Tigers ride success of Kenny Rogers for win over Cards

DETROIT – Now you see it. Now you don’t.

Whatever was on Kenny Rogers’ hand, even after he cleaned it off, the St. Louis Cardinals couldn’t hit him.

Virtually untouchable this October, Rogers shut down the Cardinals on two hits over eight shutout innings, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 3-1 victory on a chilly Sunday night that tied the World Series at one game apiece.

But the real substance of the matter was this: What was on the left-hander’s pitching hand that caused a first-inning flap? It appeared to be something dirty or dark, and umpires brought Cardinals manager Tony La Russa out to the field at the end of the first for a brief discussion.

In the middle of the second, Detroit manager Jim Leyland talked to three umps near the third-base line. Whatever was on the Tiger pitcher’s paw, it was gone when he came out for the second.

Rogers extended his scoreless streak to 23 postseason innings this year and 24 1-3 postseason innings overall, a streak that began in 2003 with Minnesota. It is the longest streak since Curt Schilling tossed 25 scoreless innings in 1993 and 2001.

Rogers struck out five and walked three.

Todd Jones came on in the ninth and allowed Scott Rolen’s two-out single, then misplayed Juan Encarnacion’s comebacker for an error that put runners on the corners. Jim Edmonds blooped a double down the left-field line that scored Rolen, then Jones hit Preston Wilson with a pitch, loading the bases.

After a visit from pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, Jones retired Yadier Molina on a forceout, preserving the shaky save.

Craig Monroe got the Tigers started by homering for the second straight night, a solo shot off Jeff Weaver in a two-run first, and Carlos Guillen and Sean Casey also drove in runs for Detroit. Guillen had three hits falling a home run short of the cycle.

He allowed an infield single by Rolen in the first that third baseman Brandon Inge could only knock down. He didn’t give up another hit until Molina singled to right leading off the eighth.

In a battle of starters who flopped with the New York Yankees, Weaver struggled and allowed at least two runners in every inning. He left after five, having allowed three runs and nine hits.

A night after St. Louis got the National League’s first Series win since 2003, Detroit made sure one record won’t fall this year: There have never been three straight Series sweeps.

Following a travel day, the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis hosts its first Series game Tuesday night, with Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter pitching against Nate Robertson.

One day after losing 7-2 in its first Series game since 1984, the Tigers got off to a quick start on a chilly night, when the gametime temperature with 44 with a threat of rain.

Monroe hit Weaver’s sixth pitch into the seats in left-center for his second homer in the Series and his fifth in the postseason, tying Hank Greenberg’s Tigers career record. One out later, Magglio Ordonez singled, and Guillen doubled him home with a drive to left, a drive that short-hopped the wall.