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Jays rough up usually sharp Rogers

By TIMES WIRES
Published September 29, 2006


BLUE JAYS 8, TIGERS 6

DETROIT - Kenny Rogers slammed the ball off the rubber and it rose over his head just before he walked off the mound after an awful start.

Rogers was roughed up by Toronto, which built a seven-run lead before holding off Detroit.

And a few hours after he left the field, what was left of the Tigers' AL Central lead was gone, too.

Minnesota rallied in the ninth inning and beat Kansas City 2-1 in 10 innings, leaving the Tigers and Twins tied atop the Central at 95-64 with three games left. Both teams are assured of playoff berths, and Detroit has the tiebreaker for the division title because it won the season series.

Detroit closes the regular season at home with three games against Kansas City.

"I'm not going to give them a Knute Rockne, let's go get 'em type of thing. I can tell you that right now," manager Jim Leyland said. "If we win three games, we're the champs. That's one break we've got. If we can't take advantage of it, shame on us."

Rogers, who likely will start Detroit's first playoff game since 1987, gave up seven runs - five earned - on eight hits, a walk and a hit batter. He lasted 32/3 innings, his shortest outing in two months.

"I'm not going to dwell on it too long. I've done pretty well for a long period of time," Rogers said. "I'd rather have a mediocre-to-poor one now rather than later."

The Blue Jays' A.J. Burnett allowed five runs, five hits, two walks and hit two batters over 6 1/3 innings.

Notable: Toronto maintained its lead over the Boston Red Sox for second place in the AL East by winning 10 of its past 14 games.