Play it again -- Tigers 4, Orioles 1, 12 inn.

April 12, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO | ROCH KUBATKO,Sun Reporter

Free baseball

It took 12 innings for someone to score, and for the Detroit Tigers to defeat the Orioles, 4-1, on Craig Monroe's grand slam off Kurt Birkins, the seventh reliever used by manager Sam Perlozzo. Monroe's ball cleared the center-field fence with two outs. The Orioles' only run came on a balk by Bobby Seay that scored Corey Patterson with two outs in the 12th. The Tigers almost scored in the 11th when Monroe led off with a double and moved to third on a ground ball. But Brandon Inge struck out and Curtis Granderson flied to center.

Done after five

A pitch count, not the Tigers, chased Orioles starter Adam Loewen from last night's game. Allowing at least one base runner in every inning, Loewen left after the fifth with the game still scoreless. He threw 95 pitches while allowing five hits, walking four, striking out four and hitting a batter. John Parrish replaced Loewen and struck out the side in the sixth.

Sending a message

Tigers starter Justin Verlander drilled Miguel Tejada in the back with two outs and nobody on base in the third inning. Tejada bent at the waist in obvious pain and slammed his bat to the ground while walking to first base. Loewen nailed Gary Sheffield in the back of his left shoulder with two outs and nobody on base in the fifth. Sheffield dropped his bat and calmly headed to first, never looking at Loewen, who loaded the bases before striking out Craig Monroe.

On deck

Steve Trachsel makes his second start for the Orioles tonight, as they open a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Gil Meche, who signed a five-year, $55 million contract over the winter, starts for the Royals. Trachsel went 6 2/3 innings in his debut at Yankee Stadium, allowing three runs and four hits. He left with a lead, but the bullpen couldn't hold it.

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