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GAME OF THE DAY

Rogers is sharp in first start of season

June 23, 2007|From the Associated Press

ATLANTA — What a season debut for Kenny Rogers.

Making his first start of the year after a blood clot was removed from his pitching shoulder, Rogers gave up two hits in six innings to lead the Detroit Tigers past the Atlanta Braves, 5-0, Friday night.

The Braves were shut out for the third game in a row, their scoreless streak stretching to 28 innings. It was the first time since 1988 that Atlanta has been shut out in three straight games.

Rogers, 42, played a vital role in Detroit's run to the World Series last season, but he needed surgery late in spring training when the clot was discovered in his left shoulder.

After two rehabilitation outings in the minor leagues, Rogers got off to an ominous start -- he hit Kelly Johnson with the first pitch.

Rogers retired the next 10 hitters, including Edgar Renteria on a double play that erased Johnson. The Braves got their first hit with two out in the fourth -- Renteria's single past third baseman Brandon Inge.

Scott Thorman had the only other hit against Rogers, a single to right field leading off the sixth inning after the Tigers scored five runs against John Smoltz (8-4) in the top half of the inning.

Rogers finished with a flourish, striking out the next two hitters before Yunel Escobar lined out to center field.

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Jason Giambi won't meet with baseball steroids investigator George Mitchell until July at the earliest because the busy calendars of the various lawyers who will attend the session make setting the date difficult.

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