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AL: Tigers sweep Jays, continue stunning start

By Wire services
Published April 8, 2004

TORONTO - The Detroit Tigers can't wait for their home opener, especially after getting off to their best start in 19 years. Eric Munson hit a three-run homer, and the Tigers beat the Blue Jays 6-3 on Wednesday night to open the season with a three-game winning streak for the first time since 1985. The Tigers play their home opener against Minnesota today.

"I think there will be a real buzz," Detroit manager Alan Trammell said. "The fans are waiting for something like this to happen. If they can rally behind us and pump us up, we'll take everything we can get."

Detroit started last season 0-9 en route to an AL-record 119 losses.

Rondell White also homered for the Tigers, who swept the Blue Jays in a three-game series for the first time since 1987. Detroit swept two opponents last year, home vs. Baltimore from May 5-7 and at the Chicago White Sox July 8-11. Both were three-game sweeps.

"Our fans have endured a lot of ills. To bring three wins home is special," outfielder Craig Monroe said. "We're looking to go from worst to first."

Starter Jeremy Bonderman got the win, tying a career high with eight strikeouts before leaving with one out in the sixth.

RED SOX 10, ORIOLES 3: Johnny Damon went 5-for-5 with two RBIs for visiting Boston, which used a seven-run second inning to cruise. David Ortiz homered and Kevin Millar had three hits for the Red Sox, who have won two straight after losing to Baltimore on opening night. The second-inning outburst featured six hits, three walks and three defensive lapses by the Orioles. The seven runs, all of which scored with two outs, were more than Boston tallied in its first two games combined. Derek Lowe (1-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked two. Damon matched his career high for hits.

RANGERS 2, ATHLETICS 1: Colby Lewis and the Texas bullpen outpitched Barry Zito, who lost to visiting Texas for the first time in 18 career starts, allowing seven hits and four walks over eight innings. The 2002 AL Cy Young winner had been 11-0 with a 2.40 ERA against the Rangers, who couldn't sign Zito after drafting him in the third round in 1998. Texas hadn't beaten Oakland since last June 25. The A's rallied for a victory on opening day, and Mark Mulder shut down the Rangers in a 3-1 win Tuesday night. Eric Young had a run-scoring single and Kevin Mench hit a sacrifice fly in the early innings against Zito.

WHITE SOX 4, ROYALS 3: Miguel Olivo, Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Lee homered for visiting Chicago. In their opener Monday, the Royals scored six runs in the ninth to win 9-7, the major leagues' largest ninth-inning comeback in an opener in 103 years. But Esteban Loaiza handed the bullpen a lead, and Mike Jackson, Cliff Politte and Billy Koch stopped the Royals over the final three to give Ozzie Guillen his first victory.

INDIANS 11, TWINS 4: Matt Lawton and Victor Martinez homered, and visiting Cleveland avoided a season-opening sweep. Seven players drove in at least one run for Cleveland. Reliever Chad Durbin (1-1) worked 42/3 innings, giving up two runs and five hits. Lawton, who added run-scoring double in the ninth, had three RBIs.

[Last modified April 8, 2004, 01:35:43]


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