Inge, Tigers send D-backs to 14th consecutive road loss

DETROIT -- Brandon Inge and the Detroit Tigers just love interleague play.

Inge hit a tiebreaking RBI triple in the eighth inning and the Tigers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-5 on Friday night for their seventh straight win, with each victory coming against National League teams.

Detroit improved to 8-2 this season and a baseball-best 60-22 in interleague action since the start of the 2006 season.

Manager Jim Leyland says the record is just a matter of good timing -- Detroit played the woeful Pirates and Diamondbacks and missed rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg of Washington -- but he was happy with his short-handed team's performance on Friday.

With Austin Jackson (back) and Gerald Laird (neck) unavailable and Miguel Cabrera leaving after four innings, Detroit finished the game with one position player on the bench.

"We were in a bind," Leyland said. "It's not very comfortable to have to play five innings with just [Ramon] Santiago able to play. We were short, but we got through it."

The Tigers wasted leads of 4-0 and 5-4 before sending Arizona to its 14th consecutive road loss, extending its franchise record.

"I'm tired of having difficult pills to swallow," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. "I'm running out of ways to describe this. We keep playing well enough to just lose."

There was a severe thunderstorm warning for the area around Comerica Park when Detroit pushed across two runs in the eighth. Brennan Boesch started the rally with a one-out walk against Chad Qualls (1-4). Boesch advanced on a groundout and scored on Inge's drive over the head of center fielder Chris Young. Alex Avila followed with an RBI single to make it 7-5.

"They were giving us reports that we were going to have 70-mph winds, so I figured we'd better go ahead and get some runs so that we didn't have to sit for hours in a delay," Inge said.

Qualls, who recently lost his job as Arizona's closer, allowed two runs and three hits in one inning. He walked one and struck out one.

"We're still going to use him, and he's still going to have to get us outs," Hinch said. "Tonight, the walk killed him. He could have been out of that inning."

Phil Coke (5-0) got two outs to earn the win and Jose Valverde needed just six pitches to record his 15th save.

Young and Stephen Drew each drove in two runs for Arizona.

Dontrelle Willis allowed five runs and five hits over five innings in his first game in Detroit since he was traded to Arizona on June 1. The left-hander, who struggled in his two-plus seasons with the Tigers, got a tepid greeting from the crowd.

Willis, who walked four, insisted he didn't feel any extra pressure because he was facing his former team.

"It wasn't any different," he said. "They've got good hitters, and they jumped on me for a couple innings before I was able to slow the game down."

Willis was concerned about Cabrera, whom he played with in Florida and Detroit. Cabrera left after he started feeling dizzy.

"I hope he's OK," Willis said, asking for an update on Cabrera's condition. "They told me he came out because he was sick."

Cabrera was injured trying to field a ball in the second inning.

"Miguel got hit where it isn't very comfortable," Leyland said of the hard grounder that went between his first baseman's legs. "That's why he was feeling dizzy, so I decided to take him out."

Armando Galarraga, who replaced Willis in the rotation, gave up four runs in 4 1/3 innings.

Willis was in a different uniform, but got off to a familiar start. His first three pitches were balls, and he walked leadoff hitter Ryan Raburn before giving up a one-out homer to Magglio Ordonez.

Willis gave up two more runs in the second, but settled down after that.

"I knew his adrenaline would be pumping because he was back here, but I wouldn't have had him out there if I didn't think he could handle it," Hinch said.

Arizona got Miguel Montero's solo homer in the fourth before scoring three times in the fifth to tie it at 4. Young had the big blow in the rally, hitting a two-run single.

Game notes
The game ended about 15 minutes before heavy rain and high winds reached the stadium. The weather did force the cancellation of a postgame fireworks show. ... Leyland said he expects Cabrera to play on Saturday, but isn't sure about Laird or Jackson.