Rueter struggles as Giants fall to Tigers

Rueter struggles as Giants fall to Tigers

DETROIT -- Kirk Rueter's struggles continued on Saturday night.

He lost his fourth-straight decision as he didn't get out of the fifth inning in an 8-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. The Giants' three-game winning streak also came to an end.

Rueter (2-6) lasted only four innings plus two batters in the fifth. He allowed six runs on 11 hits and walked one. He did not strike out a batter. The righty hasn't won since May 13.

"I don't know. Maybe the approach, the hitters. I don't know," Rueter said, when asked if he could explain his struggles.

Meanwhile, San Francisco had its chances against Detroit starter Jason Johnson (5-5), but couldn't come up with timely hits. Johnson allowed one earned run and scattered nine hits in eight innings.

"We had enough runners," Giants manager Felipe Alou said.

Brandon Inge, Ivan Rodriguez and Chris Shelton did the most damage to the Giants' cause. Inge was 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs, and was only a triple short of the cycle. Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Shelton added two hits and two RBIs.

The Giants got off to a good start by scoring two runs in the first on a throwing error by Johnson and an RBI single by Michael Tucker.

But it was all Tigers after that.

Detroit tied it in its half of the inning with a pair of home runs. Leadoff man Inge sent a Rueter pitch over the center-field wall to make it 2-1. And with two outs, Rondell White drilled one over the right-center field fence.

"Got a two-run lead and they hit the ball, two home runs," said Rueter. "Every ball seemed to drop right in."

The Tigers took the lead in the second on Placido Polanco's run-scoring single, and made it 4-2 in the third, when Shelton singled in a run. Both of those hits came with two outs.

"If I could have kept it 2-2 and not allowed the runs in those two innings..." said Rueter. "But they were able to tack on the runs with two out."

But San Francisco still had a chance to get back into it. Jason Ellison led off the fifth with a single, but was thrown out by Rodriguez trying to steal on a low breaking ball. J.T. Snow followed with a double to right-center. "I was just trying to be aggressive in that situation," said Ellison. "I guess it probably wasn't the best time to steal, since I got thrown out."

Alou blamed himself for not thinking to give Ellison the don't steal sign.

"I wasn't paying attention, and before I realized it, he took off," the manager said.

After a groundout, walk and another groundout ended the inning, Detroit blew the game open with four runs in the fifth.

Rodriguez led off with a single and scored on Craig Monroe's double, which chased Rueter. Shelton then greeted reliever Brandon Puffer with a single right between the pitcher's legs and into center field to score Monroe. Omar Infante doubled to send Shelton to third, and both scored on Inge's double.

Paul Harris is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.