KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Bobby Higginson and Mike Rivera had first-inning home runs and the Detroit Tigers broke open a tie game with three runs in the eighth to beat the Atlanta Braves 9-5 Saturday.
Atlanta starter Kevin Millwood cruised through the first two Detroit batters in the first, but struggled to get the last out.
Batting third, Higginson hit Millwood's 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence to give the Tigers the first run of the game. Following a single by Robert Fick, Rivera homered to left to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
Tigers' starter Jose Lima also had his share of problems, giving up a sacrifice fly to Gary Sheffield in the first and a grand slam to Vinny Castilla in the third.
Detroit tied the game at 5-5 in the fourth with two runs off Braves' reliever Damian Moss.
Belisle (0-1) took the loss for Atlanta, giving up all three of Detroit's runs in the decisive eighth inning. Juan Acevedo (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Tigers. Lima gave up five runs and four hits in three innings, walking two and striking out one. Acevedo combined with Bill Simas, Jamie Walker, Oscar Henriquez and Matt Perisho to hold the Braves scoreless over the final six innings. Millwood settled down after giving up the three early runs, blanking the Detroit in the second and third innings.
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