Dominating Rogers overcomes shaky start in Tigers win

CHICAGO (AP) -- Kenny Rogers appeared headed for an early exit.
After giving up five straight hits over the first two innings, the
41-year-old lefty settled down and gave the Detroit Tigers the lift
they needed to finally beat the Chicago White Sox.

"The first inning I struggled a little bit. I've been around
long enough to know that wasn't the game," Rogers said after his
seven strong innings, a two-run homer from Marcus Thames and some
heads-up baserunning gave the Tigers a 6-2 win Thursday night.

" I started to get in the flow, getting some outs. I tried to
make an adjustment and went from there," said Rogers, who retired
the final 17 batters he faced.

"I got on a good roll after the first."

Rogers (8-3) yielded a two-run homer to Paul Konerko in the
first but did not allow a baserunner after Alex Cintron's infield
single in the second.

His seven innings included six hits, two runs, no walks and five
strikeouts as he improved to 14-7 in his career against the White

"He pitched really well. His back stiffened on him late. He was
probably OK, but I thought it was enough. ... He also reminded me
he was 41 years old," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

Detroit's win gave the Tigers a 1-game lead and was its first
in six tries against Chicago this season. The White Sox had won the
first two games of the series by 4-3 scores after sweeping a
three-game set in April.

"It's not a big deal that we won, just like it would not have
been a big deal if we lost," Leyland said. "It was a good series
in June."

After their initial burst that included six hit from the first
nine batters, the White Sox's offense went flat.

"I don't know if we got overconfident," Konerko said of the
team's early success against Rogers. "He turned it on and it was
over after that."

Detroit scored all four runs in the sixth after two were out.
The rally was capped by Thames' two-run homer, but it was sparked
by the baserunning of Ivan Rodriguez and Carlos Guillen.

Rodriguez, who'd missed Wednesday night's game with a sore back,
singled with one out and then alertly raced to second on Magglio
Ordonez's fly to Rob Mackowiak in center.

Guillen dumped a soft RBI single to center to give Detroit a 3-2
lead and took second when Mackowiak threw to the plate. When Omar
Infante hit a slow roller to short, Juan Uribe charged and threw to
first, but Infante beat the throw and Guillen kept running,
crossing the plate ahead of first baseman Konerko's throw home.

Thames then followed with a two-run homer to left, his 11th of
the season and the major league-leading 19th surrendered this
season by Jon Garland (4-3), who gave up nine hits and six runs in
seven innings.

"We threw the ball to the wrong base and didn't hit the cutoff
man. Those guys know how to play the game," Chicago manager Ozzie
Guillen said. "Guillen scores with a ground ball. That doesn't
surprise me. ... It was a heads-up play."

Placido Polanco's second homer of the season, a two-run shot in
the third, tied the game at 2-2.

Konerko's 16th homer just cleared the wall in right center and
followed a two-out single by Jim Thome. The White Sox appeared on
their way to an even bigger inning when Jermaine Dye followed with
a single. But when third base coach Joey Cora waved him home, Dye
was thrown out easily at the plate on a relay from second baseman
Polanco when he tried to score on A.J. Pierzynski's double over
Ordonez's head in right.

"He threw the ball perfectly. It was a little to the right, but
I had plenty of time," Rodriguez said.

Curtis Granderson made a nice running catch before hitting the
ball to rob Uribe of an extra-base hit in the fourth. Uribe, who
missed two games to be his wife during the birth of their child,
entered the game in the fourth after Joe Crede had to leave with
irritation of the lower back.

Crede got back spasms during his first at-bat in the second
inning and is day-to-day. Guillen said he expected Crede to be able
to play by Saturday.

Game notes
Tigers OF Craig Monroe, who had to leave Wednesday night's
game after spraining his ankle while hitting the left field wall
chasing a ball, did not play. ... Garland is now 10-5 lifetime
against the Tigers, including 1-1 this season. He got the victory
April 13 despite giving up 13 hits and seven runs in five innings
He threw 124 pitches Thursday night. ... The White Sox are debating
whether to send struggling rookie CF Brian Anderson (.158) to the
minors, but he will start Friday against the Indians and lefty
Cliff Lee.