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Tigers Hit 8 HR As Rogers Wins 200th Game

June 19, 2006

CHICAGO (AP) _ Kenny Rogers won his 200th game. Detroit set a club record with eight home runs. And Mark Prior had one of the worst outings of his career. The result was a 12-3 victory for the Tigers and more misery for the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

``It doesn’t matter if I’m coming back or had been pitching all year, I basically (stunk) today,″ Prior said. ``It’s not a good one. But I’ve got to move on.″

Chris Shelton and Brandon Inge both homered twice for Detroit, and Rogers pitched eight innings, allowing two runs and four hits while striking out two.

Prior, who missed the first 2 1/2 months of the season with a strain in his right shoulder, lasted just 3 2-3 innings and allowed eight runs, matching a career high set May 1, 2005, against Houston. The four home runs tied a career high set against Philadelphia on July 30, 2004.

Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run for the first time in his career, Carlos Guillen added a three-run shot and Shelton hit a two-run homer as the Tigers grabbed a 6-0 lead in the first inning. Vance Wilson knocked out Prior with a two-run drive in the fourth that made it 8-1.

Reliever Roberto Novoa gave up solo homers to Marcus Thames and Inge in the fifth and back-to-back solo shots by Shelton and Inge in the eighth.

The eight homers tied a Tigers record set June 20, 2000, at Toronto, and matched the season high by a Cubs opponent. Atlanta hit eight against Chicago on May 28.

The Cubs lost their sixth straight game.

Rogers (10-3) became the ninth active pitcher with at least 200 wins. He allowed solo homers to Henry Blanco and Aramis Ramirez as the Tigers completed a three-game sweep and won for the ninth time in 11 games.

``I can’t really put it into words because I’m still here,″ Rogers said. ``I’m pretty proud of that and very happy with it. I feel like I have some left. I don’t know how much but whatever it is, I’m just happy to be here and to be able to compete with big league guys.″

Manager Jim Leyland said, ``You can’t say enough for what he’s done for us.″ He then teared up and ended the interview session.

There were loud cheers for Prior (0-1) during the pregame introductions. Then, the boos came.

Granderson, who’s from the Chicago suburbs, hit his 10th homer on a 3-2 pitch. The next batter, Placido Polanco, lined a single up the middle and moved to third when Prior bounced a throw to first after fielding a bunt by Wilson.

After Magglio Ordonez popped out, Guillen hit a three-run shot to left _ his ninth homer and second in as many games.

Prior continued to unravel. Marcus Thames walked and Shelton lined a two-run homer to center, his 13th, to make it 6-0.

Prior said he felt fine, physically. He just didn’t have command.

``The thing was he was throwing (high) strikes,″ Granderson said.

Prior had a history of pitching well when returning from the DL.

He returned from a shoulder injury on Aug. 5, 2003, and pitched six shutout innings against San Diego to earn the win.

He began 2004 on the disabled list with Achilles’ tendinitis and elbow pain, before allowing two hits and striking out eight in six innings against Pittsburgh on June 4.

Prior opened last season on the DL with right elbow inflammation and returned there after being hit in the elbow by a line drive by Colorado’s Brad Hawpe on May 27. He pitched six scoreless innings in an 8-3 victory over San Diego in his first start, and retired 18 of 19 batters in six innings and beat the White Sox on June 26.

His return was a dose of good news for a struggling team. Then, it unraveled.

The Cubs have been in a downward spiral since Derrek Lee broke two bones just above his right wrist in a collision with the Dodgers’ Rafael Furcal on April 19.

Kerry Wood, who began the season on the disabled list while recovering from shoulder surgery, began the season on the disabled list and returned there on June 9 after four starts. He might pitch next weekend at Minnesota, which would mean the Cubs would have two of their most accomplished starters in the rotation for the first time since July.

Phil Nevin hit a solo homer in the ninth for Chicago.

Notes: Wilson started at catcher and batted third for Ivan Rodriguez, who left the previous two games with cramps. ... Blanco caught his third straight game for Michael Barrett, who has a sore back and is expected to begin serving a suspension this week for punching the White Sox’s A.J. Pierzynski last month. Barrett, who was suspended 10 games, had an appeal hearing on Friday. ... The Cubs agreed to a contract Sunday with fifth-round draft pick Jeff Samardzija of Notre Dame, a star wide receiver for the Fighting Irish football team. The Valparaiso, Ind., native caught a record 15 touchdown passes last fall. He then went 8-2 with a 4.33 ERA in 15 starts for the baseball team.

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