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Tigers sweep 'Jays for best start since '85

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Tigers sweep 'Jays for best start since '85

Postby WebHamster » Thu Apr 08, 2004 3:00 am

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Jeremy Bonderman pitched 5 1/3 strong innings and Eric Munson blasted a three run homer, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 victory and three-game sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays at SkyDome.

Bonderman (1-0) surrendered just four hits before a Vernon Wells liner in the sixth caught the pitcher in the ankle, causing him to leave the game. He finished with a career-high eight strikeouts and gave up three runs, while walking two.

Detroit used four relievers after Bonderman left. They combined to throw 4 2/3 innings of one-hit ball.

Rondell White added a solo homer and Bobby Higginson had a RBI in a four-run second inning that gave the Tigers the lead for good. White scored two runs for the Tigers, who started the season with three straight wins for the first time since 1985.

"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."

Bonderman had a forgettable rookie campaign in 2003, only avoiding the 20-loss mark after he was moved to the bullpen in the final days of the season. He surrendered three runs in the first inning of this one, but settled down after that.

"This is great. We came in with something to prove and we're doing it," Bonderman said. "A lot of people wrote us off despite all the acquisitions we made, but you know what, we're a good team. We're going to play some good baseball."

The win for the Tigers marked their first sweep against Toronto since the 1987 season.

Pat Hentgen (0-1) suffered the loss, allowing six runs -- two earned -- in 5 2/3 innings of work. He gave up just five hits, but two of the them were homers.

Carlos Delgado had a three-run homer in the setback.

Toronto got on the board during the home first on Delgado's blast. Frank Catalanotto singled to start the frame and Bonderman walked Wells one batter later. Delgado followed with a shot over the right field wall for the early edge.

Detroit would then take the lead with a four-run second inning, highlighted by Munson's homer. Earlier in the frame Higginson's sacrifice fly scored White.

The Tigers added another run in the fourth on Craig Monroe's RBI single. Hentgen struck out Carlos Pena to start the inning, but then allowed a single by Guillen. Higginson, the next batter, was hit by pitch and Carlos Guillen would touch home on Monroe's single to left, giving the Tigers a 5-3 lead.

Detroit would reach Hentgen for another run in the fifth on White's homer to straightaway center, giving the Tigers a three-run cushion at 6-3.
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