The result was a 12-3 victory for the Tigers and more misery for
the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.
"It doesn't matter if I'm coming back or had been pitching all
year, I basically [stunk] today," Prior said. "It's not a good
one. But I've got to move on."
Prior, who missed the first 2½ months of the season with a
strain in his right shoulder, lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed
eight runs, matching a career high set May 1, 2005, against
Houston. The four home runs tied a career high set against
Philadelphia on July 30, 2004.
Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run for the first
time in his career, Carlos Guillen added a three-run shot and
Shelton hit a two-run homer as the Tigers grabbed a 6-0 lead in the
first inning. Vance Wilson knocked out Prior with a two-run drive
in the fourth that made it 8-1.
The eight homers tied a Tigers record set June 20, 2000, at
Toronto, and matched the season high by a Cubs opponent. Atlanta
hit eight against Chicago on May 28.
The Cubs lost their sixth straight game.
Rogers (10-3) became the ninth active pitcher with at least 200
wins. He allowed solo homers to Henry Blanco and Aramis Ramirez as
the Tigers completed a three-game sweep and won for the ninth time
in 11 games.
"I can't really put it into words because I'm still here,"
Rogers said. "I'm pretty proud of that and very happy with it. I
feel like I have some left. I don't know how much but whatever it
is, I'm just happy to be here and to be able to compete with big
Manager Jim Leyland said, "You can't say enough for what he's
done for us." He then teared up and ended the interview session.
There were loud cheers for Prior (0-1) during the pregame
introductions. Then, the boos came.
Granderson, who's from the Chicago suburbs, hit his 10th homer
on a 3-2 pitch. The next batter, Placido Polanco, lined a single up
the middle and moved to third when Prior bounced a throw to first
after fielding a bunt by Wilson.
After Magglio Ordonez popped out, Guillen hit a three-run shot
to left -- his ninth homer and second in as many games.
Prior continued to unravel. Marcus Thames walked and Shelton
lined a two-run homer to center, his 13th, to make it 6-0.
Prior said he felt fine, physically. He just didn't have
"The thing was he was throwing [high] strikes," Granderson
Prior had a history of pitching well when returning from the DL.
He returned from a shoulder injury on Aug. 5, 2003, and pitched
six shutout innings against San Diego to earn the win.
He began 2004 on the disabled list with Achilles' tendinitis and
elbow pain, before allowing two hits and striking out eight in six
innings against Pittsburgh on June 4.
Prior opened last season on the DL with right elbow inflammation
and returned there after being hit in the elbow by a line drive by
Colorado's Brad Hawpe on May 27. He pitched six scoreless innings
in an 8-3 victory over San Diego in his first start, and retired 18
of 19 batters in six innings and beat the White Sox on June 26.
His return was a dose of good news for a struggling team. Then,
Kerry Wood, who began the season on the disabled list while
recovering from shoulder surgery, began the season on the disabled
list and returned there on June 9 after four starts. He might pitch
next weekend at Minnesota, which would mean the Cubs would have two
of their most accomplished starters in the rotation for the first
time since July.
Phil Nevin hit a solo homer in the ninth for Chicago.
Wilson started at catcher and batted third for Ivan
Rodriguez, who left the previous two games with cramps. ... Blanco
caught his third straight game for Michael Barrett, who has a sore
back and is expected to begin serving a suspension for punching the
White Sox's A.J. Pierzynski this week. Barrett, who was suspended
10 games, had an appeal hearing on Friday. ... The Cubs agreed to a
contract Sunday with fifth-round draft pick Jeff Samardzija of
Notre Dame, a star wide receiver for the Fighting Irish football
team. The Valparaiso, Ind., native caught a record 15 touchdown
passes last fall. He then went 8-2 with a 4.33 ERA in 15 starts for
the baseball team.
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