Series: Game 1 of 3

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 6/26)

Game 1: Monday, June 26
Game 2: Tuesday, June 27
Game 3: Wednesday, June 28

Astros 4

(38-39, 13-21 away)

Tigers 10

(52-25, 24-14 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 26, 2006

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    HOU 100011100 4 11 0
    DET 00510013 - 10 14 0

    W: Z. Miner (4-1)

    L: W. Rodriguez (8-5)

    Detroit downs Houston for fourth straight win

    DETROIT (AP) -- Jim Leyland thought starter Zach Miner was falling behind too early, which could have spelled disaster for the rookie. So the Detroit Tigers manager made an early trip to the mound to give the right-hander some encouragement.

    "He gave me a breather, he gave me a pep talk," Miner said after the Tigers beat the Houston Astros 10-4 on Monday night. "They were on almost everything I threw. I really didn't trust myself that much. I was out there wondering if I was going to make it to the second."

    Elias Says
    Detroit's Zach Miner won his fourth consecutive start on Monday. His teammate Justin Verlander won four consecutive starts earlier this season (May 10-27). They are the first rookie teammates to win (at least) four consecutive starts since 1984, when two duos did it: Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling for the Mets and Roger Clemens and Al Nipper for the Red Sox.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    Leyland said Miner (4-1) has an advantage over opponents who haven't seen him before but he said Miner had to pick up the pace after giving up four consecutive hits in the first inning.

    "He's got good stuff," Leyland said. "He's still feeling his way a little bit, he just has to trust his stuff."

    Miner regrouped and struck out five over 5 1-3 innings, allowing three runs and 10 hits.

    Ivan Rodriguez's two-run double highlighted Detroit's five-run third and he homered off starter Wandy Rodriguez (8-5) in the seventh.

    Chris Shelton led off the Tigers' big inning with a single and he tied the game at 1 when Brandon Inge doubled to the center field wall. Curtis Granderson followed with an RBI single that got past Houston first baseman Mike Lamb.

    Rodriguez then drove in Granderson and Placido Polanco, who had doubled. Rodriguez scored on a sacrifice fly by Magglio Ordonez that put the Tigers ahead 5-1.

    Lance Berkman, who went 2-for-4, and Astros manager Phil Garner were ejected in the seventh.

    Berkman was called out at first base trying to beat out a grounder. He slammed his helmet to the ground and was immediately ejected by first base umpire C.B. Bucknor. Garner rushed onto the field to argue and was eventually tossed after throwing his cap to the ground.

    "That was quite possibly the fastest ejection in the history of the game," Berkman said. "I think he just continued the same arm motion from calling me out to throwing me out."

    Garner threw a chair after he returned to the Houston dugout.

    "Phil backs his players, so I wasn't surprised. I told him the chair was a nice touch," Berkman said.

    "I had been trying to get thrown out for the last couple of minutes, but he wouldn't do it," Garner said. "That chair had been bothering me the whole game. It needed to get out of the dugout."

    Garner was making his first return to Detroit since he was fired as Tigers manager in 2002.

    "I knew his agenda as soon as he went out there," said Detroit's Brandon Inge, who made his major league debut while Garner was managing the Tigers. "I knew he was going to get tossed as soon as he went out there. I was cracking up."

    When the dust settled after the ejections, Eric Munson hit a solo homer to pull Houston within 6-4.

    Detroit added three runs in the eighth. Marcus Thames hit an RBI double and Craig Monroe drove in a run with a bloop single down the right field line. With the bases loaded, Granderson grounded into a forceout to make it 10-4.

    Rodriguez gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings.

    "I felt good but they hit good pitches," Rodriguez said through an interpreter.

    Game notes

    RHP Roger Clemens will make his second start of the season Tuesday against the Tigers. The game is expected to be a sellout. ... Munson played for Detroit from 2000-04. ... It was Garner's fourth ejection this season. ... Thames has reached base safely in 38 of his last 40 games.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press