Series: Game 1 of 3

Toronto leads 1-0 (as of 9/27)

Game 1: Friday, September 27
Detroit 2Final
Toronto 5
Game 2: Saturday, September 28
Detroit 2Final
Toronto 10
Game 3: Sunday, September 29
Detroit 0Final
Toronto 1

Tigers 2

(55-104, 22-57 away)

Blue Jays 5

(76-84, 40-39 home)

    7:05 PM ET, September 27, 2002

    Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 000110000 2 - -
    TOR 30000011 - 5 - -

    W: P. Walker (10-5)

    L: A. Van Hekken (1-3)

    S: K. Escobar (37)

    Tigers have lost past nine of 11 games

    TORONTO (AP) -- The Toronto Blue Jays would love to have a few more pitchers like Pete Walker.

    Pete Walker

    The 33-year-old rookie went seven strong innings for his 10th win as the Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-2 Friday night.

    "I'll take as many of him as J.P. Ricciardi can find,'' manager Carlos Tosca said of Toronto's general manager.

    Walker, claimed off waivers from the New York Mets on May 3, allowed two runs -- one earned -- on six hits to become the first Toronto rookie to win 10 games since Mike Timlin won 11 and Juan Guzman won 10 in 1991.

    "He's been a great find, it's a great story,'' Tosca said.

    Walker (10-5), who spent 11 seasons in the minors, struck out three and walked two.

    "I'm the same pitcher I was the last few years. I haven't really changed,'' Walker said. "I was just looking for an opportunity, and thanks to the Blue Jays organization they gave it to me.''

    The Blue Jays would love to acquire more inexpensive veteran pitchers in the offseason. They don't have much beyond ace Roy Halladay.

    "There are some other guys out there like me that are just looking for an opportunity. Once you get that opportunity you have to make the most of it because you won't get another one,'' Walker said. Tom Wilson and Dave Berg each had three hits and two RBI for the Blue Jays, who have won five straight. Kelvim Escobar pitched the ninth for his 37th save in 45 chances.

    The rebuilding Blue Jays are 56-51 since Tosca replaced Buck Martinez on June 3.

    "We seem to be hitting on all cylinders,'' Tosca said.

    Craig Monroe homered for the Tigers (55-104), who have lost nine of 11 and are wrapping up their worst season since they went 53-109 in 1996.

    The Blue Jays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning.

    Shannon Stewart led off with a double and scored on Berg's RBI single off Andy Van Hekken (1-3).

    Jose Cruz Jr. followed with a single, and Carlos Delgado walked before Wilson hit a two-run single to center.

    Monroe homered in the fourth, his first.

    Catcher Kevin Cash's passed ball scored Detroit's second run in the fifth.

    After Stewart doubled in the seventh, Berg hit an RBI single to right field, giving Toronto a 4-2 lead.

    Van Hekken allowed four runs on nine hits in 6 2/3 innings.

    "I've had four pretty good games, so hopefully that will be good enough to earn a spot in the rotation next year,'' Van Hekken said.

    Reliever Matt Anderson walked Felipe Lopez with the bases loaded in the eighth, giving Toronto a 5-2 lead.

    Game notes

    The Blue Jays honored longtime Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell before the game by presenting him with a framed picture of both SkyDome and old Exhibition Stadium. Part of the inscription on the picture read "Thanks for the memories.'' Harwell will retire Sunday after 55 years of calling major league games, 42 in Detroit. ... The Blue Jays are 17-8 in September. ... Toronto 2B Orlando Hudson played the last seven innings with a little butterfly on his back. Hudson, who made a spectacular play to end the game, said he knew it was there. "I saw when she landed,'' Hudson said.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press