Rogers picks up 200th career victory

Rogers picks up 200th career victory

CHICAGO -- Kenny Rogers didn't want to let his hitting get in the way of his 200th career victory on Sunday.

But in the eighth inning, with his team holding a 12-2 lead, Rogers slapped a line drive into the left-field corner.

As Rogers neared first base, he remembered the only other extra-base hit of his career -- a triple as a Texas Ranger last season.

"I was going to stop at first but coach was saying go to second," Rogers said. "I was like, 'Ummm ... all right.' The last time I did it I went to third and didn't make it out of the next inning."

But Rogers paced himself and tried to save his legs for pitching, leisurely pulling into second base with a standup double.

"I got to stand on second and soak it all up -- enjoy the crowd and the atmosphere," said Rogers, who was pitching at Wrigley Field for the first time in his 19-year career. "It was great."

Rogers pitched eight innings and allowed two runs on four hits to become the 26th left-handed pitcher in Major League history to win 200 games.

Rogers reached the plate before he ever set foot on the mound, with Detroit scoring six runs in the top of the first.

"I can't say enough about this team," Rogers said. "They play so hard for me, and I know they probably wanted this more for me than I did almost. I can't explain how much I appreciate it. What a great group of guys, and getting a lead like that early was huge without a doubt."

After the game, the team presented Rogers with a jersey that had the pitcher's name and "200" on it, along with the day's lineup card.

"I just wanted to let him know we're proud for him to get his 200th win with the Detroit Tigers," said Brandon Inge, who addressed Rogers and the team after the game. "I know the majority of them weren't with us, but he's really made a difference on this pitching staff."

Rogers leads the Major Leagues with 10 wins this season.

"I told them if they keep scoring that many, I can win a few more," Rogers said.

Rogers joins Tom Glavine, Randy Johnson, David Wells and Jamie Moyer as the only active lefties to accomplish that feat.

"I'm glad to be where I'm at, but all those guys in that category -- I don't feel like I'm in their category," Rogers said.

Some of Rogers' feelings on that subject may come from the fact that he did not pitch until he played professional baseball. Rogers, an outfielder in high school, was drafted in the 39th round by the Texas Rangers in 1982.

"I don't know anyone who could've come farther in terms of experience," Rogers said. "I really started at ground zero."

Catcher Vance Wilson understood the kind of accomplishment this was for Rogers.

"I told [Inge] that's what this game is all about," Wilson said. "Days like today are days you remember the rest of your life. Days like today are the whole reason we play -- to be a part of it is huge."

But Rogers said the milestone win was difficult to comprehend because there's so much to look forward to with this year's Tigers.

"I can't really put it into words just because I'm still here," Rogers said. "I'm very happy with it, but I feel like I've got some left without a doubt. I don't know how much, but whatever it is, I'm still happy to be here and compete against big-league guys with a great team."

Ryan Crawford is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.