Tigers Win 6th Straight

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Justin Verlander pitched seven innings to win his fourth straight start and the Detroit Tigers beat light-hitting Atlanta 2-1 Saturday, leading frustrated Braves manager Bobby Cox to pick up a record-tying ejection.
Cox was thrown out of the game in the ninth inning by plate umpire Chad Fairchild. Cox's ejection gave him 131 for his career, tying the record set by John McGraw.
Cox came on the field as Fairchild tossed Atlanta's Brian McCann for arguing a called third strike from Todd Jones, who got three outs to earn his 18th save in 22 chances.
Cox already has the record for most ejections by a manager, since 14 of McGraw's came as a player.
Carlos Guillen homered for the Tigers, who have won six straight games.
Verlander (9-2) gave up a fourth-inning homer to Chipper Jones but did not allow another baserunner past second. Verlander, who had a season-high 12 strikeouts when he no-hit Milwaukee on June 12, struck out 11 while giving up only four hits and two walks.
The Braves (38-37) have lost four straight and eight of 11 to fall to only one game over .500 for the first time since winning their season opener.
The Tigers, who won a season-best eight straight games from April 29 through May 8, have constructed their current winning streak on the road. They lead the major leagues with 26 road wins.
The Braves, who began the day with their first streak of three straight shutout losses since 1988, snapped a string of 31 consecutive scoreless innings when Jones led off the fourth with his 13th homer.
Jones, who struck out looking in the first inning, hit a 3-2 pitch from Verlander over the wall in left-center.
Atlanta's Kyle Davies (3-7) gave up three hits and two runs in 6 1-3 innings before leaving with a strained left oblique.
Davies appeared to slightly slip, possibly hurting himself, when fielding a short grounder hit by Magglio Ordonez in the sixth inning. He left after trainer Jeff Porter came to the mound with one out in the seventh.
Davies threw 36 pitches in the second inning. He walked two batters and hit Ivan Rodriguez with a pitch. Sean Casey's single, the only hit of the inning, drove in Guillen. Davies struck out Curtis Granderson on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Guillen led off the fourth with his 12th homer to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Davies then retired nine of the next 10 batters.
Cox juggled the top of his batting order. Willie Harris hit leadoff for only the second time this season, while Kelly Johnson moved down one spot. Slumping Andruw Jones hit seventh for the first time this season.
Cox said he wasn't planning more dramatic moves.
"You've got to stay with everybody," Cox said. "It's no time to start pointing fingers at people. We'll stay in this together."
Pinch-hitter Matt Diaz led off the eighth with a double off Tim Byrdak. After Johnson struck out trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt, Fernando Rodney retired Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones.


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