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Tigers take commanding 3-0 lead

Saturday, October 14, 2006

DETROIT -- From the very first day of spring training, Jim Leyland told his Detroit Tigers -- demanded, in fact -- to walk with the swagger of World Series champions.

One more win, and this once-lost franchise will get a chance to play for that golden trophy.

Kenny Rogers pitched the game of his life for the second straight week while the Tigers backed him with their bats, gloves and legs, beating the Oakland Athletics 3-0 on a frosty Friday to take a 3-0 lead in the AL Championship Series.

The wild-card Tigers posted their sixth straight playoff victory.

The Athletics sense they're up against something special.

"We're running into a better team and they're knocking down everybody in their path," A's third baseman Eric Chavez said. "It's not frustrating; they're better than we are."

Added slugger Frank Thomas: "That's a whole new team over there right now. That's not the team I've been battling for years."

Rogers shut out the Athletics on two mere singles over 7 1/3 innings.

Craig Monroe homered, Placido Polanco delivered two more hits off losing pitcher Rich Harden and Tigers closer Todd Jones finished for his second save of the series.

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