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Monroe, White power Tigers

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Craig Monroe challenged Tim Hudson in a
13-pitch at-bat last season and wound up with a home run, one
reason Tigers manager Alan Trammell included Monroe in Thursday's
lineup.

It was a good call.

Monroe homered and drove in three runs, and Rondell White hit a
tiebreaking shot in the sixth inning of Detroit's 5-3 win over the
Oakland Athletics.

Mike Maroth (9-7) pitched seven solid innings to win his fourth
straight decision.

Monroe, who homered two batters after White, had a run-scoring
double in the fourth that tied the game at 2 and an eighth-inning
single to score Dmitri Young. Monroe hasn't forgotten that long
at-bat against Hudson.

"It was the best at-bat of my career," he said. "It's a
memorable one, to have that kind of at-bat against a pitcher of
that caliber. I feel confident about being up there against him."

The Tigers took two of three from the AL West-leading A's,
snapping a three-game losing streak with Wednesday's 11-3 rout and
playing another smart game in the series finale.

Mark Kotsay hit a leadoff homer and had three hits, but Oakland
couldn't manage much else against Maroth. The left-hander, who lost
21 games last season, said confidence is a big reason for his
turnaround.

He has as many wins as he did in 2003.

"There were times last year when I was going out to pitch and I
was definitely trying to keep from losing," Maroth said. "This
year, you go out and know you have a chance to win."

Justin Duchscherer (4-4) relieved Hudson to start the sixth and
got into trouble in a hurry. After Young popped out, White
connected for his 17th home run to give Detroit a 3-2 lead, hitting
the first pitch he saw over the wall in left-center for his second
shot in two days.

Carlos Pena followed White with a hard-hit ball to right field
that Jermaine Dye jumped to catch against the wall, then Monroe hit
his sixth homer.

Maroth gave up two runs and eight hits, struck out three and
didn't walk a batter. Ugueth Urbina gave up a solo homer to Damian
Miller in the ninth, then finished for his 19th save in 21
opportunities.

"I'm very happy. It's big to win a series, which we haven't
done in a while, and beat a team in first place," said Trammell,
whose team has won just three of its last 10 games. "We were
efficient and got big hits."

Kotsay hit an 0-1 pitch from Maroth over the wall in
right-center for his 10th homer in the first inning.

Kotsay said the A's are still reeling from playing 27 innings in
27 hours, including last Sunday's 18-inning win at Minnesota. They
didn't have an off day and are in a stretch in which they play 10
of 12 day games.

"These are the dog days," Kotsay said. "We really didn't
catch our breath after that last road trip. This many day games can
really wear on you."

The Tigers tied it at 1 in the third on Omar Infante's RBI
single, which extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games.

Hudson retired six of his first seven batters, including two
straight strikeouts, before Eric Munson doubled leading off the
third.

Detroit went up 2-1 in the fourth on Monroe's two-out double,
then Oakland tied it in the bottom half with three straight hits
against Maroth, including Dye's single to score Eric Byrnes.

Hudson made his second start since returning from the disabled
list after missing more than a month with a strained stomach
muscle. He pitched well, but left after five innings with the game
tied at 2.

He allowed two runs and six hits, struck out six and walked one.
The A's are being cautious with Hudson, and he threw only 90
pitches after making 79 in his first start back last Saturday at
Minnesota.

Hudson hasn't won since beating the Pirates 6-1 on June 11, a
span of four starts. He was the losing pitcher in Oakland's 4-3
loss to the Twins last Saturday.

Carlos Guillen, a career .353 hitter (12-for-34) against Hudson
coming into the game, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout -- three of
those outs against Hudson.

The A's won the season series 5-4 and are 4-3 during a 10-game
stretch against the AL Central. Kansas City comes to town next for
a three-game weekend series.

Game notes
It was Kotsay's fifth career leadoff homer and second this
year. He also did it July 21 at Seattle. ... Tigers C Ivan
Rodriguez got the day off. ... The Tigers will activate RHP Gary
Knotts on Friday. Knotts has been out since July 28 with a sore
throwing shoulder. ... Hudson is 9-2 in 14 career starts against
the Tigers. The only AL teams Hudson has defeated more are Anaheim
(13) and Seattle (11). ... Duchscherer held opponents without a run
in five of his previous six appearances. ... Detroit's Bobby
Higginson snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a fifth-inning single.