ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- These are not the Detroit Tigers of recent years.
Magglio Ordonez hit a go-ahead two-run double and Craig Monroe added a two-run homer in a four-run eighth inning as the Tigers surpassed last season's victory total, beating Tampa Bay 8-3 on Wednesday night.
Ordonez, who has nine RBI in his last seven games, gave the Tigers a 4-3 lead with his double off reliever Jon Switzer (2-2). Monroe made it 6-3 with his 16th homer of the season, off Rudy Lugo.
"Things are changed and we're all excited about it," Monroe said. "There's never a knock of anybody that was here in the past. We have a lot of respect for those guys, but at the same time (manager Jim) Leyland has come in and he's just allowed us to relax. He's taught us to how prepare and believe."
The Tigers haven't finished with a winning record since going 85-77 in 1993.
Dmitri Young also had a two-run homer for the Tigers (72-35), who have the best record in the major leagues. Detroit also matched the record of its 1984 World Series championship team after 107 games.
"They're on a mission right now ... you can see that," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "Guys just turn it up late. They really believe they can get the job done."
Reliever Jason Grilli (1-1) threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Omar Infante had a sacrifice fly and Carlos Guillen had an RBI single in the ninth for the Tigers.
Detroit rookie Zach Miner went 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs, four hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He is 0-1 in his last four starts following a personal six-game winning streak.
"Right now, with everything that's going on, we've just got a solid middle of our order," Miner said. "I don't think I'd want to be a pitcher facing us right now."
Detroit, with a staff ERA of 3.72, entered as the only AL team below 4.00.
"Top to bottom they're a pretty good team," Tampa Bay center fielder Rocco Baldelli said. "When you have solid players that play hard and are good players, that wins games for you."
Dioner Navarro had put Tampa Bay ahead 3-2 in the sixth with a run-scoring single off reliever Jamie Walker. The Devil Rays (44-64) are 5-14 since the All-Star break and dropped to a season-low 20 games under .500.
Young gave the Tigers a 2-0 lead in the first with his fifth home run. He has five homers and 11 RBI in 11 games since he returned from the disabled list after undergoing treatment for substance abuse at a California rehab center.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the bottom of the inning on Jorge Cantu's RBI groundout. Ben Zobrist's squeeze bunt tied it at 2 in the fifth.
Devil Rays starter Tim Corcoran allowed two runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.
- Tampa Bay placed RHP Travis Harper on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder injury and recalled RHP Seth McClung from Triple-A Durham. Maddon said Harper will be evaluated after a two-week rehab period.
- Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez was out of the lineup for the fifth time in the last seven games. He will likely start Thursday.
- Baldelli, who left Tuesday's game after being hit in the right biceps by a pitch, was in the starting lineup. He went 2-for-5.
- Guillen stayed in the game after being hit on the left leg by a pitch in the first. He later stole second for his 11th straight successful stolen base attempt.
- Corcoran has given up two homers in 40 2/3 innings this season.