DETROIT (AP) _ After struggling in August, the Detroit Tigers began the new month the way they've played most of the season. Kenny Rogers and two relievers combined on a five-hitter to help Detroit beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-0 Friday night.
Brandon Inge homered and drove in three runs, Craig Monroe and Carlos Guillen also homered and Omar Infante drove in two runs for A.L. Central-leading Detroit, which had only won two of its previous eight games and had an overall record of 13-16 in August. It was also the Tigers' major-league leading 15th shutout of the season.
``We had a nice combination tonight of good pitching and good hitting,'' said Tigers' manager Jim Leyland.
The Tigers extended their lead over the White Sox to 5 1/2 games.
Rogers (15-6) allowed four hits in seven innings, walking two and striking out two in winning his fourth straight start.
``This month is going to define what our year is all about,'' said Rogers. ``I know that every time we lose and I'm the next guy (pitching), I want to go out and stop (the losing).''
Joel Zumaya pitched a hitless eighth inning and Jason Grilli gave up a single in the ninth.
Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera started the second inning with singles. But Rogers then retired Garret Anderson on a pop out, got Robb Quinlan to fly out and got Howie Kendrick on a groundout to end the inning.
``That's what Kenny does,'' said Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia. ``He changes speeds and works on the fringes and gets guys to go out of the strike zone.''
Chone Figgins walked with one out in the third and Maicer Izturis followed with a single.
But Orlando Cabrera then struck out and Figgins was thrown out trying to steal third by Ivan Rodriguez for a double play to end the inning.
``We didn't have a lot of opportunities,'' said Scioscia. ``The ones we had, we didn't take advantage of.''
Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana (13-7) lasted four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits. He walked one and had seven strikeouts.
``When he didn't get the ball where he wanted it, they didn't miss it tonight,'' said Scioscia.
Monroe gave Detroit a 1-0 lead with his 24th homer of the season with one out in the first inning. He lined Santana's 2-0 offering over the left-centerfield fence.
The Tigers added two more in the second on Infante's one-out double into the gap in left-center, which scored Carlos Guillen, who had led off with a walk, and Rodriguez, who had followed with a single.
Detroit built its advantage to 5-0 in fourth on RBI doubles by Inge and Curtis Granderson.
``We need to put more pressure on the opposing pitchers,'' said Granderson. ``Get a few runs early, to make it easier for our pitchers.''
In the bottom of the eighth Guillen led off with a home run and Inge added a two-run homer. Dmitri Young had an RBI single to extended Detroit's lead to 9-0.
Notes: Los Angeles recalled 1B Darin Erstad from a rehabilitation assignment. He had been on the disabled list for the second time this season because of right ankle irritation. The Angels also recalled OF Curtis Pride (lower back tightness) from a rehabilitation assignment, recalled RHP pitcher Chris Bootcheck and C Jeff Mathis from Triple-A Salt Lake, and recalled IF Dallas McPherson Lower back spasms) from a rehabilitation assignment and optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Detroit recalled the contracts of RHP Jordan Tata and IF Ramon Santiago from Triple-A Toledo. ... Monroe's home run makes him the all-time leader at Comerica Park with 38.