BALTIMORE -- The Detroit Tigers didn't need this kind of excitement, not after taking a seemingly comfortable lead in their bid to end a four-game losing streak.
After Dmitri Young and Craig Monroe homered, the Tigers held on to beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-3 on Friday night.
Detroit led 4-0 in the sixth inning behind starter Nate Robertson, who left in the eighth inning with a three-run lead. Kyle Farnsworth then gave up two-out RBI singles to Melvin Mora and Miguel Tejada.
With the tying run on second base, Sammy Sosa grounded into a fielder's choice.
The ninth inning wasn't any easier for Detroit.
Ugueth Urbina gave up a leadoff double to Rafael Palmeiro, then walked Geronimo Gil and Brian Roberts to load the bases with two outs before striking out rookie Jeff Fiorentino to earn his sixth save.
"My heart's still pounding. A little exciting, wasn't it?" Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "We did good enough to win. That's all that matters."
It was the first time in seven games the Tigers scored as many as four runs, and it was the most runs they've provided Robertson this season.
"I look at it as a win. I don't care if we won 2-0," Trammell said. "Most important is we won. But we're better than this offensively."
Robertson (2-3) allowed three runs, six hits and a walk in 7 2/3 innings. He has a 1.97 ERA in five starts this month.
"The way I've pitched previous to tonight made me a better pitcher," the left-hander said.
Young hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and Monroe made it 4-0 with a two-run drive in the sixth. Both homers were off Sidney Ponson, who has yielded four home runs in his last two starts after allowing only two in his first eight appearances.
"He kept us in the game," Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli said.
Ponson (5-3) gave up four runs and 10 hits in eight innings. Baltimore was averaging 7.33 runs in his nine starts, but couldn't muster that kind of support against Robertson.
Palmeiro had three hits for the Orioles, whose three-game winning streak ended.
"You can't fault them or be upset when your team gives you everything they have," Mazzilli said. "They just fell a little short."
The Orioles have been fighting injuries of late, and this game was no exception. Outfielder Larry Bigbie was unavailable because of a leg strain, and that left Mazzilli strapped when looking to make a move in the whirlwind ninth inning.
"It's an unbelievable lineup even with Javy (Lopez) and (Luis) Matos out," Robertson said.
After being limited to three hits over the first five innings, Baltimore rallied to make a game of it despite playing short-handed.
"You can't get frustrated," Mazzilli said. "You do what you can do. We have 25 men on this team, and we'll use them all. Tonight we just about did."
Detroit went up 1-0 in the first. After Brandon Inge led off with a double, Ponson retired the next two batters before Rondell White bounced an 0-2 pitch up the middle for an RBI single.
Young ended a 3-for-25 skid by leading off the fourth with his seventh home run, only the second since April 25.
In the bottom of the inning, an error and Sosa's second single of the game enabled the Orioles to put runners at the corners with two outs, but Robertson retired Palmeiro on a grounder.
Young hit a leadoff single in the sixth and scored on Monroe's fifth home run.
Baltimore closed to 4-1 in its half when Roberts tripled and scored on a groundout by Fiorentino. Roberts extended his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games.
|Players of the Game|
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|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.315|
|Omar Infante, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.232|
|Dmitri Young, DH||4||2||2||1||0||2||2||.268|
|Rondell White, LF||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.310|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.280|
|Craig Monroe, RF||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.268|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||0||1||0||1||1||1||.181|
|Jason Smith, SS||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.220|
|Nook Logan, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||.295|
|2B - Brandon Inge (9, Ponson), Omar Infante (12, Ponson), Ivan Rodriguez (12, Ponson)|
|HR - Dmitri Young (7, Ponson), Craig Monroe (5, Ponson)|
|RBI - Dmitri Young (22), Rondell White (22), Craig Monroe 2 (27)|
|2-OUT RBI - Rondell White (6), Craig Monroe 2 (9)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Smith-Infante-Pena, Inge-Infante-Pena|
|E - Brandon Inge (9, Misplayed grounder)|
|Nate Robertson (W,2-3)||7.2||6||3||3||1||1||0||3.04|
|Kyle Farnsworth (H,8)||0.1||2||0||0||0||0||0||3.00|
|Ugueth Urbina (S,6)||1||1||0||0||2||1||0||3.22|
|Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 93-65, Kyle Farnsworth 9-6, Ugueth Urbina 32-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 14-7, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0, Ugueth Urbina 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 29, Kyle Farnsworth 3, Ugueth Urbina 6|
|Brian Roberts, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||0||2||.374|
|Jeff Fiorentino, CF||5||1||0||1||0||1||4||.244|
|Melvin Mora, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.304|
|Miguel Tejada, SS||4||0||1||1||0||0||0||.321|
|Sammy Sosa, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.258|
|Rafael Palmeiro, 1B||4||0||3||0||0||0||2||.278|
|David Newhan, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.179|
|Chris Gomez, DH||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.400|
|a- Jay Gibbons, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.272|
|B.J. Surhoff, LF||4||1||1||0||0||0||1||.262|
|Geronimo Gil, C||2||0||0||0||2||1||0||.192|
|John Parrish, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-grounded out for Gomez in the 9th|
|2B - Rafael Palmeiro (7, Urbina)|
|3B - Brian Roberts (5, Robertson)|
|RBI - Jeff Fiorentino (5), Melvin Mora (28), Miguel Tejada (43)|
|2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (11), Miguel Tejada (17)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Tejada-B. Roberts-Palmeiro, Tejada-Palmeiro|
|Sidney Ponson (L,5-3)||8||10||4||4||1||3||2||5.66|
|Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 117-81, Steve Kline 16-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 13-6|
|Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 33, Steve Kline 3|
|Attendance - 34175|
|Game Time - 2:38|
|Temperature - 81|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Bill Hohn|