Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Detroit leads 3-0 (as of 4/8)

Game 1: Thursday, April 6
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Texas6
Game 2: Friday, April 7
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Game 3: Saturday, April 8
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Game 4: Sunday, April 9
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Tigers 7

(5-0, 5-0 away)

Rangers 0

(1-5, 1-5 home)

    8:05 PM ET, April 8, 2006

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 401000200 7 11 0
    TEX 000000000 0 2 1

    W: J. Verlander (1-0)

    L: K. Millwood (0-2)

    Shelton's bat stays hot as Tigers stay unbeaten

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Chris Shelton's legs and Justin Verlander's right arm kept the Detroit Tigers perfect Saturday night.

    Buster Olney's Blog
    [Chris Shelton] reminds you, in style, a little bit like the ex-Brewer Paul Molitor, countering whatever is thrown at him.

    To read more of Buster Olney's blog, click here. Insider

    Shelton tripled twice and drove in three runs, Verlander pitched seven innings for his first career win, and the Tigers remained the American League's only unbeaten team with a 7-0 victory over the Texas Rangers.

    Shelton hit five home runs in his first four games this season, but he showed off his baserunning Saturday. Verlander held the Rangers to two singles over seven innings to help Detroit get off to its first 5-0 start since 1985.

    Detroit manager Jim Leyland remained cautious about his team's fast start.

    "I don't (put) much stock in it," said Leyland, who last managed with the Colorado Rockies in 1999. "I put stock in the fact that these games give us confidence and help us feel better about ourselves. We still have a long hill to climb."

    Shelton hit a two-run triple in the first to give the Tigers a 4-0 cushion. The first baseman, who is hitting .700 after going 3-for-4, added an RBI triple in the third.

    "I'm lucky if I get two in a year, let alone in back-to-back at bats," Shelton said. "It's all kind of overwhelming. It's been a great week. What else can I say."

    Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer in the seventh for Detroit, which has 17 already this season.

    That gave Verlander (1-0) all he needed to earn his first win in the big leagues. He allowed two singles in the fourth, struck out seven and walked two in his 89 pitches.

    The 23-year-old right-hander, who hit 99 mph with his fastball while throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes, was 0-2 with a 7.15 ERA last season.

    "It's my first big league win and you can't beat that," Verlander said. "I'm kind of elated to tell you the truth. I wanted to continue the streak of our starting pitchers. That's 5-for-5 right there."

    Kevin Millwood (0-2) struggled in his second start with Texas. He allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings.

    Millwood, who signed a $60 million, five-year deal in the offseason, struck out five without walking a batter.

    Texas dropped its fourth straight and is 1-5 for the first time since 2002. After the final out, the Rangers were booed by the fans coming off the field.

    "We've played six games. There's a lot of season left," manager Buck Showalter said. "It's very easy to trust these guys to come through."

    The Rangers didn't muster a hit off Verlander until Phil Nevin singled with one out in the fourth. Chris Spurling relieved Verlander to start the eighth. Detroit pitchers retired their final 14 batters.

    Granderson led off the game with a single and scored on a grounder by Magglio Ordonez. Dmitri Young followed with an RBI single and Shelton's triple to center gave Detroit a 4-0 lead.

    Millwood threw his glove down in disgust when he returned to the dugout. In his first two Texas starts, Millwood has given up nine earned runs in 11 innings.

    "I was just upset with myself," Millwood said. "It's nice to go out and set a tone. And I didn't set the right tone."

    Verlander looked at ease from the start. He struck out Texas leadoff hitter Brad Wilkerson on three pitches.

    The Rangers got consecutive singles from Nevin and Hank Blalock in the fourth, but Verlander ended the threat by striking out Kevin Mench and Laynce Nix.

    Verlander retired his final eight batters after allowing a one-out walk to Ian Kinsler in the fifth.

    Shelton's RBI triple in the third made it 5-0. He added a one-out single in the sixth before striking out in the eighth. Granderson's home run made it 7-0.

    "The Tigers are the best-hitting team in the world right now," Millwood said.

    Game notes


    Detroit LHP Kenny Rogers will start against his former club Sunday. He led the Rangers with 14 wins last season but was suspended 13 days following a pre-game confrontation with photographers. ... Nix went 0-for-3 and is 0-for-15 this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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