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Maroth now 4-1 after thwarting A's

DETROIT (AP) -- Mike Maroth is making the most of a new year.

Maroth won again, pitching eight sharp innings and leading the
Detroit Tigers over the Oakland Athletics 3-1 Thursday.

Maroth (4-1) was 9-21 last season and did not post his fourth
victory until July 5.

"We've come a long way," said Maroth. "I think I've done a
good job of learning how to pitch."

Maroth ended the Athletics' season-high three-game winning
streak, allowing one run and five hits. He walked one and struck
out four.

In his last outing, Maroth blew a 10-run lead in a 16-15 loss to
Texas.

"I think Mike has handled himself extremely well, and I've said
that many times," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "This is
just another example of that. I know he was disappointed after
Saturday -- we all were -- but he rebounded very nicely."

Even the pitcher Maroth outdueled praised him.

"It's great to see Mike doing this," said former Tiger Mark
Redman. "His season last year was like my season here in 2002, and
things got better for both of us. I'm glad to see he kept his head
up and kept battling."

Ugueth Urbina pitched a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as
many tries. The Tigers stopped Oakland's streak of 14 straight
games with a home run.

Ivan Rodriguez homered and Carlos Guillen had three hits and
scored twice for the Tigers. Detroit won despite getting four
runners thrown out on the bases, three on steal attempts.

Redman (2-2) pitched a complete game, giving up 12 hits in his
first start against his former team.

"It's hard to believe I only threw about 100 pitches when I
gave up 12 hits, but that's what the Tigers are like," he said.
"You know they are going to be aggressive. They got every bloop
and every bounce, but I was happy that I was able to shake it off
and continue to pitch well."

The game lasted only two hours, four minutes, a day after the
teams played in 2:26. At a combined 4:30, that was less time than
the series opener took -- Tuesday's 15-inning game between the
Tigers and Athletics went 4:38.

The Tigers took a 2-0 lead in the first when Guillen tripled
with one out and scored on a homer by Rodriguez, who caught Redman
last year with Florida.

"After Pudge got me, I reminded myself that, after last season,
he knows what I like to throw in just about every situation,"
Redman said. "So I tried to mix things up after that, and I had
better luck against him."

The next two batters singled, but Redman escaped the inning
without further trouble.

Detroit made it 3-0 in the third when Guillen singled and scored
on Rondell White's triple off the right-center field scoreboard.

Oakland scored in the fifth when Damian Miller doubled and came
home on Marco Scutaro's double, but never got another runner into
scoring position.

"Maroth just did a great job against us," Oakland manager Ken
Macha said. "He was exceptional with his changeup and he had us
beating the ball into the ground. He's going to pitch against us
again in less than a week, so hopefully we learned some lessons."

Game notes
Tigers CF Alex Sanchez left the game after four innings
with a right groin strain. His status is day-to-day. ... Redman
pitched for Detroit in 2001-02, going 8-17 in 32 starts. His eight
victories in 2002 tied for the team lead. ... ... Oakland's Eric
Chavez was retired to end the eighth on an unusual 3-4-3 groundout.
The ball bounced off 1B Carlos Pena's glove, but 2B Omar Infante
fielded the rebound, throwing to Pena at first for the out.