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News » Inge's slam lifts Tigers to 5-3 victory over Rays

Inge's slam lifts Tigers to 5-3 victory over Rays

Inge's slam lifts Tigers to 5-3 victory over RaysST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Detroit manager Jim Leyland started the day with a rugged ride. Brandon Inge ended it with a sweet drive.

Inge hit a grand slam in the ninth inning and the AL Central-leading Tigers rallied past the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Sunday for their first three-game sweep at Tropicana Field.

Detroit won its sixth in a row and increased its lead in the Al Central to seven games over Minnesota.

"Everybody is having fun," Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson said. "Everybody's loose. We're out there like little kids again."

Especially the 64-year-old Leyland.

A group of Tigers gathered to watch him and pitcher Jeremy Bonderman drive Bonderman's high-speed, remote-controlled toy car in the outfield before the game.

"We both flipped it," Leyland said.

Jackson, traded from Tampa Bay to Detroit during the offseason, received his 2008 AL championship ring from the Rays on Saturday. When it came to gametime Sunday, he was all business.

Jackson (12-6) kept his team close throughout, allowing three runs and six hits in eight innings.

"He just buckled down and pitched an absolutely tremendous ballgame," Leyland said.

Evan Longoria hit his career-high 28th homer and reached 100 RBIs for the Rays, who have lost eight of 11 and fell seven games back of AL wild-card leader Boston.

After Rays starter Wade Davis pitched seven sharp innings in his major league debut, Detroit overcame a 3-1 lead when Tampa Bay tried five relievers in the ninth. Inge capped the comeback, connecting with one out against Russ Springer (0-3) for his fifth career grand slam.

"It was a slider. I kind of saw that early enough and staying back, it allowed me to go out and get the slider instead of missing underneath," said Inge, who struck out in each of his first three at-bats.

Davis allowed one run, three hits, one walk and struck out nine a day before his 24th birthday.

Tampa Bay's struggling bullpen has a 2-8 record with eight blown saves over the last 28 games.

Lance Cormier pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings, striking out Carlos Guillen to start the ninth with a 3-1 lead. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon replaced Cormier with Grant Balfour, who walked Miguel Cabrera with one out in the ninth.

Struggling closer J.P. Howell then entered and walked pinch-hitter Marcus Thames, the lone batter he faced. Springer took over and gave up a single to Magglio Ordonez to load the bases before Inge followed with his 27th homer of the season.

"The walks really turned that game around," Maddon said.

Athletics 5, Mariners 2

At Oakland, Calif., Ichiro Suzuki got his 2,000th major league hit for Seattle, but Scott Hairston hit a grand slam in the seventh inning to lift the A's.

Suzuki doubled in the first inning to become the second-fastest player to get 2,000 hits, doing it in 1,402 games; Al Simmons did it in 1,390 games.

The 35-year-old Suzuki also had 1,278 hits while playing in Japan.

Hairston homered off Scott Kelley (4-2). Gio Gonzalez (5-5) won and Andrew Bailey got his 23rd save.

Angels 7, Royals 2

At Kansas City, Mo., Bobby Abreu drove in three runs and Los Angeles opened a 5 1/2-game lead over Texas in the AL West.

The Angels are 9-0 against the Royals this season.

Joe Saunders (12-7) won his third straight start. Luke Hochevar (6-9) fell to 0-6 with an 8.12 ERA in his last eight starts.

Blue Jays 14, Yankees 8

At Toronto, rookie Randy Ruiz hit an RBI single during an eight-run fifth, then was struck in the face by a pitch later in the inning.

Ruiz's left cheek was swollen and his lip was bloodied, but he did not have a concussion or vision problems. He said he hoped to play Monday.

Derek Jeter had three hits, leaving him four shy of breaking the Yankees record held by Lou Gehrig (2,721).

Brian Tallet (6-9) won for the first time since June 23. Sergio Mitre (3-2) allowed 11 runs and 11 hits in 4 1-3 innings.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 1

At Chicago, Jon Lester allowed four hits over seven shutout innings and Mike Lowell and Victor Martinez homered for Boston.

The Red Sox increased their AL wild-card lead to three games over Texas.

Lester (12-7) struck out eight, giving him 204 for the year. He became the 10th different Red Sox pitcher overall to reach 200 in a season.

John Danks (12-9) took the loss, ending Chicago's four-game winning streak.

Orioles 7, Rangers 0

At Baltimore, Jeremy Guthrie pitched seven sharp innings and the Orioles won a series for just the second time since the All-Star break.

Brian Roberts, Jeff Fiorentino and Chad Moeller drove in two runs.

Guthrie (10-13) continued his late-season revival with one of his best outings of the year. Derek Holland (7-10) was chased in the fourth.

Indians 3, Twins 1

At Cleveland, Michael Brantley hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning to lift the Indians.

David Huff (9-7) outpitched Nick Blackburn (9-10), allowing one run and two hits in seven innings to earn his fourth win in his last five starts. Kerry Wood finished for his 19th save in 24 chances.

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Added: September 7, 2009

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