Friday, April 05, 2002

American League roundup

Enquirer staff and news services

Tampa Bay Devil Rays' Ben Grieve hits a second inning home run off Detroit Tigers pitcher Jose Lima.
(AP photo)
| ZOOM |
        ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Randy Winn hit a pinch-hit grand slam and Ben Grieve, Brent Abernathy and Chris Gomez also homered as the surprising Tampa Bay Devil Rays remained unbeaten Thursday with a 9-2 rout of the Detroit Tigers.

        The Devil Rays became just the seventh team to start a season 3-0 after losing 100 or more games the previous season. They joined the 1905 Philadelphia Phillies, 1906 Brooklyn Dodgers, 1929 Boston Braves, 1952 St. Louis Browns, 1971 Chicago White Sox and 1994 New York Mets.

        Tampa Bay is three games over .500 for the first time since April 24, 1999 — 19 games into its second season. It's also the first time the club has been in first place in the AL East after opening day.

        The Devil Rays will try to continue their success streak Friday when they play New York in the Yankees' home opener.

        Ryan Rupe (1-0) limited the Tigers to three hits in seven shutout innings. He struck out seven and walked none.

        Grieve and Abernathy hit solo homers off Jose Lima (0-1), who only lasted two innings. Gomez hit a solo shot off rookie Terry Pearson, and Winn connected in the fifth off Matt Miller.

        Rangers 7, Athletics 5

OAKLAND, Calif. — Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pair of pitches, causing the benches to empty, and the Texas Rangers ended the Oakland Athletics' 20-game home winning streak.

        The Athletics' string was the fifth-longest in the majors since 1901. They had not lost at the Coliseum in the regular season since last Aug. 24 against Detroit, though the Yankees beat them there in the playoffs.

        John Rocker made his first appearance for Texas and had trouble holding a 7-2 lead in the ninth inning.

        The first two batters reached base against Rocker and rookie Carlos Pena hit a three-run homer. With one out, Frank Menechino singled and Scott Hatteberg walked. Rocker stayed in the game and hung on, getting David Justice on a fly ball and striking out Miguel Tejada.

        Bill Haselman hit a three-run home run as the Rangers recorded their first victory of the season after three losses to the A's. Texas had lost six straight overall to Oakland.

        When Rodriguez was plunked by Cory Lidle (0-1) for the second time to lead off sixth inning, he stared angrily and cursed at the right-hander. The benches emptied, but no scuffles ensued and there were no ejections.

        Doug Davis (1-0), who was 3-0 with a 2.75 ERA against the A's last season, allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings.

        Blue Jays 7, Twins 2

TORONTO — Roy Halladay pitched eight strong innings, rookie Eric Hinske hit three doubles and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Minnesota in their home opener.

        A crowd of 47,469 at SkyDome saw Raul Mondesi get four hits, including a homer, and drive in three runs.

        Halladay (1-0) allowed one earned run and five hits, three of them infield singles. He struck out eight and walked none.

        Toronto's Carlos Delgado reached base in his first 10 plate appearances of the season before popping out in the eighth.

        Joe Mays (0-1) allowed four runs on nine hits in just 3 2-3 innings.

        Yankees 4, Orioles 1

BALTIMORE — Mike Mussina pitched seven shutout innings and Robin Ventura hit his second go-ahead homer in as many nights, a three-run shot that propelled the New York Yankees past the Baltimore Orioles.

        Rookie Nick Johnson also homered for the Yankees, who won twice at Camden Yards after losing the season opener.

        Ventura, obtained in a December trade with the New York Mets, hit an 0-2 pitch from Sidney Ponson (0-1) over the center-field wall to put the Yankees up 3-0 in the fourth.

        That was enough offense for Mussina (1-0), who improved to 4-1 against his former team. The right-hander allowed four hits, struck out three and walked one.

        Mike Stanton pitched the eighth. Jay Tessmer started the ninth, but left after a pair of walks.

        Mariano Rivera gave up an RBI single to Melvin Mora before getting the last two outs for his second save.


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