Rogers' stellar start is second best

Hondo S. Carpenter

Rogers' stellar start is second best

04/25/2006 1:47 AM ET

By Sandy Burgin / Special to

ANAHEIM -- Before Monday night's game with the Angels, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was hoping to see the Rally Monkey."That would be a good sign as they only bring it out when they're behind," said Leyland. "I could do without those thunder sticks, but the Rally Monkey, I sure would like to see him."

Unfortunately for Tigers, what Leyland got was a bird's-eye view of an outstanding pitching performance by the Angels' pitching staff.

Ervin Santana (2-0) struck out a career-high 10 batters in six innings and Tim Salmon drove in two runs, one with a home run, as the Angels snapped the Tigers' five-game winning streak with a 3-0 victory Monday night at Angels Stadium.

Santana also got great relief help from Brendan Donnelly, Scot Shields and Francisco Rodriguez, who picked up his eighth save, striking out the side in the ninth to give the Angels 14 strikeouts on the night.

Meanwhile Kenny Rogers (3-2), who hurled his fourth quality start in five games, allowed just four hits -- two to Salmon, two to Garret Anderson -- in seven innings. He walked three and struck out three and made some dazzling defensive plays on the mound.

"It was just a well-pitched game on both sides," said Leyland. "Kenny pitched great and their kid was terrific. "We had a couple of chances, Mags hit the ball well with the bases loaded, but we just couldn't get the big hit.

Magglio Ordonez, who had a single and a double, came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the third inning. He lined a shot down the third-base line that just went foul. On the next pitch, Santana got him to hit a deep drive to right that Vladimir Guerrero tracked down.

Santana "was throwing a good breaking ball and a fastball," said Ordonez, who came into the game batting .339 lifetime at Angel Stadium. "We just didn't hit. We had our chances but couldn't break through."

Salmon, who came into the game batting .215 lifetime against Rogers, hit his second home run of the season leading off the second inning. In the sixth, Salmon delivered a clutch two-out single, scoring Anderson, who had doubled with two outs.

Anderson scored the game's final run off reliever Jordan Tata in the eighth. He doubled, went to third on an error and came home on a sacrifice fly by Orlando Cabrera.

"When you give up a solo homer, you really don't think that's enough to beat you, but it was tonight," said Rogers. "Four of their pitchers pitched great and kept us down and never gave us any air to get any runs.

"It's nice to pitch well, but still I really would have liked to have kept it a 1-0 game and not given up that extra run."

Rogers was asked about the success he had against Salmon coming into the game.

"The changeup he hit was up a little bit, but I think if you ask him I don't think he hit it that well. But he hit it well enough to get it out. It was up a little bit. It didn't sound like he hit it great.

"And that base hit he got with runners on first and second, I'm not going to change that pitch. I'm pretty sure it was in, a pretty good pitch, but maybe he was looking for that or he knew it was coming. But give him credit. Those two runs sealed the deal."

In addition to the two hits by Ordonez, Placido Polanco also had a pair of singles for the Tigers.


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