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Tigers' pen collapses in eighth inning

CHICAGO (AP) -- Rookie manager Alan Trammell is doing his best to
stay positive during another disastrous start for the Detroit Tigers.

He can only hope that translates into some wins -- soon.

The Tigers became the first team in 40 years to open 0-6 in
consecutive seasons, giving up nine runs in the eighth inning of a
10-2 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

"We are six games into the season, but there is a still long
way to go,'' Trammell said. "It's disappointing, no question.
We'll have to regroup.''

The New York Mets were the last team to lose their first six
games in back-to-back seasons. They did it in 1962 and 1963 -- their
first two seasons -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau,
baseball's statistician.

Detroit began 0-11 last year and finished 55-106, tying Tampa
Bay for the worst record in the majors.

"The only choice you have is to keep fighting,'' said
knuckleballer Steve Sparks, whose error gave Chicago's big rally
the lift it needed.

The White Sox got five walks, a cue-shot roller to first,
Sparks' error, a two-run double by D'Angelo Jimenez, a two-run
single by Josh Paul and a three-run homer by Magglio Ordonez in the
eighth.

That wiped out Detroit's 2-1 lead, the first time the Tigers had
been ahead this season.

"It was so cold, we were just trying to get our bats going and
hang in there,'' Jimenez said.

Six of the runs in the eighth were charged to Sparks, although
none were earned because of his error.

Detroit took a 2-1 lead in the seventh on Bobby Higginson's RBI
single, but couldn't hold it on another winter-like day at U.S.
Cellular Field, where the gametime temperature was 34 degrees.

Frank Thomas walked to start the eighth and Paul, his
pinch-runner, moved up on a wild pitch by Franklyn German (0-1).
Ordonez singled to send Paul to third before Sparks, who pitched 6
2/3 innings of relief Friday, replaced German.

Paul Konerko hit a slow roller to first baseman Carlos Pena,
whose flip to first was dropped by Sparks for an error as Paul
scored the tying run.

"It was kind of a quirky play. Sparks' knuckleball is always
good and then you have the wind playing with it. But we'll take it
any way we can,'' Konerko said.

"Then you try to minimize the damage,'' Sparks said of his
error.

But the Tigers' couldn't do that.

Joe Crede walked to load the bases before Carlos Lee and Aaron Rowand popped out. But Miguel Olivo worked a walk to give Chicago a
3-2 lead and Jimenez followed with his double down the third base
line.

Paul had a two-run single before Ordonez greeted reliever Matt
Anderson with his first homer and the 150th of his career.

"With the type of lineup we have, anybody can get a big hit for
us,'' Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said after his team won its
third straight after losing three in a row to start the season.

Trammell, the shortstop on some of the Tigers' best teams under
Sparky Anderson, said he might keep the lineup card from his first
victory as a manager. When he finally gets it.

"I can stand up and take it. It's an 0-6 start. We'll keep
battling, I can tell you that,'' Trammell said.

Damaso Marte (1-0) got the win with 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Jimenez's first homer gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the third.

Detroit finally got a run in the fifth on Gene Kingsale's RBI
single, snapping a 17-inning scoreless streak dating to the fifth
inning of Friday's series opener.

Gary Knotts, making his first appearance with the Tigers and
second career start, lasted 5 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and
one run.

Game notes
Chicago rookie Josh Stewart made his major league debut and
was impressive, allowing seven hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
... Trammell shifted Higginson from No. 3 in the order to the
leadoff spot and moved Eric Munson to No. 5 in an attempt to pump
up his team's struggling offense. ... Manuel didn't start first
baseman Konerko or left fielder Lee, using Brian Daubach and
Armando Rios instead. Konerko and Lee entered as pinch-hitters in
the sixth.