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Tigers beat Cubs for eighth victory in 10 games

CHICAGO (AP) -- Carlos Guillen got it started with a drive into
the right-field seats in the first inning. Magglio Ordonez and
Placido Polanco did their part, too.

Guillen, Ordonez and Polanco had three hits apiece and the
Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs 9-3 Saturday for their eighth
win in 10 games.

Justin Verlander (8-4) supplied the pitching to go along with
the Detroit offense. He allowed nine hits but just one run in 5 2/3
innings for his first victory since May 27.

"I think they're feeding off each other a little bit," manager
Jim Leyland said. "I think the big thing is our position players
have a lot of confidence in our pitchers now and they've earned
it."

Guillen had three RBI with a two-run homer in the first and a
run-scoring double in the ninth. Polanco scored three runs and
drove in one, and Ordonez had a double, two RBI and scored twice.

Verlander struck out four and walked three. He was 0-1 with two
no-decisions in June after going 4-1 and earning AL rookie of the
month honors in May.

"I felt they had been good starts; that's going to happen," he
said.

Verlander left after walking pinch-hitter Tony Womack to load
the bases in the sixth. Wilfredo Ledezma relieved and Juan Pierre,
who had singled twice, fouled out to third to end the inning.

Jacque Jones and Aramis Ramirez had three hits each for the
Cubs, who stranded 11 runners and lost their fifth straight.

A day after knocking out Glendon Rusch in the second inning, the
Tigers struck early against rookie Carlos Marmol (1-1).

Suburban Chicago native Curtis Granderson led off the game with
a triple to the right-field corner, drawing a boisterous "Let's go
Tigers!" chant from the visiting fans. He scored on Polanco's
single to center.

With two out, Guillen drilled a 1-0 pitch out to right for his
eighth homer and a 3-0 lead.

Marmol allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings in his
second major league start and fourth appearance -- after holding
Cincinnati to a run in six innings in a victory Sunday.

Verlander got in and out of several tough situations.

"It was almost like he wanted to get this thing over before he
got 27 outs," Leyland said.

But the Cubs couldn't get the clutch hit.

They had runners on second and third with none out in the second
but settled for one run -- Ronny Cedeno's RBI single to short
center. Henry Blanco, who had three hits Friday, then sent a drive
down the left-field line that was ruled foul. Manager Dusty Baker
argued to no avail, Blanco lined softly to shortstop and Marmol
grounded into a double play.

The Tigers scored three runs in the eighth to stretch the lead
to 7-1, with two coming on a triple by pinch-hitter Omar Infante
that bounced out of the net above the center-field wall. Leyland
came out of the dugout and argued, but had little to say about it
afterward.

Pierre, who had the best view, sighed and said, "I don't want
to touch that one. They called it a triple, so I played it like
that. I couldn't tell."

The Cubs haven't won since taking the final three of a four-game
set from Cincinnati and fell 15 games below .500 (26-41) with the
loss to the Tigers.

"It's embarrassing," Todd Walker said. "It's not fun to go
out there and lose every game, especially when you're giving your
heart to it and falling short every time."

There was some good news for Chicago. Mark Prior will make his
first start of the season Sunday after missing the first 2 1/2 months
with a strained shoulder.

"It's been a long, hard road, but I'm glad that Mark's getting
back on the mound," Baker said. "Hopefully, we can keep him on
the mound all year long."

Game notes
Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was lifted late in the game for the
second straight day with cramps. Leyland said he won't start on
Sunday, when Kenny Rogers goes for his 200th win. ... Cubs RHP
Kerry Wood (shoulder) might pitch a simulated game in Cleveland and
could be ready to return from the disabled list as soon as next
weekend. "It's certainly a possibility," pitching coach Larry
Rothschild said. "I don't want to give a date, but I would think
it wouldn't be a long time after he's eligible." ... Blanco
started his second straight game at catcher, with Michael Barrett
nursing a sore back. Barrett sat out Friday because of his back and
a lengthy pregame hearing for his appeal of a 10-game suspension
for punching the White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski. ... With a runner on
third and the Tigers up 4-1 in the fourth, Cubs shortstop Ronny
Cedeno saved a run when he dove to his left to stop Polanco's
grounder and threw to first for the third out. ... Detroit's Marcus
Thames extended his hitting streak to 10 with a single in the
sixth.