his first win since June 18, a span of four starts."It feels good, because they pay me to win games," he said.
"I really respected Tram for letting me stay out there."Johnson is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA in 10 home starts this year."I want to do this as much as I can," he said. "If we keep
battling, we can still contend."The Tigers have won seven of nine since being swept by Cleveland
in a July 4 doubleheader."That wasn't a very good day," Trammell said. "But I think
these guys -- our players -- have really gotten it together, and they
are playing good baseball."With the game tied at 3 in the sixth, Nook Logan, considered one
of baseball's fastest players, led off with a single off Mike Wood
(3-4). He scored from first when right fielder Terrence Long
allowed Brandon Inge's single to get past him for the third of four
Royals errors in the game."We just didn't do anything," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.
"We didn't pitch well, we didn't catch the ball and we didn't hit
well."After a flyout, Chris Shelton singled and Magglio Ordonez walked
to load the bases. Rondell White made it 5-3 by beating out a
possible double-play grounder.Kyle Farnsworth struck out the side in the ninth for his third
save.Rookie J.P. Howell's winless streak extended to six starts, as
he allowed three runs -- two earned -- in 4 1/3 innings."This is something to go on," he said. "Something I can build
on, hopefully."David DeJesus led off the game with his sixth homer, and the
Royals kept the Tigers from tying it in the bottom of the first
with a nice defensive play. Ivan Rodriguez hit a ball with the
bases loaded and two outs that deflected off third baseman Mark
Teahen to shortstop Angel Berroa, who threw to second to force
White.Alberto Castillo's RBI single made it 2-0 in the second before
Detroit began to capitalize on Kansas City's defensive mistakes.Consecutive errors by Teahen and Berroa put two men on, and both
runners moved up on Logan's sacrifice bunt. Inge then lifted a ball
down the right field line for a sacrifice fly.In the fourth, Inge's two-run double put the Tigers ahead 3-2."I feel like I haven't done anything for a month," said Inge,
whose three RBI matched a season high. "It didn't feel any
differently today, but that's the funny thing about baseball. For a
month, I've hit the ball right at people. Today, everything dropped
in."Mike Sweeney's homer to left tied it in the fifth.The Tigers had runners at second and third with one out in the
fifth, but Wood came out of the bullpen to strike out Rodriguez.
After an intentional walk loaded the bases, he fanned Kevin Hooper
to end the inning.
Hooper, who had played in three games as a late-inning
replacement, was making the first start of his major league career.
... Placido Polanco (hamstring) and Dmitri Young (calf) both sat
out the game. ... Kansas City hadn't made four errors in a game
since last Aug. 8 against Anaheim. ... Wood is 0-3 against Detroit