Series: Game 3 of 3

Detroit won 3-0

Game 1: Monday, April 5
Game 2: Tuesday, April 6
Game 3: Wednesday, April 7

Tigers 6

(3-0, 3-0 away)

Blue Jays 3

(0-3, 0-3 home)

    7:05 PM ET, April 7, 2004

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 040110000 6 6 0
    TOR 300000000 3 5 2

    W: J. Bonderman (1-0)

    L: P. Hentgen (0-1)

    Detroit's first 3-0 start since 1985

    TORONTO (AP) -- 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 Toronto 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 first home game against Minnesota on Thursday afternoon.

    "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 only 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 when he was hit in the left calf by a comebacker. Bonderman, who was 6-19 last season, allowed three runs on three hits and two walks. He said he's OK.

    Four relievers pitched one-hit ball over the final 3 2-3 innings for the Tigers.

    "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."

    Carlos Delgado hit a three-run homer in the first for the Blue Jays, who were outscored 20-6 in the series.

    Vernon Wells noticed a difference in the Tigers.

    "They brought in some veteran guys that have given them some added confidence," Wells said. "They came in and played better baseball than we did. They are going to be feeling pretty good about themselves for the next week or so, and hopefully we can go there next week and return the favor."

    Losing pitcher Pat Hentgen, signed as a free agent in the offseason, allowed six runs -- two earned -- on five hits in 5 2-3 innings. The 35-year old right-hander is back where he started his career in 1991.

    "I've always loved playing here," Hentgen said. "I know this first series didn't go the way we planned, but we're a bunch of grinders and we're going to win."

    Delgado's homer gave Toronto an early 3-0 lead, but Detroit scored four unearned runs in the second after the Toronto first baseman made a costly error.

    Carlos Guillen's grounder skipped under Delgado's glove, allowing Guillen to reach second and White to reach third. Bobby Higginson followed with a sacrifice fly. Munson later hit his homer, giving Detroit a 4-3 lead.

    Toronto left fielder Frank Catalanotto bobbled a ball in the fourth, allowing Guillen to score Detroit's fifth run.

    White homered in the fifth, his second of the season.

    Game notes

    Monroe, who replaced the injured Dmitri Young in the lineup, went 2-for-3 with a walk. Young, Detroit's lone All-Star last season, is expected to miss up to six weeks after breaking a bone in his lower leg Tuesday. ... Detroit won just three games last April. They needed 22 games to do it. ... Simon Pond, the 11th Canadian to play on the Blue Jays, struck out twice in his major league debut.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press