Series: Game 1 of 3

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 8/6)

Game 1: Tuesday, August 6
Texas 2Final
Detroit 8
Game 2: Wednesday, August 7
Texas 7Final
in 11
Detroit 2
Game 3: Thursday, August 8
Texas 1Final
Detroit 2

Rangers 2

(47-65, 19-34 away)

Tigers 8

(42-70, 25-28 home)

    7:05 PM ET, August 6, 2002

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 010010000 2 - -
    DET 10240010 - 8 - -

    W: S. Sparks (6-11)

    L: C. Park (4-6)

    Sparks shuts down Rangers; Pena homers

    DETROIT (AP) -- Carlos Pena was glad he didn't have to face Steve Sparks.

    Steve Sparks

    Sparks struck out eight in his third complete game of the season, and Pena hit a three-run homer as the Detroit Tigers beat the Texas Rangers 8-2 Tuesday night.

    Shane Halter added a solo shot for the Tigers, who won for only the second time in 10 games and snapped a three-game losing streak.

    Sparks (6-11) gave up seven hits and walked one in his 16th career complete game. It was the second win in three starts for the knuckleballer, who has struggled most of the season.

    ''I got through a couple of rough spots early in the game,'' Sparks said. ''But after that, things seemed to go pretty well. I was throwing my knuckleball good.''

    Pena, who homered in a four-run fourth, was amazed by the movement of Sparks' knuckler.

    ''It seemed like it went at a 90-degree angle and went down'' said Pena, who had a good view from first base.

    Sparks threw 126 pitches, but Tigers manager Luis Pujols wasn't worried.

    ''The way he was throwing the knuckleball, I felt comfortable,'' he said.

    Texas starter Chan Ho Park (4-6) allowed three runs and five hits in three innings before leaving because of a blister on his right middle finger. He was replaced by Todd Van Poppel to start the fourth.

    The Tigers broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the third on Robert Fick's RBI single and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Chris Truby.

    Detroit added four more in the fourth off Van Poppel.

    Leadoff batter George Lombard singled, stole second and scored on Damion Easley's single. After a walk to Randall Simon, Pena hit his 12th home run of the year.

    The drive into the right-field stands was Pena's fifth home run with the Tigers since arriving from Oakland in the three-team trade that sent pitcher Jeff Weaver to the New York Yankees on July 6.

    ''Pena hit the home run with a couple of men on base, so it was good,'' Pujols said.

    Detroit took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Simon.

    Texas tied it in the second when Ivan Rodriguez singled, stole second and scored on Herbert Perry's RBI groundout.

    The Rangers got a run in the fifth on a run-scoring double by former Tiger Frank Catalanotto.

    Texas had runners on second and third with no outs, but Sparks struck out Kevin Mench and Alex Rodriguez before Rafael Palmeiro bounced back to the mound on a check swing.

    ''He went out and threw a game like you see a 20-game winner, Schilling and those guys,'' Mench said. ''He went out and just dominated us tonight.''

    Michael Young walked and Ruben Rivera singled to start the Texas seventh, but Sparks got Catalanotto to hit into a double play and Mench to ground to third.

    ''Sparks got us out when he needed to,'' Texas manager Jerry Narron said.

    Halter hit his sixth home in the seventh.

    Game notes

    Park is day to day. ... Simon walked twice, giving him nine walks this season (four intentional) in 381 plate appearances. He said he can't ever remember walking twice in a game before. ... Lombard broke an 0-for-19 skid with a bloop single to center in the fourth. ... Ivan Rodriguez has 14 hits in his last 35 at-bats.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press