for this game

Jurrjens outshines Carmona as Tigers edge Indians in opener

Aug 22, 2007 - 2:51 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Rookie Jair Jurrjens helped the Detroit Tigers inch closer in the American League Central race.

Jurrjens carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning and All-Stars Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen both homered as the Tigers posted a 2-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday.

The win helped Detroit (68-57) pulled within one-half game of Cleveland (68-56) for first place in the AL Central Division standings.

"Every series, every game is important," Ordonez said. "We need to get wins, if we want to get back to the playoffs."

Jurrjens (1-1) gave up just one hit en route to earning his first career win. The 21-year-old righthander's lone mistake came in the sixth frame, when Jhonny Peralta smacked a solo blast to slice the lead to 2-1.

"The best of the game was when (Curtis) Granderson caught the last out," Jurrjens said. "My first big league win was like a dream come true. It was something that I have wanted for a long time."

What a difference a few days made for Jurrjens, who gave up four runs in his major league debut - a loss to Cleveland at Jacobs Field last Wednesday.

"I really had no game plan," Jurrjens said. "I wanted to throw strikes, keep the ball in the infield and keep my team in the game. I remember this game for the rest of my life."

"He was good both times," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "He did a better job mixing his pitches, and his command was good."

After Jurrjens walked Travis Hafner in the seventh, Tigers manager Jim Leyland decided to go with hard-throwing reliever Joel Zumaya, who got Ryan Garko to groundout to end the inning.

It was Zumaya's first outing since going on the disabled list on May 3 with a ruptured tendon on his middle pitching finger that required surgery.

"I was zoned out there," said Zumaya, whose fastest pitch was clocked at 99 mph. "It was nothing but me, Pudge (Rodriguez) and the hitter. It went as good as I expected. I could have struck him out but at least I got him out."

Fernando Rodney tossed a scoreless eighth inning and closer Todd Jones got the final three outs for his 32rd save of the season.

"It was nice to see them out there," Leyland said of having the bullpen back at full strength. "It takes pressure off the rest of the bullpen and gives them confidence."

The Tigers broke a scoreless tie in the fifth as Ordonez led off with his 23rd homer and Guillen followed with a solo blast of his own off Indians starter Fausto Carmona (14-8) for a 2-0 cushion.

"The ball that Ordonez hit, I thought it was a good pitch, Ordonez is a good hitter," Carmona said. "The ball to Guillen, I just left up."

Carmona was also strong on the hill, giving up just the two runs runs and three hits in eight innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.

"I threw the ball real well tonight," Carmona said through an interpreter. "But it's a tough situation when you have a ballgame like that. It's tough when you pitch well and didn't get the win."

"Our guy went all the way," Wedge said. "They hit a couple of big balls against him, but he was fantastic."