Infante breaks 1-for-16 slump with tie-breaking homer

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Omar Infante made sure that another fine
pitching performance by Jason Johnson wouldn't go for naught.

Infante homered to break an eighth-inning tie, and Johnson
earned his first win since April 18, throwing eight innings of
seven-hit ball to lead the Detroit Tigers past the Baltimore
Orioles 5-3 on Saturday.

With the score 3-all, Infante connected off Jorge Julio (1-1)
with two outs after Ivan Rodriguez singled. Infante was mired in a
1-for-16 skid before driving a 1-1 pitch over the wall in

"I was really just hoping for a single, to be honest with
you," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "But certainly you take
the home run. That's what it takes, different guys picking you

Craig Monroe also homered for the Tigers, who can complete a
three-game sweep Sunday. Rondell White went 1-for-4 to extend his
hitting streak to a season-high 16 games.

Miguel Tejada and Rafael Palmeiro homered for the Orioles, who
have not lost three straight this season. Brian Roberts got two
singles to stretch his career-best hitting streak to 17 games.

Johnson (3-4) gave up three runs, struck out three, walked one
and coaxed Baltimore into hitting into three double plays. The
right-hander was 0-3 in six starts since defeating Baltimore on
April 18 -- even though he lowered his ERA from 4.50 to 3.55 during
that time and pitched at least eight innings in each of his
previous three stints.

"Jason is having some success, even though he hasn't gotten a
lot of wins out of it," Trammell said. "He just hasn't been lucky
enough to get some Ws. But hopefully he will."

Johnson couldn't think of a better place to start than in
Baltimore, where he pitched from 1999-03. He's the first pitcher
this season to beat the Orioles twice.

"I don't get any more satisfaction than coming back here and
beating these guys," Johnson said. "I feel good every time I walk
away with a win. I don't have any ill feelings toward them; I just
want to beat them every time."

Ugueth Urbina worked a perfect ninth to earn his seventh save,
the second of the series.

Orioles starter Hayden Penn allowed three runs, one earned, over
4 2-3 innings in his major league debut. The 20-year-old, who never
before pitched above the Double-A level, gave up five hits, struck
out four and walked four.

"It was fun. I wasn't really nervous after the first inning,"
Penn said. "I could have done better, but I'll take it as a
learning experience."

Penn threw 101 pitches, 53 for strikes.

"I thought he was outstanding. The kid had some butterflies,
but I thought he did a heck of a job," Orioles manager Lee
Mazzilli said. "I was very impressed. This kid's got a good future
ahead of him."

Penn was pitching in place of Erik Bedard, who was placed on the
disabled list Thursday.

The injuries are starting to mount for the Orioles, who before
the game placed outfielder Larry Bigbie on the 15-day DL with a
strained left hamstring. Bigbie joins starters Javy Lopez, Luis
Matos and Bedard on the disabled list.

After allowing a single in the first inning, Penn struck out
Rodriguez to open the second before Monroe sent a 3-2 pitch into
the left-field seats, his sixth homer and second in two games.

Tejada hit his 13th home run leading off the bottom half. Three
batters later, Nook Logan reached over the center-field wall to rob
Jay Gibbons of a homer.

Detroit loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth, but Penn
got out of trouble by hustling to first base to take a throw from
Roberts, who went far to his left to snare a grounder to second by
Jason Smith.

In the Baltimore half, B.J. Surhoff led off with a triple to
right on a ball that Monroe appeared to lose in the sun, and Melvin
Mora followed with an RBI single.

Detroit took a 3-2 lead with two unearned runs in the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out, Palmeiro dropped the relay at
the end of a potential inning-ending 4-6-3 double-play grounder.
Rodriguez followed with an RBI double, chasing Penn.

Palmeiro made amends for his error by hitting his seventh homer
to open the bottom half.

Game notes
Detroit's Carlos Guillen returned after missing two games
with a sore right knee. ... To replace Bigbie on the roster, the
Orioles recalled 3B-OF Napoleon Calzado from Triple-A Ottawa.