Series: Game 3 of 3

Toronto won 3-0

Game 1: Tuesday, September 16
Game 2: Wednesday, September 17
Game 3: Thursday, September 18

Blue Jays 10

(79-73, 43-35 away)

Tigers 6

(38-114, 20-57 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 18, 2003

    Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 310003003 10 12 1
    DET 020101002 6 6 0

    W: J. Towers (7-1)

    L: M. Maroth (7-21)

    Tigers keep falling to new lows

    DETROIT (AP) -- Detroit Tigers manager Alan Trammell knows his team is on the verge of major league history.

    The Tigers lost their 114th game, the fifth-highest total ever, falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 10-6 Thursday night as Mike Maroth became the first pitcher in 29 years to lose 21 games.

    "We are just about out of gas right now," Trammell said. "We are having a lot of trouble putting nine innings together and keeping a team down. Some of that is due to inexperience, but a lot of it is because of the losing. That wears on you. We've got 10 games left, and we have to find a way to get through this."

    Detroit (38-114) was swept in a series for the 20th time this season, matching the Tigers' total last year. The Tigers have lost six straight, including three against Toronto, their 10th losing streak of six or more games this season.

    Their goal is to split their final 10 games and avoid matching the post-1900 record for losses in a season.

    "We've just got to finish as strong as we can," Shane Halter said. "If we break the record or if we don't, we at least can know we gave it everything we've got."

    The only teams with more losses are the 1935 Boston Braves (38-115), 1916 Philadelphia Athletics (36-117), 1962 New York Mets (40-120) and 1899 Cleveland Spiders (20-134).

    Seven of Detroit's final 10 games are against Minnesota, the AL Central leader, and three are against Kansas City, a team still in contention.

    "Obviously, we never expected to have 38 wins on this date, but we can't dwell on that," Trammell said. "Even if the number was 39 or 44 or even 56, we would still know that we have an awful lot left to do. Nothing is going to change that."

    Maroth (7-21) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings. He is the first 21-game loser since 1974, when Mickey Lolich lost 21, and Bill Bonham, Randy Jones and Steve Rogers lost 22.

    "I really don't have an explanation for this season," Maroth said. "We are just going to keep trying and hope we can win a few games in these last 10 days."

    Josh Towers (7-1) allowed four runs and five hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one. Dan Reichert and Cliff Politte finished the six-hitter.

    "It was a bit of a battle tonight," Towers said. "My arm felt good, but I just wasn't locating the ball. I was leaving a lot of pitches over the plate and falling behind a lot, which isn't good. I had to battle through that."

    Ramon Santiago drove in a career-high four runs for Detroit.

    Toronto put together five straight singles with two outs in the first, the last three producing RBI for Josh Phelps, Bobby Kielty and Mike Bordick. Reed Johnson homered for a 4-0 lead in the second.

    "They weren't crushing the ball -- they found a hole five straight times," Maroth said. "That was very strange, but it is the type of thing that has happened all season."

    Santiago hit a two-run single in the bottom half, and Kevin Witt made it 4-3 in the fourth with a 437-foot homer over the right-center field scoreboard.

    Toronto scored three runs in the sixth on Dave Berg's RBI single, Kevin Cash's safety squeeze bunt and Johnson's run-scoring single off Chris Mears.

    "Reed had some great at-bats tonight," Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. "He's a good little player and he has a lot of confidence, which you like to see in a young guy."

    Carlos Pena hit an RBI single in the bottom half as Detroit closed to 7-4. Vernon Wells hit a three-run homer in the ninth, his 34th of the season, off Jamie Walker.

    Santiago hit a two-run double in the ninth off Politte.

    Game notes

    Toronto's two homers were the 38th and 39th this season that cleared the new fence in left field but fell short of the old one. Visitors have hit 21, including six off Maroth. ... The homer extended Johnson's hitting streak to a career-best 15 games, the longest by a rookie in team history. ... The other three teams to lose 114 or more games after 1900 were managed by Hall of Famers -- Connie Mack, Bill McKechnie and Casey Stengel. ... Eric Hinske struck out in his first four at-bats.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press