TORONTO (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers can't wait for their home
opener, especially after getting off to their best start in 19
The Tigers play their first home game against Minnesota on
"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
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
"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.
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