for this game

Eckstein lifts Blue Jays past Tigers

Apr 20, 2008 - 10:29 PM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Hours after letting go of one of their biggest power hitters, one of the smallest members of the Toronto Blue Jays lineup came through with a big blast.

David Eckstein hit a three-run homer as the Blue Jays won their second straight contest with a 5-3 triumph over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.

Alex Rios and John McDonald also drove in runs for the Blue Jays, who released slugger Frank Thomas earlier in the day.

Thomas, who joined the Blue Jays last season, had gotten off to a terrible start this year, batting .167 in 16 games with three home runs and 11 RBI. The 19-year veteran was benched in Saturday's contest.

"Out of respect for his career," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It's not fair to him, sitting around and becoming a part-time player - it's really not. I know he wasn't going to be happy with that and we can definitely understand that."

"Right now, everybody's just gotta keep together," Toronto catcher Gregg Zaun said. "I have no doubt in my mind that he'll bounce back on his feet with another organization."

But without Thomas, the Blue Jays, who were trailing, 2-1, in the bottom of the fourth, found offense from an unexpected source.

After McDonald drove in the tying run with a single to left, Eckstein followed with his first blast of the season - just over the wall in left field - to give Toronto a 5-2 lead. The diminutive shortstop had three home runs in 117 games last season.

"One of the things we have to do to be successful, we're going to have to get big hits with runners on base," Eckstein said. "Especially against clubs like the Tigers when you don't know if you have enough runs to win the game."

The Toronto shortstop's homer made a winner out of A.J. Burnett (2-1), who struggled through five innings, giving up three runs and four hits. The righthander walked six and struck out four, throwing 113 pitches.

Jesse Carlson and Shawn Camp combined to pitch three scoreless innings and Jeremy Accardo allowed a one-out single in the ninth before inducing Ivan Rodriguez into a game-ending double play for his fourth save.

Tigers starter Nate Robertson (0-2) lasted five innings, giving up all five runs and eight hits with one walk.

"Bottom line is the result," Robertson said. "And the results are, I gave up four runs and after we had just taken the lead. Not trying to deflect anything on anything, I lost the ballgame."

The lefthander struck out five and has surrendered at least four runs in all four of his starts.

Rookie Clete Thomas had three hits and had a two-run single to center in the top of the fourth, which had given Detroit a 2-1 lead. Thomas had two RBI in 48 at-bats coming into the game.

"I'm just going out there, try to get good pitches to hit and don't miss it," Thomas said.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    DETROIT 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
    TORONTO 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 x 5 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: DET - NATE ROBERTSON, ZACH MINER (6TH), BOBBY SEAY (8TH) AND IVAN
    RODRIGUEZ
    TOR - A.J. BURNETT, JESSE CARLSON (6TH), SHAWN CAMP
    (7TH), JEREMY ACCARDO (9TH) AND GRE

    Apr 20 4:03 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY MIGUEL CABRERA SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M CABRERA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 3
    TORONTO 5 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: J JONES (.205, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers 3, Blue Jays 5  Top 5, 0 OutsApr 20 2:46 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY DAVID ECKSTEIN (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 4TH OFF NATE ROBERTSON SCORED LYLE OVERBAY AND JOHN
    MCDONALD.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2, TORONTO 5
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: A HILL (.333, 2-FOR-2)

    Tigers 2, Blue Jays 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 20 2:36 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JOHN MCDONALD SCORED MARCO SCUTARO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MCDONALD ON FIRST, L OVERBAY ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    TORONTO 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: D ECKSTEIN (.279, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 2, Blue Jays 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsApr 20 2:34 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CLETE THOMAS SCORED JACQUE JONES AND EDGAR
    RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C THOMAS ON SECOND, R RABURN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
    TORONTO 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.242, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Tigers 2, Blue Jays 1  Top 4, 0 OutsApr 20 2:25 PM


  • AL
    AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ALEX RIOS SCORED DAVID ECKSTEIN.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A HILL ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    TORONTO 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.311, 3 HR, 15 RBI)

    Tigers 0, Blue Jays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsApr 20 1:23 PM