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Published: Thursday, 4/10/2008

Tigers rally, put an end to losing streak

ASSOCIATED PRESS

BOSTON The Tigers finally showed the offense that earned them preseason raves and ended their winless start.

Detroit beat the Boston Red Sox 7-2 last night after scoring just 15 runs in losing its first seven games. Marcus Thames and Carlos Guillen homered, Edgar Renteria had three hits and Ivan Rodriguez got the 2,500th hit of his career.

Still, no team has made the postseason after an 0-7 start.

The Tigers were a favorite to get there after boosting their payroll to the second highest in baseball by adding Renteria, Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis. And they did reach the World Series in 2006 before being swept by St. Louis.

But this season they were just 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position and less than two outs before teeing off on Jon Lester (1-2) with four runs in the fourth after trailing 2-0.

The Red Sox (4-5) lost their first game in the United States. They opened the season in Tokyo, going 1-1 against Oakland, then beat the Athletics twice in Oakland before going 0-3 at Toronto.

They loaded the bases in the ninth last night before reliever Todd Jones retired Kevin Youkilis on a popup for the final out.

One day after the Red Sox received their World Series rings in a pre-game ceremony then kept Detroit reeling with a 5-0 win, the Tigers came alive after managing just one hit in the first three innings.

With one out in the fourth, Lester walked Cabrera and Guillen. Then Renteria tied the game with a two-run double to left

Thames, who stranded a runner at second with an inning-ending groundout in the second, then hit a 3-2 pitch over the Green Monster in left field.

Jeremy Bonderman (1-1) had fallen behind 2-0 in the second when the Red Sox loaded the bases on a single by Sean Casey, a walk to J.D. Drew and an error by second baseman Placido Polanco on Jason Varitek s grounder.

Jacoby Ellsbury then walked, forcing in a run, and Julio Lugo singled in another.

It was the second error in two days for Polanco, whose last error had come on July 1, 2006. Tuesday s throwing error ended his major league errorless streak for second basemen at 911 chances and 186 games.

Casey singled as a pinch hitter for Mike Lowell, who sprained his left thumb in the first when he fielded Rodriguez s leadoff grounder and threw him out.

In the eighth, Rodriguez became the 87th player with 2,500 hits when he broke an 0-for-15 slump with a single.

Earlier that inning, Brandon Inge singled in two runs for a 6-2 lead. Guillen hit his second homer of the year in the ninth.

Inge has six of the Tigers 20 RBIs this season while taking turns playing center, third and catching.

Cruceta s passport OK d

BOSTON Reliever Francisco Cruceta, who was supposed to compete for a spot in the Tigers bullpen during spring training but never was able to report, had his visa approved to enter the United States from the Dominican Republic, the team said yesterday.

Detroit signed the right-hander as a free agent after he posted a 3.02 ERA for Oklahoma in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League last season.

But he was not able to receive a visa and missed all of spring training, forcing the Tigers to place him on the restricted list.

Cruceta will train in Detroit s spring-training facility in Lakeland, Fla.

The Tigers have 30 days before they must place him on the major-league roster. If they don t, Detroit must place him on waivers before sending him to the minors.



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