DETROIT (AP) -- Dustan Mohr used to hate Comerica Park. Now, he
"That's the fifth or sixth ball I've hit out there, and the
first time I've gotten a homer out of it,'' Mohr said. "When I hit
it, I thought it was going to happen again, so I just started
running as fast as I could. I didn't slow down until I saw the
umpire giving the signal.''
During spring training, Trammell said he would keep his first
lineup card as a keepsake.
He changed his mind.
"I'm going to keep it when we win,'' said the former star
shortstop, who led the Tigers to the 1984 World Series and 1987 AL
East titles. "I hope I forget about this one real quick.''
Radke got 19 consecutive outs after Gene Kingsale's leadoff bunt
single. Radke got the win, striking out three and walking one over
6 2-3 innings in his fifth consecutive Opening-Day start, his
seventh overall for Minnesota. Dean Palmer chased Radke with a
two-out RBI single.
"That's as well as you can throw a baseball, especially at this
time of the year,'' Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I got
my first tongue-lashing of the season when I went out to get him.
But he couldn't do much, since I had already stolen the ball out of
It was the third straight opening win for the Twins, who
survived baseball's attempt to fold them after the 2001 season and
won the AL Central last year.
There were 40,427 tickets sold, which is a sellout, but there
were a few thousand empty seats for a game that began with the
temperature at 42.
Trammell and his coaches Kirk Gibson and Lance Parrish, both
former teammates, received the loudest cheers during pregame
introductions. Most of their players drew only polite applause.
"I wish we could've given them a little bit more, but I do
appreciate the response,'' Trammell said. "The fans have been
super to me throughout for my whole career. I don't really know how
to repay them except to give them a better product.''
While the Twins went to the playoffs last year for the first
time since 1991, losing to World Series champion Anaheim in the AL
championship series, Detroit tied Tampa Bay for the worst record in
baseball at 55-106. The Tigers, who lost their third straight
opener, are baseball's losingest team over the past decade and
haven't had a winning season since 1993.
To make Comerica Park more hitter-friendly, the distance from
home plate to the left-center wall was shortened during the
offseason to 370 feet, down from 395 feet in the ballpark's first
Mohr cleared the left-field fence against loser Mike Maroth in
the second inning for a 2-0 lead -- a drive that bounced off the old
"Hopefully, they'll just tear down that other wall,'' Maroth
said. "But I've got to keep a clear mind about that and not worry
about balls that go between.''
Maroth gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings with no
walks and three strikeouts.
Detroit scored in the seventh. With runners at first and second,
Palmer beat a throw from third baseman Denny Hocking on a soft
grounder, and Infante came around. Palmer's previous hit was on
June 24, 2001, also against the Twins. He was limited to just 12
at-bats last season due to neck and shoulder injuries.
A stiff back kept Minnesota's Corey Koskie out of the
lineup, but he is expected to play in the next game, Wednesday. ...
The Tigers became the first team in major league history with three
pitchers selected in the winter-meeting draft -- Wilfredo Ledezma,
Matt Roney and Chris Spurling -- on an Opening-Day roster. ... The
Twins were 14-4 -- and Radke was 4-0 -- against Detroit last season.
... Minnesota is the only major league team at or above .500 every
day since the start of the 2001 season. ... Mohr hit 12 homers in
383 at-bats last year and Pierzynski had six homers in 440 at-bats.
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