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Rogers homes in to propel Tigers

His 2d straight win stops Texas

Back on the mound in Detroit, Kenny Rogers gave the Tigers another lift.

He allowed one run over six innings in his first home start since shoulder surgery, leading the Tigers over the Texas Rangers, 5-2, yesterday.

"I don't go out there and expect to fail," Rogers said. "It was a good start, but it's only a start."

Rogers (2-0) missed the first 12 weeks of the season after surgery to remove a blood clot from his throwing shoulder. When the lefthander returned last week, he gave up two hits in six shutout innings at Atlanta.

This time, he allowed four hits, struck out three, and walked one as Detroit stopped a two-game losing streak and remained a half-game ahead of Cleveland in the AL Central.

"I was a little more comfortable in what I could do," Rogers said.

It was his first start at Comerica Park since Oct. 22, when he pitched eight scoreless innings to win Game 2 of the World Series -- the Tigers' only victory against St. Louis.

"We had opportunities to do something, but he did what he always does," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He got out of it."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Rogers, who was 7-0 in starts after Detroit losses last season, wanted to keep throwing beyond the sixth.

"But with 85 pitches and it being his second game back, I'm not going to get crazy," Leyland said. "He's kind of freaky, really. To be out that long and pick both sides of the plate apart. That's not easy to do."

Chad Durbin pitched the eighth, and Todd Jones finished with a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 23 chances, completing a seven-hitter.

Indians 4, Athletics 3 -- Jason Michaels hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and host Cleveland held off Oakland.

An ill-advised throw by Michaels from left field let the A's put runners on second and third with one out in the ninth against closer Joe Borowski.

But Shannon Stewart -- 10 for 20 in the four-game series -- popped out and Mark Kotsay flied out, giving Borowski his 22d save in 24 chances.

White Sox 5, Devil Rays 1 -- Javier Vazquez allowed one run in seven innings and Paul Konerko hit a pair of solo homers, helping visiting Chicago beat Tampa Bay to complete a four-game sweep.

Vazquez (4-5) won for the second time in his last 13 starts. He gave up seven hits, three walks, and had 10 strikeouts -- his 30th career game with 10 or more.

Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 5 -- Russell Martin spoiled Randy Johnson's return with a home run and finished with three hits to help visiting Los Angeles beat Arizona.

Randy Wolf (9-6) allowed three runs in six-plus innings and Jeff Kent drove in three runs for the Dodgers, who took three of four from the Diamondbacks and opened a half-game lead over idle San Diego in the NL West. Arizona trails Los Angeles by one game.

Marlins 9, Pirates 7 -- Scott Olsen struck out his first five batters and finished with 10, one shy of his career high, as Florida defeated Pittsburgh to avoid a three-game sweep in Miami Gardens.

Mike Jacobs and Hanley Ramirez each had three hits, and Matt Treanor hit a two-run homer, his first since June 20 last year off Baltimore's Daniel Cabrera.

Phillies 8, Reds 7 -- Jimmy Rollins had four hits, including a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning and Philadelphia beat Cincinnati.

Chase Utley hit a pair of two-run homers for the Phillies, who pulled within three games of NL East-leading New York. The Mets come to Philadelphia for a pivotal four-game series starting with today's doubleheader.

The New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles game was been suspended because of rain. The Yankees led, 8-6, in the top of the eighth inning. The game will be resumed July 27, at the point it was stopped, when the Yankees return to Camden Yards.

The St. Louis Cardinals game against the Mets in New York was rained out. Because the rainout came in the Cardinals' last game in New York, the teams will have to make up the game on a mutually agreed upon open date later in the season.

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