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There's no cure for a struggling team like a team whose struggles are really much worse. Ladies and gentlemen, your cure: losers of a franchise-record fifteen in a row, the Kansas City Royals. They outhit the Tigers today (17-16), but lost two one-run decisions.

The first game was a typical one between two bad teams. It had poor pitching, poor baserunning, and blown leads, though a small number of walks kept the game at three hours. Dingman and Rodney closed the door at the end, something the Tigers bullpen hasn't been able to do in weeks, seemingly.

The second game was a demonstration of pitching and especially defense. While Mike Maroth and Jose Lima both made quick work (the game took only 1:58) of the hitters, Maroth's shutout was preserved by an error-free defense that turned four double plays. With one out in the ninth and a runner on, Maroth gave up a long fly ball to the warning track in center off the bat of rookie and former Red Sox farmhand Chip Ambres. Nook Logan chased it down, but Trammell had seen enough and Fernando Rodney came in again, this time retiring putative star Mike Sweeney on two pitches. Two saves for Rodney, two one-run wins, and a little hope going into the Boston series.

Douglass, Robertson, and Bonderman are scheduled to go in the Boston series. Bonderman would pitch on five days rest if he goes on Wednesday as scheduled, which would be fine. He threw 117 pitches in his most recent tough-luck loss.