PITTSBURGH -- Kenny Rogers has gone from all-star scourge to
All-Star Game starter.
The Tigers' left-hander, the top winner for the team with the
best record in the majors, will be on the mound for the AL on
Tuesday night against Brad Penny of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Rogers
will be trying to extend a nine-game AL unbeaten streak.
Rogers is 11-3 with a 3.85 ERA, while Penny is 10-2 with a 2.91
ERA. Rogers will be ready -- he hasn't started since Wednesday,
lasting 5 2-3 innings in a victory against Oakland.
"He's well-rested," AL manager Ozzie Guillen said of the
decision to start Rogers.
Penny also made his last start Wednesday, allowing two runs in
seven innings against Arizona, but also pitched one-third of an
inning in relief Sunday in the Dodgers' 3-1 win over San Francisco.
"There's a lot of guys that deserve to start, but it was
unfortunate they pitched yesterday," Rogers said.
Rogers will be throwing to his regular catcher, too, in Ivan Rodriguez. Rogers will be the first Tigers pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Jack Morris at the Metrodome in 1985. The last time Detroit had the starting battery for the event was 1966, when Denny McLain threw to Bill Freehan.
It was this time a year ago Rogers was under intense scrutiny
for knocking down a cameraman during a videotaped tirade.
Rogers, then with the Rangers, was charged with a misdemeanor in
Texas after videotape of the June 29 incident showed him walking
onto Ameriquest Field in Arlington and pushing a television camera
to the ground. He agreed to attend an anger management class to
avoid further punishment.
"It was very difficult," Rogers said. "I'd be lying if I said
it wasn't hard, but I think I grew up with it and it made me a
little better. ... Every challenge in my life that's come my way, I
try to take advantage of anything I can learn from it and try to be
NL manager Phil Garner, attending a news conference Monday
morning in Pittsburgh less than 11 hours after a 7-5, 12-inning
loss to the Cardinals in Houston, unveiled a batting order that
finds the Nationals' Alfonso Soriano leading off and playing left
field, followed by CF Carlos Beltran, Mets; 1B Albert Pujols,
Cardinals; RF Jason Bay, Pirates; SS Edgar Renteria, Braves; 3B
David Wright, Mets; 2B Chase Utley, Phillies; C Paul Lo Duca, Mets
Bay will be out of position; he has played left field and center
field for the Pirates but has almost no experience in right field.
Garner decided to hit Pujols third and Bay fourth, rather than the
other way around, because Bay has hit so well against Garner's
Astros with runners on base.
"Every time somebody's on base, he becomes a different
hitter," Garner said.
Guillen will lead off with Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki, RF, followed
by SS Derek Jeter, Yankees; 1B David Ortiz, Red Sox; 3B
Alex Rodriguez, Yankees; LF Vladimir Guerrero, Angels; C Rodriguez; CF
Vernon Wells, Blue Jays; 2B Mark Loretta, Red Sox and Rogers.