DETROIT -- After struggling in August, the Detroit Tigers began the new month the way they've played most of the season.
Brandon Inge homered and drove in three runs, Craig Monroe and Carlos Guillen also homered and Omar Infante drove in two runs for A.L. Central-leading Detroit, which had only won two of its previous eight games and had an overall record of 13-16 in August. It was also the Tigers' major-league leading 15th shutout of the season.
"We had a nice combination tonight of good pitching and good hitting," said Tigers' manager Jim Leyland.
The Tigers extended their lead over the White Sox to 5½ games.
Rogers (15-6) allowed four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out two in winning his fourth straight start.
"This month is going to define what our year is all about," said Rogers. "I know that every time we lose and I'm the next guy (pitching), I want to go out and stop (the losing)."
Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera started the second inning with singles. But Rogers then retired Garret Anderson on a pop out, got Robb Quinlan to fly out and got Howie Kendrick on a groundout to end the inning.
"That's what Kenny does," said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia. "He changes speeds and works on the fringes and gets guys to go out of the strike zone."
Chone Figgins walked with one out in the third and Maicer Izturis followed with a single.
But Orlando Cabrera then struck out and Figgins was thrown out trying to steal third by Ivan Rodriguez for a double play to end the inning.
"We didn't have a lot of opportunities," said Scioscia. "The ones we had, we didn't take advantage of."
Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana (13-7) lasted four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits. He walked one and had seven strikeouts.
"When he didn't get the ball where he wanted it, they didn't miss it tonight," said Scioscia.
Monroe gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with his 24th homer of the season with one out in the first inning. He lined Santana's 2-0 offering over the left-centerfield fence.
The Tigers added two more in the second on Infante's one-out double into the gap in left-center, which scored Carlos Guillen, who had led off with a walk, and Rodriguez, who had followed with a single.
Detroit built its advantage to 5-0 in fourth on RBI doubles by Inge and Curtis Granderson.
"We need to put more pressure on the opposing pitchers," said Granderson. "Get a few runs early, to make it easier for our pitchers."
In the bottom of the eighth Guillen led off with a home run and Inge added a two-run homer. Dmitri Young had an RBI single to extended Detroit's lead to 9-0.
|Kenny Rogers pitches seven solid innings, striking out two and walking two en route to a Tigers victory. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, CF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1|
|Maicer Izturis, 3B||3||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||4|
|Vladimir Guerrero, DH||4||0||1||0||0||0||3|
|Juan Rivera, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1|
|Garret Anderson, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Robb Quinlan, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||3|
|Jose Molina, C||2||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a- Reggie Willits, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0|
|Jeff Mathis, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|a-walked for Molina in the 8th|
|CS - Chone Figgins (, 3rd base by Rogers/Rodriguez)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Kendrick-Cabrera-Quinlan, Cabrera-Kendrick-Quinlan|
|E - Maicer Izturis (, )|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Ervin Santana (L,-)||4||7||5||5||1||7||1|
|WP - Ervin Santana ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 87-57, Kevin Gregg 36-17, Chris Bootcheck 52-28|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 3-2, Kevin Gregg 1-5, Chris Bootcheck 4-0|
|Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 20, Kevin Gregg 8, Chris Bootcheck 12|
|Curtis Granderson, CF||5||1||2||1||0||1||2|
|Craig Monroe, LF||4||1||1||1||1||2||1|
|Dmitri Young, DH||4||0||3||1||1||0||0|
|Ramon Santiago, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Magglio Ordonez, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||3|
|a- Alexis Gomez, PH-RF||1||0||0||0||0||1||2|
|Carlos Guillen, SS||3||2||1||1||1||1||2|
|Ivan Rodriguez, C||4||1||2||0||0||0||1|
|Sean Casey, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||0||3|
|Omar Infante, 2B||2||2||1||2||2||0||0|
|Brandon Inge, 3B||4||2||2||3||0||1||2|
|a-struck out for Ordonez in the 8th|
|2B - Curtis Granderson (, Santana), Ivan Rodriguez (, Santana), Omar Infante (, Santana), Brandon Inge (, Santana)|
|HR - Craig Monroe (, Santana), Carlos Guillen (, Bootcheck), Brandon Inge (, Bootcheck)|
|RBI - Curtis Granderson (), Craig Monroe (), Dmitri Young (), Carlos Guillen (), Omar Infante 2 (), Brandon Inge 3 ()|
|2-OUT RBI - Curtis Granderson (), Dmitri Young (), Brandon Inge 3 ()|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Rodriguez-Inge|
|Kenny Rogers (W,-)||7||4||0||0||2||2||0|
|WP - Kenny Rogers ()|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kenny Rogers 106-62, Joel Zumaya 22-11, Jason Grilli 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kenny Rogers 9-9, Joel Zumaya 1-2, Jason Grilli 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kenny Rogers 26, Joel Zumaya 5, Jason Grilli 4|
|Attendance - 37509|
|Game Time - 2:50|
|Temperature - 69|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Poncino, First Base - Ed Hickox, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman|