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Loose Tigers flex muscles on BoSox to end 5-game skid

BOSTON (AP) -- Jim Leyland wouldn't let the Detroit Tigers start
worrying, even after a five-game losing streak left them in their
longest slump of the season.

"I think he realizes we don't need the added pressure,"
pitcher Nate Robertson said Monday night after snapping the Tigers'
losing streak with a 7-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

"We came in here loose. Everybody's going to look to their
leader, their manager. He's loose, and that helps us," Robertson
said.

Leyland whistled his way around the dugout on Sunday during a
loss to the White Sox that completed Chicago's three-game sweep and
cut Detroit's lead in the AL Central to 5½ games. On Monday, facing
the Red Sox and 13 game-winner Josh Beckett, there wasn't much time
for tension.

Curtis Granderson tripled on the first pitch of the game and the
Tigers played like the team with the best record in baseball again,
scoring three in the first off Beckett en route to a 5-0 lead.

"We might have gotten to Josh a little bit before he got
settled in," Leyland said. "Sometimes with a great pitcher -- and
he's a great pitcher -- if you get them before they get settled you
have a chance. But if you let them get on a roll, you're probably
done for the night."

Boston, which had won three straight, fell two games behind the
New York Yankees in the AL East.

Robertson (11-8) entered the game with the third-lowest support
in the AL, with 3.66 runs per game. He took advantage of the early
offense to snap a personal two-game losing streak, allowing three
runs on five hits over six innings.

"It's good to pitch well here, knowing you're going to have a
win a big game," Robertson said. "It's a big game -- one of many
we're going to have over the next three weeks or so."

Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 tries. He
threw seven pitches, all of them strikes.

Beckett (13-7) gave up five runs on six hits and four walks,
striking out six in six innings to remain winless in his last four
starts.

"It's frustrating (when) you put your team in a hole 3-0 like
that," he said. "It's tough to fight back after that."

The good news: Beckett, who has allowed a major league-leading
31 homers, did not give one up for the second consecutive start.
It's the first time he's gone two starts in a row without allowing
a homer since his first three outings of the season.

But Granderson's triple to the right-field corner was almost as
bad. Craig Monroe walked and then Dmitri Young singled in one run
before Monroe scored from third on a wild pitch. Young made it 3-0
on Carlos Guillen's RBI groundout.

The Tigers scored two more in the third when Monroe walked,
Young singled and they both scored on Sean Casey's double off the
Green Monster.

"You could tell right off the bat that he was struggling with
his command," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "He ended up
gathering himself and competing enough to give us six. But with a
five-run deficit and their bullpen, it's tough duty."

Boston made it close with a run in the fifth on Javy Lopez's
double and two in the sixth when Kevin Youkilis homered after Manny
Ramirez walked. But the Tigers took a 7-3 lead in the eighth on
Vance Wilson's two-run single.

The Red Sox had a chance in the eighth when Mark Loretta and
Ramirez singled. But Ramirez was thrown out at the plate on Mike Lowell's single and Joel Zumaya struck out Wily Mo Pena on what the
scoreboard said was a 102-mph fastball to end the inning.

Game notes
Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez, who was ejected after being called
out on strikes on Sunday, got the day off. ... Robertson made the
100th start of his career -- just the 16th lefty in Tigers history
to reach the milestone. ... Boston RHP Keith Foulke had an MRI exam
to make sure there was nothing major causing stiffness in his back.
There was no immediate timetable for his return. ... Red Sox Class
A prospects Jeffrey Farrell (5 IP) and Yulkin German (4 IP)
combined on a no-hitter for Lowell at Hudson Valley on Sunday. It's
the team's first no-hitter. ... The Red Sox surpassed 2 million in
attendance in their 56th home game, the earliest they've ever
reached the milestone.