DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers know they have to take small
steps in their return to respectability.
Perhaps it was fitting that, on the night they got to .500, they
figured out how to be the team taking advantage of errors, instead
of the team making them.
"Part of baseball is capitalizing on the other team's
mistakes," Craig Monroe said after the Tigers beat the Tampa Bay
Devil Rays 6-4 Wednesday night. "You have to play hard and force
the other team into screwing up. We've been playing pretty good
baseball, and that's carrying over."
The Devil Rays made three errors in their fourth straight loss.
"We beat ourselves again tonight," Devil Rays manager Lou
Piniella said. "They had four unearned runs. That's not good
Detroit improved to 19-19 while winning for the seventh time in
"It feels good to be back at .500, but now we need to take that
next step," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We can't stop
here. We're grinding and winning some close games, and we have to
keep that up."
Wil Ledezma (2-3) won for the first time since April 9, a span
of five starts, despite giving up four runs and five hits in five
innings. He walked two and struck out a career-best seven.
Three Tigers relievers finished, with Ugueth Urbina pitching a
perfect ninth for his fifth save.
Doug Waechter (1-3) lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six
runs -- two earned -- and seven hits. He also committed two of the
"It was just one of those nights," Waechter said. "It wasn't
what I expected."
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the first on Julio Lugo's second
homer, but the Tigers tied the score in the bottom half. Nook Logan
singled, took third when Waechter threw away a pickoff attempt and
scored on Brandon Inge's groundout.
"That's what speed does for you," Trammell said. "They are
worried about keeping Nook close and they throw one away, and then
we get a run with a simple grounder."
Piniella was disgusted with how quickly his team squandered its
"Lugo gets us going, and we throw it away and they tie it," he
said. "We've got to eliminate those things."
More poor Tampa Bay defense led to three unearned runs in the
With one out, Ivan Rodriguez reached when Waechter dropped
Eduardo Perez's throw while covering first. Rondell White followed
with an RBI double, then took third when Jorge Cantu misplayed
Young's grounder for the Devil Rays' third error.
Monroe then singled off third baseman Alex Gonzalez's glove,
scoring Rodriguez and bringing Jon Switzer out of the Tampa Bay
bullpen. After Carlos Pena struck out, Infante lined a single to
center, making it 6-1.
"You can't give a team more than three outs in an inning at
this level," Logan said. "We've lost some games that way this
season, so it was good to win one."
Toby Hall brought the Devil Rays within 6-4 with a three-run
homer in the fourth. Hall fouled off four possible third strikes
before homering on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.
Switzer was making his first major league appearance since
finishing the 2003 season with Tampa Bay. He missed last season
after shoulder surgery. ... Waechter's shortest start of the season
had been five innings against the Red Sox on April 23. ... Monroe
tied a season high with three hits. ... Ledezma's previous career
high was four strikeouts. ... Tigers shortstop Carlos Guillen, who
left Tuesday's game with a sore right knee, sat out Wednesday and
is doubtful for Thursday afternoon's series finale.