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Tigers start stretch run with win over Twins

Friday, September 14, 2007

By The Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Timo Perez drove in three runs, Nate Robertson won for the first time in six starts as Detroit started a crucial road trip with a 4-2 victory over Minnesota on Friday night.

The Tigers won for the eighth time in 11 games and stayed within 5 1/2 games of first-place Cleveland in the AL Central. After playing the Twins two more times, Detroit has three games with the Indians next week.

The New York Yankees led the wild-card race by 3 1/2 games over Detroit when the day began.

Robertson (8-11) surrendered five hits, three walks and two runs while striking out five in seven innings. Todd Jones pitched a perfect ninth for his 35th save.

Matt Garza fell to 0-10 in 11 career starts at the Metrodome, and the Twins lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games. Justin Morneau hit his 30th homer after going deep just once in his previous 47 games.

Garza (3-6) gave up four hits and four walks while striking out two and was charged with all four runs.

Indians 5, Royals 4

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Casey Blake homered on David Riske's first pitch in the ninth inning to rally Cleveland and move the Indians closer to an AL Central title.

Blake hadn't homered in 144 at-bats since Aug. 1. His homer helped Cleveland lower its magic number for clinching the division to 10.

Riske (1-4) also gave up Victor Martinez's leadoff homer in the eighth that tied it 4-4.

Joe Borowski (4-5) pitched a scoreless ninth for Cleveland, which remained 5 1/2 games in front of Detroit.

Royals rookie Brian Bannister held the Indians to two first-inning singles in six innings and outperformed Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia, who struck out a career-high 13. The Royals rallied for four runs with two outs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead.

Trailing 4-1, the Indians closed within a run in the seventh on Franklin Gutierrez's two-run homer off reliever Joel Peralta.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 2

TORONTO (AP) -- Baltimore's Brian Burres pitched seven shutout innings to win for the first time since July 28.

Brian Roberts homered for the Orioles, who won back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 14-15, and came within three outs of recording consecutive shutouts for the first time this season.

The loss, Toronto's sixth in seven games, eliminated the Blue Jays from contention in the AL East.

Burres (6-5) scattered eight hits, walked none and struck out four. The left-hander made 12 relief appearances since his last start on Aug. 4, allowing 23 runs in 18 innings.

Jamie Walker closed it out in the ninth despite giving up solo homers to Aaron Hill and Hector Luna.

Jesse Litsch (5-9) lasted just three innings, his shortest outing since pitching 2-3 of an inning against New York on May 30. He allowed four runs and seven hits.

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