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Tigers nab fifth straight win as Royals go 0-11 on road

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers know they have played two
struggling teams this week. They also know that, for the first time
in years, they were able to take advantage of it.

Brandon Inge and Craig Monroe homered and Mike Maroth pitched
six strong innings as the Tigers improved to 5-0 on their current
homestand with a 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday
night.

"We're playing great, and we're going to ride the wave," Inge
said.

Detroit has outscored the Minnesota Twins and Royals by a
combined 40-4 in the five wins. They finish the homestand against
the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday and Thursday.

"We're doing everything it takes to win," Maroth said. "I'm
definitely enjoying going to the ballpark every day."

Kansas City has lost five straight and is 0-11 on the road this
season. The major league record of 13 road losses to start a season
is held by the 1969 Houston Astros and 1988 Baltimore Orioles.

"I just repeat myself every night -- take my quotes from
yesterday and write them down again," Kansas City manager Buddy
Bell said in a 54-second postgame news conference. "This is the
big leagues, and my gosh, you have to swing the bat better than
that."

The Royals, who now play two games in Minnesota followed by
three in Chicago, have four runs and a .154 batting average in
their last five road games.

"No one is going through anything as bad as this," second
baseman Mark Grudzielanek said. "We've gotten good pitching, but
some games we don't drive in the runners we have on base, and some
games we just don't have any runners on base to begin with.

"Give the Tigers credit. They took advantage of us, which is
just what I would want to do if I were playing against us."

Maroth (4-1) allowed one run, four hits and a walk in six
innings and lowered his ERA to 1.78. He has given up more than one
run in just one of his five starts this season.

In Detroit's last 14 games, its starting pitchers are 10-3 with
a 1.87 ERA.

"We got good starting pitching again," Tigers manager Jim
Leyland said. "There's no such thing as momentum in baseball -- you
are only as good as your next pitcher."

Three Detroit relievers finished, with Todd Jones pitching the
ninth for his fifth save in as many tries. Jones allowed a double
in his scoreless inning, one day after allowing two runs before
closing out a 3-2 victory.

"I have to send the right message," Leyland said. "I thought
it was important to get Jonesy right back out there."

Former Tiger Mark Redman (0-2) gave up three runs and five hits
in 5 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out one.

"To start off the season this way is tough," he said. "You
don't think as much about glitches like this when they happen in
June."

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the third inning on Inge's
436-foot homer to left. Inge was hitting .176 over his last 18
games, and had even changed lockers in the Detroit clubhouse to try
to break the slump.

The Royals scored on Reggie Sanders' RBI double in the sixth,
but the Tigers came back with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Inge led off with a single, took second on a wild pitch, moved
to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a groundout by Magglio
Ordonez.

Monroe made it 4-1 in the seventh against Joel Peralta with his
seventh homer of the year.

Game notes
Tigers DH Dmitri Young (leg) will play two rehab games with
Double-A Erie this week, and hopes to rejoin the team during the
weekend series in Minnesota. ... Royals DH Mike Sweeney returned to
Kansas City after aggravating a back injury on Monday. He is
expected to go on the disabled list on Wednesday. ... The Royals
fired hitting coach Andre David after Monday's loss and replaced
him with minor league instructor Mike Barnett. ... The start of the
game was delayed 19 minutes by rain. ... Since leaving the Tigers
after the 2002 season, Redman has played for four teams -- Florida,
Oakland, Pittsburgh and Kansas City.