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Detroit at Kansas City

Rodriguez drives in five as Tigers thrash Royals

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ivan Rodriguez powered the Detroit Tigers to a 2-0 start under new manager Jim Leyland.

Rodriguez went 5-for-5 with a homer, three doubles and five RBI Wednesday, helping the Tigers to a 14-3 victory and two-game sweep of the Kansas City Royals.

"When you have a day like this early in the year, it's great," Rodriguez said. "I've been swinging the bat pretty good in spring training, so I just stayed with the same routine, the same philosophy.

"I always say the first month of the season is very important for any team. If we keep doing what we're doing and having a great first or second month and play the game like we've been playing, we'll be in good shape."

Winner Jeremy Bonderman went 6 2/3 innings, and the Tigers hit five home runs. They outhomered the Royals 8-2 in the two games.

"They were swinging the bats rather well today, and it was contagious, obviously," Royals manager Buddy Bell said.

Rodriguez had an RBI double in a three-run first inning, singled in the third and made it 6-0 in the fifth with a two-run homer off loser Joe Mays.

He hit an opposite-field double into the right-field corner in the seventh and doubled over the outstretched glove of Emil Brown in the eighth -- a play originally ruled an error.

"It's always good to finish 5-for-5 instead of 4-for-5," a grinning Rodriguez said.

Brandon Inge, Marcus Thames, Curtis Granderson and Carlos Guillen also homered for the Tigers, who got 19 hits. Bonderman gave up one run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out eight and walked none.

Leyland, who replaced Alan Trammell after last season, said Rodriguez is not the same impatient hitter whose .276 average last year was his worst since 1993.

"He looks like the Pudge Rodriguez of old," Leyland said. "He was always pretty good in the strike zone. But for whatever reason, he got out of that last year and he paid for it. When he's a patient hitter and smart hitter, he's going to hit."

After David DeJesus led off the first with a triple into the gap in right-center, Bonderman retired the next 15 batters -- not even allowing a ball out of the infield -- before Angel Berroa's leadoff double in the sixth.

"It was one of those games where we didn't do anything right," Bell said. "A lot of that had to do with Bonderman."

Chris Spurling relieved after Doug Mientkiewicz's two-out double in the seventh. Brown hit a two-run homer on Spurling's second pitch.

Mays retired 13 of 15 batters following Rodriguez's first double, then allowed Inge's leadoff homer in the sixth. One out later, Placido Polanco beat out an infield single, and Rodriguez connected for his first homer of the season and No. 265 of his career.

Mays allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings. Detroit scored four runs in the seventh, one in the eighth and three in the ninth.

"This is game two of the season," Mays said. "There's 182 games, er, 162 games. Don't make it any longer than it needs to be."


Rodriguez also scored three runs and is hitting .358 with 17 home runs and 63 RBI against Kansas City. ... John Buck fouled a pitch off the back of his head. ... Mark Grudzielanek has struck out in five of his first seven at-bats and is 0-for-8. ... Mike Wood was ejected by plate umpire Doug Eddings after giving up Guillen's homer in the ninth.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF6331011 .273
Placido Polanco, 2B4331000 .500
    Ramon Santiago, 2B2000021 .000
Ivan Rodriguez, C5355000 .625
    Vance Wilson, C0000000 .000
Magglio Ordonez, RF4001013 .000
Dmitri Young, DH3011100 .143
   a- Marcus Thames, PH-DH11110001.000
Chris Shelton, 1B5130001 .667
Carlos Guillen, SS5112003 .375
Craig Monroe, LF4000013 .125
Brandon Inge, 3B5221031 .444
a-homered for Young in the 9th
2B - Curtis Granderson (1, Mays), Ivan Rodriguez 3 (3, Mays, Stemle, Gobble), Chris Shelton (1, Mays), Brandon Inge (1, Stemle)
HR - Curtis Granderson (1, Gobble), Ivan Rodriguez (1, Mays), Marcus Thames (1, Wood), Carlos Guillen (2, Wood), Brandon Inge (1, Mays)
SF - Magglio Ordonez (1)
RBI - Curtis Granderson (1), Placido Polanco (1), Ivan Rodriguez 5 (5), Magglio Ordonez (1), Dmitri Young (1), Marcus Thames (1), Carlos Guillen 2 (3), Brandon Inge (1)
Team LOB - 6
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (W,1-0) 6.2311080 1.35
Chris Spurling 1.1211011 6.75
Jamie Walker 1111021 9.00
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 92-65, Chris Spurling 16-14, Jamie Walker 8-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 10-2, Chris Spurling 2-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 23, Chris Spurling 6, Jamie Walker 4
Kansas City Royals
David DeJesus, CF4010002 .250
Mark Grudzielanek, 2B4000023 .000
Mike Sweeney, DH4000021 .000
Reggie Sanders, RF2000021 .167
   a- Shane Costa, PH-RF2111000 .500
Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B3110010 .333
    Tony Graffanino, 1B1000010 .000
Emil Brown, LF4112010 .143
Mark Teahen, 3B3000020 .000
Angel Berroa, SS2010000 .400
    Esteban German, SS1000000 .000
John Buck, C3010000 .167
a-grounded out for Sanders in the 7th
2B - Doug Mientkiewicz (1, Bonderman), Angel Berroa (1, Bonderman), John Buck (1, Spurling)
3B - David DeJesus (1, Bonderman)
HR - Shane Costa (1, Walker), Emil Brown (1, Spurling)
RBI - Shane Costa (1), Emil Brown 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Emil Brown 2 (2)
Team LOB - 3
DP - Berroa-Grudzielanek-Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek-Berroa-Mientkiewicz
E - Angel Berroa (1, )
Kansas City Royals
Joe Mays (L,0-1) 4.1866122 12.46
Luke Hudson 1.2000010 0.00
Steve Stemle 1644000 36.00
Jimmy Gobble 1211021 9.00
Mike Wood0333002 0.00
Andrew Sisco 1000030 4.50
HBP - Monroe (by Mike Wood)
WP - Joe Mays (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Mays 82-56, Luke Hudson 16-12, Steve Stemle 25-17, Jimmy Gobble 17-13, Mike Wood 9-4, Andrew Sisco 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Mays 6-4, Luke Hudson 3-1, Steve Stemle 1-2, Jimmy Gobble 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Mays 21, Luke Hudson 5, Steve Stemle 9, Jimmy Gobble 5, Mike Wood 4, Andrew Sisco 3
Game Information
Attendance - 11265
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Lance Barksdale, Third Base - Jim Joyce