Tigers 3, Royals 2

Sunday, April 8th 2007, 4:50 pm
By: News On 6

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Ivan Rodriguez hit a 3-run homer in the 9th and the Detroit Tigers rallied to beat the Kansas City Royals 3-2 Sunday.

Rodriguez hit the first pitch from closer David Riske out to left after Magglio Ordonez led off the inning with a double and Carlos Guillen walked. It was the 20th career home run against the Royals for Rodriguez, who is a .352 hitter at Kauffman Stadium.

Fernando Rodney (1-1) pitched a scoreless 8th for the win. Todd Jones got his third save in three chances. Riske (0-1) gave up 2 hits and a walk for the Royals' first blown save. Kansas City led the majors with 31 last year.

Rodriguez's home run spoiled an excellent start by Royals right-hander Brandon Duckworth, who pitched 6 1-3 scoreless innings, allowing just 4 hits. Duckworth, a non-roster invitee to spring training, was making his first start since July 23. He had elbow surgery on Aug. 15 to remove bone chips.

Duckworth earned the fifth spot in the Kansas City rotation when Luke Hudson went on the disabled list at the end of spring training with a sore right shoulder.

After a double in the 2nd by Guillen, Duckworth didn't allow another hit until Placido Polanco's single with 2 out in the 6th. Duckworth came out in the 7th after surrendering back-to-back singles to Guillen and Rodriguez.

After left-hander Jimmy Gobble retired Sean Casey, rookie Joakim Soria, the third pitcher of the inning, walked Marcus Thames to load the bases. But Soria got Brandon Inge to fly out to end the threat. Inge is 0-16.

Mark Teahen homered with 2 out in the 1st off Jeremy Bonderman, his first home run since Sept. 1.

Bonderman gave up 2 runs and 7 hits in 6 innings, while walking 1 intentionally and striking out 8.