Series: Game 1 of 3

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 5/12)

Game 1: Friday, May 12
Game 2: Saturday, May 13
Game 3: Sunday, May 14

Tigers 5

(22-13, 14-7 away)

Indians 4

(17-19, 8-7 home)

7:05 PM ET, May 12, 2006

Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

123456789 R H E
DET 010010300 5 12 1
CLE 000011110 4 10 0

W: K. Rogers (6-2)

L: C. Lee (2-4)

S: T. Jones (8)

Rogers wins third straight start as Tigers drop slumping Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Kenny Rogers wasn't thrilled about pitching with an extra day's rest or that it was raining again.

Rogers, set back a day by a rainout, won his third straight start, and Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames hit home runs to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

"The hardest thing is getting geared up to pitch and then not competing and then coming back the next day and do it again," said Rogers (6-2), who pitched through a drizzle at Jacobs Field one night after being rained out in Baltimore. "That, without a doubt, is not something I want to get used to."

Monroe snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the seventh inning off Cliff Lee (2-4). Ivan Rodriguez had an RBI double later in the inning.

"We're getting big home runs," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "When you hit homers when you're ahead 9-1 or behind 9-1, that's not so impressive."

Casey Blake homered twice for Cleveland, which lost its fourth straight.

"We're in one of those stretches right now and have to work our way out," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "Some guys are trying to do a bit too much. If they just do what they are capable of individually, it will work out as a team."

Rogers didn't allow much to the Indians, whose 223 runs lead baseball. The 41-year-old gave up two runs and eight hits over 6 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking one in beating Cleveland for the second time this season and improving to 5-0 against Central Division teams.

"He's been fantastic," Leyland said. "We got him to pitch and he's pitched."

Todd Jones worked the ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.

Thames hit Lee's first pitch of the second inning 417 feet into the bleachers in left-center for his fifth homer and a 1-0 lead.

Monroe was 1-for-19 against Lee in his career when he doubled to open the fifth. Brandon Inge followed with an RBI single to make it 2-0. Blake hit his fifth homer with one out in the bottom half.

Blake's homer came after Eduardo Perez was thrown out by left fielder Monroe trying to stretch a single off the wall into a double.

"Some horses don't run well on a wet track," Perez said. "He played it well and I was out by three or four steps."

The Indians tied it 2-2 in the sixth when Jason Michaels doubled and scored one out later on Travis Hafner's bloop single to center. Hafner was caught in a rundown trying for second.

Lee then yielded four hits and three runs in the seventh.

"I let us down," the left-hander said. "It was totally my fault.

"We scored to tie it and I gave the lead right back. When we score, it is up to me to keep the momentum on our side."

Blake hit the first pitch from reliever Joel Zumaya in the seventh over the wall in left to make it 5-3.

With runners on first and second and no outs in the eighth, a throwing error by second baseman Placido Polanco while trying to turn a double play allowed Grady Sizemore to score from second and make it 5-4.

Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson twice made good plays to rob Sizemore of extra bases. In the first, Granderson ran down a drive on the warning track in right center. In the fourth, he made a diving catch of a slicing line drive by the Indians' leadoff hitter.

Lee allowed five runs and 11 hits over seven innings. The left-hander struck out seven without a walk in his third consecutive loss.

Game notes

Since Jacobs Field opened in 1994, the Tigers lead all visiting teams with 100 home runs. ... Rogers is 15-14 in 51 career appearances against Cleveland. ... Lee went 18-5 last season and didn't get his fourth loss until July 8. ... Blake's two-homer game was the fourth of his career. He is hitting .459 (17-for-37 with four homers during a 10-game hitting streak. ... Tigers 1B Chris Shelton broke a 3-for-18 slide with consecutive singles in the seventh and eighth innings.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press