Tigers roar to victory over Phils

March 27, 2008 5:33:13 PM PDT
Brandon Inge went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and the Detroit Tigers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 14-5 on Thursday. Placido Polanco and Clete Thomas homered for the Tigers.

Inge, who requested a trade at the start of spring training because his starting third base job had been taken by Miguel Cabrera, played center field. He will get the starting nod in center on opening day.

Before this spring, he had never played in center before, but starter Curtis Granderson broke his hand Saturday and will miss at least the first two weeks of the season.

"I came here knowing what to expect, but I didn't expect anything one way or another," Inge said. "Whatever happens is going to happen. I am happy to be on this team and that's what matters for now."

Kenny Rogers allowed two runs and three hits in four innings for Detroit.

Adam Eaton gave up seven runs - six earned - in 4 2-3 innings. Eaton is a candidate for the final spot in the Phillies rotation and said he wasn't sure if he'd be making the trip north this week.

"I made some good pitches but I have no idea," Eaton said. "If I am in Cincinnati next Saturday when it's my turn to pitch, I will know I made the team."

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was also noncommittal. "I won't know until we get there," Manuel said. "Next Saturday is a long way off."

Notes: The Tigers are headed to Houston to play the Astros for two exhibition games before the start of the regular season. ... Tigers Manager Jim Leyland said he is still trying to make a decision on the 25th player on the roster. ... Tigers OF Freddie Guzman has cleared waivers and will be outrighted to Double-A Erie. ... Ivan Rodriguez had two doubles and lifted his Grapefruit League average to .375. "He has been in a zone like I have never seen," Leyland said.