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DETROIT 8, CHI WHITE SOX 4

8/29/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers have something to play for
besides pride -- avoiding dubious history.

Bobby Higginson hit a three-run homer and Nate Robertson won his
first major league game as the Tigers avoided their 100th loss of
the season with an 8-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Friday
night.

Detroit is 34-99 and must sweep the three-game series with
Chicago to avoid joining the 1962 New York Mets as the only teams
in the modern era to lose 100 before September.

"It's a big thing. We try to put it off as long as we can,"
Tigers catcher Brandon Inge said. "And each time we win a game, we
get one step closer."

Robertson (1-0) won in his fourth big league start. He allowed
three runs on nine hits and three walks in five innings. Reliever
Fernando Rodney allowed a run in three innings.

"That was the performance of the night," Detroit manager Alan
Trammell said. "That gave us a chance to win."

Mark Buehrle (11-13) allowed eight runs and 10 hits in five
innings. It's the third time this season he's given up at least
eight runs.

"It was one of those games you have it down in the bullpen and
you don't have it in the game," Buehrle said.

Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said Buehrle is going through a
little lull.

"I would just say that he's (Buehrle) probably going through
something at this time," he said. "Just like every pitcher does
at this time of the year."

The White Sox took the early lead in the first when Magglio
Ordonez doubled into the gap in right-center to score Frank Thomas,
who had walked.

But the Tigers scored two in the bottom half as Higginson hit a
run-scoring double and Dmitri Young had an RBI single to extend his
hitting streak to 15 games.

Chicago right fielder Magglio Ordonez injured his left index
finger trying to make a diving catch on Higginson's hit. He left
the game and had X-rays, which were negative. He is day to day.

Higginson, who was a triple short of the cycle, made it 5-1 in
the second when he hit his 13th homer into the right-field bullpen,
scoring Ben Petrick and Danny Klassen.

"I've been struggling a lot this year. It felt good to
contribute," said Higginson, who is only hitting .239 with 13
homers and 47 RBI. "Hopefully, I'll be able to contribute the
rest of the season like that."

Thomas hit his 37th homer, a two-run shot in the third. He lined
Robertson's pitch into the stands in left-center after Roberto
Alomar led off with a single.

Detroit stretched its lead to 8-3 in the fifth when Warren
Morris was hit with an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded and Petrick
followed with a two-run single to right.

"To get those extra runs to make it 8-3, that made me feel real
good," Trammell said.

Joe Crede led off the eighth with a home run over the left-field
fence to make it 8-4.

Game notes
Higginson's double was the 245th of his career, which puts
him in 10th place on the Tigers' career list. He was tied with
Harvey Kuenn. ... Thomas has nine home runs in his last 11 games.
... Crede has five home run and 13 RBI in his last 18 games