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Inge picks perfect time to end slump

7/16/2002

DETROIT (AP) -- Brandon Inge didn't understate the role he played
Monday night.

Inge's single in the 11th inning gave the Detroit Tigers a 4-3
win over Boston. His first career four-RBI game sent the Red Sox to
their fourth straight loss, tying a season high.

Inge broke an 0-for-15 slump by hitting a two-run homer in the
seventh, and tied it at 3 with a sacrifice fly off Ugueth Urbina in
the ninth.

"It's the biggest game of my career,'' said Inge, who played in
his 127th major league game.

The Tigers have won four of five and eight of 10. Boston has
dropped six of eight.

"We can't hang our heads,'' Boston's Jason Varitek said. "We
can't feel sorry for ourselves. We've just got to fight and find a
way to dig deep to come out of it.''

Oscar Henriquez (1-0) picked up his first major league win by
pitching the 11th.

Wayne Gomes (1-1) gave up a leadoff walk to Randall Simon in the
11th and a one-out walk to Carlos Pena. Pinch-runner Damian Jackson
advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Inge's two-out
grounder toward third baseman Shea Hillenbrand, who could not
handle the ball cleanly enough to make a play.

Shane Halter hit a one-out triple off Urbina and scored on
Inge's sacrifice fly.

Urbina was trying to convert his 20th straight chance. On
Sunday, he took the loss when he threw only one pitch, which
Toronto's Eric Hinske hit for a home run in the ninth.

"He didn't get good results the last couple of days,'' Boston
manager Grady Little said. "But if we have the same situation
tomorrow, he might be getting all together different results. He's
been awfully good for us all year and he'll continue to do so.''

Urbina's struggles spoiled Rolando Arrojo's solid return off the
disabled list.

Arrojo, who pitch five scoreless innings, gave up five hits,
walked two and struck out two. It was first start since June 23
when he gave up a career-high nine runs against the Los Angeles
Dodgers.

Arrojo, who had been sidelined by right shoulder tendinitis, was
activated before the game.

Rey Sanchez's sacrifice fly scored Trot Nixon for the first run,
then Hillenbrand's two-run double off the left-field wall gave the
Red Sox a 3-0 lead.

The Tigers cut their deficit to 3-2 in the seventh against Chris
Haney.

Pena doubled and Inge hit a 426-foot shot over the left-center
wall.

Inge and hitting coach Merv Rettenmund went to the driving range
before Monday's game to see if anything seen there could help Inge
at the plate.

"We might be going every day now,'' Inge joked.

Jose Lima gave up three runs on four hits and three walks over 4
2-3 innings in his first start since being sent to the bullpen in
late April.

Before the game, Lima said the start was the biggest of his
career because he knew it could be his last opportunity to start in
Detroit, which may want to unload him and his $7.25 million
contract.

Julio Santana, Fernando Rodney and Juan Acevedo kept the Tigers
in the game with 5 1-3 innings of scoreless relief

The Tigers had opportunities to score after getting their first
hit off Arrojo in the fourth inning, but with the bases loaded,
Pena hit into an inning-ending double play.

The fifth inning ended with Damion Easley striking out with
runners on second and third.

Game notes
Hillenbrand has a seven-game hit streak. ... Boston's Nomar
Garciaparra was moved up to the leadoff spot to replace Johnny
Damon, who batted ninth on Monday. Garciaparra went 0-for-5 and is
2-for-19 on this road trip. ... The Tigers were more excited than
usual Monday when the club's traveling secretary arrived with their
paychecks, after recent reports indicated the team was having
financial problems. ... The Red Sox placed left-hander Alan Embree
on the 15-day disabled list to make room for Arrojo.