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Archive for Thursday, April 11, 2002

Tigers lose eighth straight, 7-5

April 11, 2002

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— Bobby Higginson doesn't want the Detroit Tigers to think about their record or even look at the standings.

Detroit's losing streak stretched to eight its worst start in a half-century as Frank Thomas capped a five-run fifth inning with a three-run homer that led the Chicago White Sox to a 7-5 win Wednesday.

"You can't think about it, or you'll be 0-16," Higginson said.

The Tigers, the major leagues' lone winless team, also started the 1952 season 0-8. They are off to the worst start since the Chicago Cubs lost their first 14 games in 1997, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"It's not cool," Dmitri Young said. "All the sudden, everybody is turning their backs to us and now it's us against everybody."

Detroit has lost two games since Luis Pujols replaced Phil Garner as manager and general manager Randy Smith was fired.

The Tigers are batting .154 with runners in scoring position, .230 overall, and have compounded a 6.22 ERA with numerous defensive mistakes beyond their six errors.

"It's a 162-game season, if this was football, we'd be in a big hole," Matt Anderson said. "It's April. Who remembers what you did in April?"

If the Tigers keep losing and threaten Baltimore's major league record 0-21 start in 1988, it will be an April to remember.

The White Sox, meanwhile, barely remember what the Windy City looks like.

They won three of four to split an eight-game road trip, heading into Friday's home opener against Baltimore.

"Spring training feels like it was two months ago," said Keith Foulke, who earned his second save. "I can't wait to get home."

Thomas, who hit his 350th homer Tuesday, has hit three homers in three games.

Antonio Osuna (1-0) gave up two hits in 12/3 innings, stranding two runners after he entered with two outs in the fifth and a 6-5 lead. Four relievers followed to pitch three scoreless innings.

"That's what the bullpen is for, to do the grunt work," Foulke said.

White Sox starter Jon Garland gave up five runs and 10 hits including three homers in four-plus innings.

Jose Lima (0-2), who squandered a two-run lead, allowed six runs and six hits in four-plus innings, lowering his ERA from 18.00 to 13.50.

Rangers 4, Athletics 2

Arlington, Texas John Rocker recorded his first save in Texas and Rusty Greer hit his first homer. Carl Everett stopped a 2-for-26 slump with an RBI single in the eighth off former Texas reliever Mike Venafro.

Blue Jays 9, Yankees 7

Toronto Jason Giambi hit his first two home runs for the Yankees. Giambi homered in his first two-bats but then struck out in his final three as Andy Pettitte failed to hold a 5-2 lead.

Indians 9, Twins 3

Cleveland Jim Thome busted out of another April slump with a grand slam and five RBIs as Cleveland won its seventh straight.

Devil Rays 3, Orioles 2

Baltimore Paul Wilson (1-0) allowed four hits in seven innings, sending Baltimore to its sixth straight loss. Jason Tyner drove in a run and scored one for the Devil Rays, who improved to 4-3, tying the best mark in franchise history after seven games.

Mariners 8, Angels 1

Anaheim, Calif. Bret Boone and John Olerud homered off Aaron Sele (0-2), who left the Mariners to sign a $24 million, three-year contract with the Angels in December. Sele was pounded for seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. James Baldwin (2-0) allowed one run and five hits seven innings, and Dan Wilson drove in three runs to help Seattle beat Anaheim for the 18th time in 22 games.

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