DETROIT (AP) -- Jim Leyland and Joe Torre made different decisions about how to handle their starting pitchers during a game-interrupting rainstorm Sunday.
It turned out Leyland made the right call.The Dodgers-Tigers game was delayed 47 minutes with no score after the fourth inning. Leyland chose to leave Nate Robertson in the game, while Torre took out Clayton Kershaw.Two innings later, the Tigers had a 5-0 lead, and they held on to win their sixth straight game, 5-4.Robertson threw in the indoor batting cage during the delay, so Leyland felt comfortable leaving him in the game."He threw about two simulated innings, so his pitch count was about 30 higher than it said on the scoreboard," Leyland said. "He was going great, so we wanted to leave him out there."Robertson (5-6) finished with six shutout innings."This is my first Father's Day, and I'm going to remember it really well," said Robertson, who became a father three months ago.Torre chose not to take the same chance with his rookie lefty, who was only making his fifth major league start."I wanted to come back out, but Mr. Torre said I was done," Kershaw said. "I know he had my best interest at heart."Chan Ho Park (2-2) replaced him, and allowed five runs and eight hits in 1 1/3 innings."It just wasn't one of his better outings," Torre said. "I was worried that he had a physical problem, but I've checked with everyone and he seems to be fine."Detroit has now won six straight to pull within six games of first-place Chicago."People buried us, and they should have," Leyland said. "Now we've got a chance to get them excited again."The winning streak started when Robertson beat the White Sox 6-4 Tuesday to start a three-game sweep."That White Sox series was huge," he said. "We know we have a good team, but we had to get things going. Now we've got to keep this up."The Dodgers looked like they were about to be shut out for the third time in four days, but they scored four runs in the ninth inning before Juan Pierre flew out to center to end the game with runners on second and third.Los Angeles is now a season-worst seven games below .500."It's not early any more -- it is starting to get urgent," Torre said. "We just have to start getting some better at-bats. We didn't scare anyone until we finally got aggressive in the ninth inning."Detroit's offense didn't get rolling until Park retired the first two batters in the fifth. The next six batters reached base, bringing home three runs, and Park only escaped the inning when shortstop Angel Berroa threw out a runner at the plate.Things didn't get any better for Park in the sixth, as Marcus Thames and Brandon Inge led off with back-to-back homers, making it 5-0."We believe in ourselves, and we're winning ballgames," Thames said. "People are going to have doubts, because we got off to the slow start, but we're confident. If we keep playing hard, good things are going to happen."
Tigers slugger Gary Sheffield, sidelined with an oblique strain and shoulder problems, is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Single-A Lakeland on Monday. ... Dodgers manager Joe Torre said the team most likely would move a minor league pitcher into the rotation if Brad Penny ends up on the disabled list. Penny had shoulder pain during Saturday's loss to the Tigers and is scheduled for an MRI exam on Monday. ... The Dodgers lost their designated hitter by moving Martin to catcher in the eighth, and had to use Delwyn Young as a pinch hitter for reliever Jonathan Broxton in the ninth. ... The Tigers sent reliever Aquilino Lopez to Triple-A Toledo after the game and plan to convert him into a starter. Detroit is expected to activate reliever Fernando Rodney (shoulder) on Monday.