Leyland promises changes after Tigers swept by Twins Print
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Sunday, 04 May 2008 22:03
MLB Headline News

 After the Minnesota Twins swept the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland promised a big offensive shakeup. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon had an entirely different take after the Rays were swept in Boston.
Kevin Youkilis had four RBIs and Jon Lester pitched six innings to lift the Red Sox to a 7-3 victory over Tampa Bay, spoiling the return of Rays ace Scott Kazmir.
``This is not devastating for this group,'' Maddon said. ``Sometimes people tend to get overwhelmingly negative, but we will rebound from this. When you play the Red Sox, things are going to happen in a negative way sometimes.''
Leyland had a much stronger reaction, even before the Tigers failed to protect a six-run, first-inning lead. Before Sunday's game, Leyland promised changes to an underperforming lineup expected to be among the best in baseball.
Then Joe Mauer capped Minnesota's rally, slapping a two-run single up the middle in the seventh to lift the Twins past Detroit 7-6 for their fifth straight win.
Afterward, Leyland declined to specify what he'd do.
``I'm not talking about that. There will be changes,'' he said.
In other AL games Sunday, it was New York 8, Seattle 2; Kansas City 2, Cleveland 0; Toronto 4, the Chicago White Sox 3; the Los Angeles Angels 6, Baltimore 5; and Oakland 3, Texas 1.
The Rays came into the series tied for the lead in the AL East with Boston. Last weekend, they completed their first sweep of the Red Sox in franchise history. But the Red Sox returned the favor and outscored the Rays in this series 26-10.
None of the Tampa Bay starters in the three-game series made it out of the fourth inning.
Kazmir was chased after allowing four runs in four innings in his season debut. He had been out since straining his elbow in February.
``My arm felt great, but I was doing a little too much,'' Kazmir said. ``I felt like I was battling myself the whole time, but I'll be fine.''
Lester (2-2) allowed a run and four hits with three walks. His 13-inning scoreless streak was snapped when Carlos Pena homered to make it 4-1 in the sixth.
``He's taken steps to be a more complete pitcher,'' Red Sox captain Jason Varitek said. ``We've added some stuff to his repertoire and he's expanding what he can do.''
Said Red Sox manager Terry Francona: ``It's fun when you see young guys take some of the things they work on into a game and have success with it. It allows your offense time when you're not battling back from a deficit.''
Jonathan Papelbon got the final four outs to record his ninth save in nine chances.
Youkilis had a pair of doubles and a solo shot off Dan Wheeler in the seventh inning for a 5-3 lead. His two-run double in the eighth off Scott Dohmann extended Boston's lead to 7-3.
``Our offense came back and got us within a run and I didn't do my job,'' Wheeler said. ``(Youkilis) is in the No. 3 hole for a reason.''
At Minneapolis, the Tigers tricked Kenny Rogers into thinking he was getting good run support. Staked to a 6-0 lead, he retired the first 11 batters he faced. Rogers should've been out of the seventh with a 6-3 lead, but third baseman Carlos Guillen let a routine two-out groundball hit by Nick Punto roll off his glove and through his legs.
Four runs scored after that, on an RBI single by Carlos Gomez and an RBI double by Brendan Harris against Zach Miner (1-2), followed by Mauer's big hit off Bobby Seay.
The Tigers had only four hits after the opening frame.
``We're swinging at bad pitches. Maybe we're pressing,'' Guillen said. ``We've got to be consistent, and we're not consistent.''
Though the Tigers were fourth in the league in runs entering the game, their star-stacked offense is still underperforming. One of their limitations, frustrating Leyland, has been the lack of speed and small-ball executions like hit-and-run plays.
Curtis Granderson started the game with a home run, and Detroit battered Boof Bonser, who needed 45 pitches to get through the first inning.
``You come in and say, 'There's a lot of game left,''' Twins acting manager Scott Ullger said. ``Well, there's the whole game left. So just chip away.''
Rogers didn't allow a baserunner until Mauer's two-out double in the fourth. He scored on a single by Morneau. Punto's double brought home two more in the fifth, cutting the lead to 6-3.
``Kenny was tremendous, but we didn't add on runs,'' Leyland said.
Maybe the new-look lineup will do that better.
Yankees 8, Mariners 2
At New York, Derek Jeter had four hits and the Yankees got consecutive homers from Melky Cabrera and Robinson Cano during a six-run outburst, beating slumping Seattle to finish a lopsided three-game sweep.
Angels 6, Orioles 5
At Anaheim, Calif., Gary Matthews Jr. and Torii Hunter homered in the first inning and Los Angeles beat Baltimore despite a poor outing by Joe Saunders.
Saunders (6-0) threw 85 pitches over five innings in the shortest of his seven starts. The left-hander allowed four runs and a career-high 12 hits, struck out one and walked none.
Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3
At Toronto, Roy Halladay won for the first time in four starts, Matt Stairs scored twice and drove in two runs and Toronto handed Chicago its season-high fifth straight loss.
Royals 2, Indians 0
At Cleveland, Gil Meche pitched seven shutout innings and a throwing error by third baseman Casey Blake broke a scoreless tie.
Athletics 3, Rangers 1
At Oakland, Calif., Jack Cust's two-run homer in the seventh inning helped Oakland end the Rangers' four-game winning streak.
 

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