Knotts, Yan shut down Rangers, Tigers roll 7-1

Rain was abundant Friday night in the metro Detroit area, but the Tigers and Rangers were still able to get their series opener in. Gary Knotts, in his first start of the season replacing Nate Cornejo in the rotation, made a solid appearance and the Tiger offense gave him plenty of run support to push the Tigers back to within a game of the .500 mark.

Gary Knotts battled throughout spring training, trying to earn a spot in the Tiger rotation - after his inconsistent performance in the rotation last season. Unfortunately for Knotts, Nate Robertson won the final spot and Knotts was relegated to the bullpen. But, with Nate Cornejo being placed on the Disabled List, a spot in the rotation opened up, and Knotts was given the opportunity.

He took full advantage of the chance, going 5 innings allowing only 1 run on 2 hits while striking out 5. Esteban Yan then relieved Knotts, pitching the final 4 innings without allowing a hit. Knotts earned his first win of the year, while Yan picked up his 2nd save.

Joaquin Benoit had a decent outing, but wasn't able to match the performance of Knotts. Benoit went 6 1/3 innings but allowed 5 earned runs.

The Tigers had a trio of Home Runs on Friday night, all of Benoit. Brandon Inge and Omar Infante hit back to back solo shots in the 2nd inning, and C Ivan Rodriguez launched his 7th home run, a 2-run blast in the 6th inning. Rondell White also had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Tigers. The Rangers lone run came off a fielder's choice that scored Mark Teixiera.

Next game comes Saturday afternoon, with the Tigers trying to get back to .500. Lefty Nate Robertson goes up against lefty Kenny Rogers. Game time is 1:05pm.

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