Series: Game 3 of 3

Detroit won 2-1

Game 1: Friday, July 21
Game 2: Saturday, July 22
Game 3: Sunday, July 23

Athletics 4

(51-47, 27-25 away)

Tigers 8

(66-32, 33-17 home)

1:05 PM ET, July 23, 2006

Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

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OAK 003000100 4 6 3
DET 61100000 - 8 11 1

W: N. Robertson (9-6)

L: E. Loaiza (4-6)

Guillen's big day helps Tigers tackle A's

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers had another big first inning. This time, they kept the lead.

Carlos Guillen tripled, doubled and singled, leading Nate Robertson and the Tigers to an 8-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday.

One day after scoring five runs in the first inning of a 9-5 loss, the Tigers got six in the first and held on.

"We had to win this one, especially after yesterday," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "There was no room for error."

The Tigers sent 10 batters to the plate against Esteban Loaiza in a first inning that included five hits, two errors and a hit batter.

"We couldn't overcome that two days in a row," Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "We still came back, but the combination of four, five straight hits and a couple big errors isn't going to work too well for us."

Magglio Ordonez added a two-run single and scored twice, and Brandon Inge had three hits for the Tigers, who improved baseball's best record to 66-32 with their fourth win in five games.

Guillen also drove in two runs. After getting three hits in the first four innings, he needed a homer for the cycle when he stepped to the plate in the sixth.

"I tried to get one, but I got a walk," Guillen said. "I felt pretty good today. I had a nice at-bat every time I went up there."

The Tigers went 5-4 against Oakland this year, the first time they've won the season series since 2000.

"Those were tough games," Leyland said. "It's an emotional roller coaster for a manager."

The A's finished their road trip, which also included visits to Boston and Baltimore, with a 6-4 record.

"I think we still had a good trip, given the competition we faced," Bobby Kielty said. "That's two first-place teams."

Robertson (9-6) ended a three-start losing streak, allowing four runs and five hits in seven innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.

"You have a six-run lead and you want to go right at them, but those are the Oakland A's," he said. "If you just lay stuff over the plate, they are going to whack it. I just didn't want to walk anyone and let them get back in it."

Joel Zumaya finished up with two scoreless innings.

Loaiza (4-6) took the loss, just his fifth in 16 career decisions against Detroit. He gave up eight runs -- five earned -- and eight hits in three innings.

Curtis Granderson led off the first with a single, and Loaiza's next pitch hit Placido Polanco in the head as he squared to bunt.

"The pitch was up and riding in a little, and he ran right into it," Loaiza said.

Polanco immediately got to his feet, but left the game. X-rays of his jaw were negative, and a CT scan showed no damage.

Ivan Rodriguez's bunt single loaded the bases, surprising his former teammate.

"I've never seen Pudge do that against me, and I never saw him do that when we played together," Loaiza said.

Ordonez followed with a two-run single, and Guillen made it 3-0 with a base hit.

After Marcus Thames popped out, Dmitri Young's routine grounder went through Nick Swisher's legs at first for an error, allowing a fourth run to score.

Craig Monroe then hit a rare sacrifice fly to the first baseman -- Guillen scored as Swisher tumbled over the tarp while catching a foul pop-up. Swisher's wild throw to the plate allowed Young to go to second, and Inge made it 6-0 with an RBI single.

Oakland's third error of the game helped the Tigers get their seventh run in the second. Ordonez reached on shortstop Marco Scutaro's wild throw and scored on Guillen's two-out double.

The Athletics made it 7-3 in the third, when Kielty hit a two-run homer. But Detroit added another run in the bottom half on Granderson's RBI double.

Scutaro's second homer in two days provided the final run.

Game notes

Oakland SS Bobby Crosby missed his second straight game with a sore back. ... Athletics slugger Frank Thomas was ejected in the third inning after being called out on strikes for the second time in the game. ... Loaiza's career ERA at Comerica Park, where he has made seven starts, went from 2.58 to 3.48. ... Young played first base for the first time this season. In his third game back after missing two months, including 30 days in a California rehab facility, Young was 0-for-3 before leaving after five innings. ... The game drew 40,355 fans, the sixth sellout in Detroit's last eight home games. ... Tigers trainer Kevin Rand said Polanco might be able to play in Monday's series opener at Cleveland.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press