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Arroyo strikes out eight and improves to 4-0

DETROIT (AP) -- Bronson Arroyo looked at the giant scoreboard
looming over the left-field wall and started thinking about his
first no-hitter in the major leagues.

"It crept in my mind after the sixth inning," he acknowledged.
"If anybody said they were on the mound and didn't know what was
going on, I think is lying."

Arroyo's no-hit bid didn't last much longer -- ending with Carlos
Guillen's one-out homer in the seventh -- but David Ortiz's
tiebreaking double in the ninth lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 2-1
victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.

With two outs, Ortiz hit a line drive to right-center off Ugueth
Urbina (0-3) to score Trot Nixon from first, giving the Red Sox
their fifth win in six games.

"I was just praying to get a hit. I hadn't had a hit in a long
time," said Ortiz, whose only previous hit in the four-game series
was Monday. "I was happy to get an RBI, especially for Bronson."

Arroyo (4-0) allowed three hits and two walks while striking out
a season-high eight in eight innings, his longest outing of the
year.

"He's really more of a breaking-ball pitcher, and that's an
area we still need some work on," Tigers manager Alan Trammell
said. "We get caught a lot of times with guys who throw breaking
balls."

Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his seventh save.

Arroyo has won his last nine decisions -- dating to Aug. 15, 2004
-- and his streak of 15 straight starts without a loss is the
longest active run in the majors.

"He could be our No. 1," teammate Johnny Damon said. "He's
been pretty incredible."

Using his quirky delivery -- with a high, straight-leg kick -- and
a mix of pitches, Arroyo stymied the Tigers. He gave up a two-out
walk and single in the eighth, then struck out Brandon Inge.

Detroit's Jason Johnson also was effective.

Johnson gave up one run, eight hits and two walks while striking
out four in seven innings. He broke four bats in the first five
innings.

"He was sawing our bats off," Boston manager Terry Francona
said. "We're going home lighter. We don't have any bats left."

Red Sox shortstop Edgar Renteria left with an injured right
index finger after he was hit by a pitch while trying to bunt in
the second inning. Renteria was replaced by Ramon Vazquez, who then
hit an RBI single off Johnson.

Francona said X-rays were negative, adding there's a chance
Renteria will play Friday at home against Seattle.

The one-run lead held up until Guillen's homer barely cleared
the right-field fence, just over the 330-foot sign.

Nixon, who matched a career high with four hits, returned from a
two-game suspension for his role in last month's scuffle in Tampa
Bay. He scored the go-ahead run after reaching on a bloop single.

"If you don't get a good read on a ball, it doesn't matter how
fast you are," Detroit center fielder Nook Logan said. "He took a
big swing and hit it off the end of the bat. If he hits that on the
barrel, with that swing, I'm catching it against the wall, or it's
a home run."

Game notes
At Triple-A Pawtucket, Arroyo threw a perfect game in 2003.
He is appealing a six-game suspension for his role in the scuffle
with Tampa Bay. ... The last Boston pitcher to win nine decisions
in a row was Pedro Martinez in 2002. ... The Tigers fell to 3-8 in
one-run games. ... Boston RHP Curt Schilling, on the disabled list
with a right ankle injury, played long toss and will be evaluated
again Friday. ... Francona was considering giving Manny Ramirez the
day off and decided to do so after the outfielder turned an ankle
Wednesday night. Ramirez said he didn't know whether he would be
healthy enough to play Friday. ... Detroit RHP Kyle Farnsworth
(biceps) and OF Craig Monroe (groin) did not play and are
day-to-day. ... Damon extended his hitting streak to 12 games with
a single in the seventh.