ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- These are not the Detroit Tigers of
Magglio Ordonez hit a go-ahead two-run double and Craig Monroe
added a two-run homer in a four-run eighth inning as the Tigers
surpassed last season's victory total, beating Tampa Bay 8-3 on
Wednesday night.Ordonez, who has nine RBI in his last seven games, gave the
Tigers a 4-3 lead with his double off reliever Jon Switzer (2-2).
Monroe made it 6-3 with his 16th homer of the season, off Ruddy Lugo.
The Tigers posted their 72nd win of the year on Wednesday night. Detroit was 71-91 in 2005. This is the earliest date on which a team coming off a season of at least 60 wins has surpassed its victory total from the prior year. The previous fastest was set by Brooklyn in 1892, which recorded its 62nd win on Aug. 3, after going 61-71 in 1891.• For more Elias Says, click here
"Things are changed and we're all excited about it," Monroe
said. "There's never a knock of anybody that was here in the past.
We have a lot of respect for those guys, but at the same time
[manager Jim] Leyland has come in and he's just allowed us to
relax. He's taught us to how prepare and believe."The Tigers haven't finished with a winning record since going
85-77 in 1993.Dmitri Young also had a two-run homer for the Tigers (72-35),
who have the best record in the major leagues. Detroit also matched
the record of its 1984 World Series championship team after 107
games."They're on a mission right now ... you can see that," Tampa
Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Guys just turn it up late. They
really believe they can get the job done."Reliever Jason Grilli (1-1) threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings for
the win. Omar Infante had a sacrifice fly and Carlos Guillen had an
RBI single in the ninth for the Tigers.Detroit rookie Zach Miner went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three
runs, four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He is 0-1 in his
last four starts following a personal six-game winning streak."Right now, with everything that's going on, we've just got a
solid middle of our order," Miner said. "I don't think I'd want
to be a pitcher facing us right now."Detroit, with a staff ERA of 3.72, entered as the only AL team
below 4.00."Top to bottom they're a pretty good team," Tampa Bay center
fielder Rocco Baldelli said. "When you have solid players that
play hard and are good players, that wins games for you."Dioner Navarro had put Tampa Bay ahead 3-2 in the sixth with a
run-scoring single off reliever Jamie Walker. The Devil Rays
(44-64) are 5-14 since the All-Star break and dropped to a
season-low 20 games under .500.Young gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first with his fifth
home run. He has five homers and 11 RBI in 11 games since he
returned from the disabled list after undergoing treatment for
substance abuse at a California rehab center.Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the inning on Jorge Cantu's RBI groundout. Ben Zobrist's squeeze bunt tied it at two in
the fifth.Devil Rays starter Tim Corcoran allowed two runs and four hits
in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.
Tampa Bay placed RHP Travis Harper on the 15-day DL with a
right shoulder injury and recalled RHP Seth McClung from Triple-A
Durham. Maddon said Harper will be evaluated after a two-week rehab
period. ... Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was out of the lineup for the
fifth time in the last seven games. He will likely start Thursday.
... Baldelli, who left Tuesday's game after being hit in the right
biceps by a pitch, was in the starting lineup. He went 2-for-5. ...
Guillen stayed in the game after being hit on the left leg by a
pitch in the first. He later stole second for his 11th straight
successful stolen base attempt. ... Corcoran has given up two
homers in 40 2/3 innings this season.