Sheets fans seven, giving him 1,003 career strikeouts

Brewers 6, Tigers 5

DETROIT (AP) -- The Milwaukee Brewers responded to being no-hit by winning their first road series since late April.

Corey Hart hit a homer and Ben Sheets became the second pitcher in team history with 1,000 career strikeouts, helping the Brewers beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 on Thursday.

"We need something to get us going again, and this could be it," J.J. Hardy said.

The NL Central-leading Brewers (36-30) won two straight for just the third time since starting the season 24-10.

"To beat these guys on the road after being no-hit is going to be a great confidence boost," Hart said. "It isn't like we did this against one of the worst teams in baseball -- they were in the World Series last year."

Sheets (7-3) struck out seven, giving him 1,003 since making his major-league debut with the Brewers in 2001.

"It's not really that high compared to what others have," Sheets said.

Teddy Higuera has the franchise record with 1,081 strikeouts from 1985-94.

Sheets gave up three runs, eight hits and three walks over 5 2/3 innings.

Milwaukee's Brian Shouse, Chris Spurling and Derrick Turnbow combined to pitch 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Omar Infante and Gary Sheffield led off the ninth against Francisco Cordero with singles and the hot-hitting Magglio Ordonez doubled off the right-center wall, pulling Detroit within two runs and putting two runners in scoring position.

Sean Casey's RBI groundout made it 6-5, before Cordero struck out Craig Monroe and Mike Rabelo for his major league-leading 24th save in 26 chances.

"Our pitching staff did a great job against a special offense," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "The bullpen has been really good all year, and they were great the last two days."

Milwaukee's bullpen held off Detroit for a 3-2 victory on Wednesday night, following Justin Verlander's no-hitter in the series opener.

"This shows us something about ourselves," said Spurling, who pitched in both victories against his former team. "The no-hitter was tough, but in baseball, you always get a chance to redeem yourselves the next day."

Monroe is going to get at least a day off after tying a major league record with five strikeouts in a nine-inning game.

He knocked over a water cooler after one strikeout and flipped his bat over his head and slammed his helmet after his strikeout ended the seventh with two runners on base.

"I had a bad day," Monroe bristled. "That's it."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he would give Monroe at least Friday off at Philadelphia and possibly Saturday, too.

"Whatever works," said Monroe, who went 2-for-12 with eight strikeouts in the series.

Chad Durbin (5-3) perhaps hurt his chances of staying in the rotation when Kenny Rogers and Nate Robertson return from the disabled list.

Leyland has repeatedly insisted he doesn't know what changes he'll make when they are necessary, likely by the end of the month.

"That won't get in my head at all," Durbin said. "If I'm better off in the pen or whatever they see fit, that's what is going to happen. It's not my job to think about those scenarios."

Durbin lasted just 3 2/3 innings -- matching his shortest outing this season -- allowed eight hits and seemed fortunate to give up just two runs.

Detroit's bullpen woes continued when Wilfredo Ledezma replaced Durbin and gave up three runs -- one when he dropped the ball and was charged with a balk and another on a wild pitch -- and then Jason Grilli allowed Hart's solo homer in the eighth to give the Brewers a 6-3 lead.

"The add-on runs killed us," Leyland said. "You won't see the ball get dropped on the mound very often. That's a silly run."

Hart drove in Milwaukee's first run on a single in the second inning. Johnny Estrada and Ryan Braun each had an RBI for the Brewers.

Sheets entered the game needing four strikeouts to reach 1,000, and his third and fourth got him out of a two-on, one-out jam in the fourth.

He was a strikeout away from getting out of the next inning unscathed, but Sheffield hit an RBI single and Ordonez followed with a two-run single to pull within a run.

Brewers center fielder Bill Hall made a diving catch in the seventh inning, a play that prevented Ordonez from likely driving in two runs and tying the game.

Despite the loss, Leyland was proud of his team because Placido Polanco and Ivan Rodriguez got the day off and Carlos Guillen was out with an injury.

"You don't get angry when you get efforts like you get today," Leyland said. "You get angry last year, when we were ready to go to Oakland when we were playing Cleveland.

"Without Polly, Pudge and Guillen, these guys were battling their tail off," he said.

Game notes
Monroe joined numerous major-leaguers with five strikeouts in a nine-inning game and is the third Tiger to do it, joining Danny Bautista (1995) and Chet Laabs (1938). ... The last time Milwaukee won a series on the road was April 27-29 at Houston. ... Guillen, out since Sunday with a hamstring injury, hopes to play Friday. ... Leyland said Rogers will throw about 75 pitches, ideally over five or six innings, in a rehab start Friday night for Class A West Michigan. ... Hall grounded out in the third, the first time in eight at-bats in the series that he didn't reach base.