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Lohse pitches two-hit ball for eight innings

4/3/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- The Minnesota Twins appear to have picked up
where they left off last season. Unfortunately for the Detroit Tigers, they appear to have done the same.

Kyle Lohse allowed two hits in eight innings Thursday as the
Twins beat the Tigers 3-0 to complete a season-opening three-game
sweep.

Minnesota improved to 3-0 for the second time in three years,
and now head home for the first time since last year's postseason.

"Our fans have been waiting all winter to see us again -- we
finished the year on the road and we started this one on the
road," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "It's going to be a lot
of fun, especially going back with a 3-0 record. I'm just thrilled
to get these kind of performances right out of spring training."

For Detroit, getting swept at the start of the season is a
familiar feeling. The Tigers started 0-11 last season, a skid that
caused the team to fire Phil Garner. Luis Pujols, who led the
Tigers the rest of the way, was replaced at the end of the season
by Alan Trammell.

"This isn't a time to get down -- we've got to stay positive,"
Trammell said. "I just sense that this is a club, and you've seen
it for a few years now, we tend to give in a little bit. It's going
to be our job to help them get through that."

Detroit's debut series under its latest manager showcased its
offensive struggles. The Tigers managed just two runs and 10 hits
in the series, and have lost 12 straight to the Twins.

"Right now, we're just overmatched," Detroit's Dmitri Young
said.

The game drew 8,862, the smallest crowd ever at Comerica Park,
which opened in 2000. The game-time temperature was 42 degrees.

"It was really tough out there," Minnesota's Doug Mientkiewicz
said. "Our pitchers have been great, but no one is going to score
much on a day like this."

Lohse (1-0) retired his first 16 batters before Omar Infante
lined a double into the left-center field gap with one out in the
sixth. Young added a single in the seventh inning.

"I wasn't even thinking about a no-hitter -- it was way too
early for that," Lohse said. "I was just trying to get as many
outs as I could -- it was a close game and I didn't want to make any
mistakes."

Lohse had five strikeouts and no walks, and he pitched quickly
enough to get the game over with in exactly two hours.

"There have been times in my career where guys have told me to
slow down, but not today," he said. "I think everyone was
grateful to get this one over with -- it was cold."

Eddie Guardado finished with a one-hit ninth for his second
save.

Adam Bernero (0-1), the oldest member of the Tigers rotation at
26, allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings.

"Two runs in seven innings -- I'll take that," Bernero said. "We just have to concentrate on each game and not put pressure -- 'Oh god, we've lost three in a row now' -- because the pressure is just going to keep building up."

Cristian Guzman's triple and Torii Hunter's groundout put
Minnesota on the board in the first, and the Twins got another run
in the fourth when Corey Koskie tripled off the scoreboard in
right-center and Bobby Kielty singled.

Koskie added an RBI groundout in the eighth against Franklyn German.

"Obviously, this is a great way to start," Koskie said.
"We've gotten three great pitching performances, and that will
always give you a chance to win. That team's going through some
growing pains, and we were able to take advantage."

Game notes
The Tigers claimed reliever Tyler Walker off waivers from
the New York Mets and optioned him to Triple-A Toledo. ...
Infante's flyout to the new warning track in left was the closest
any Tiger came to a hit in the first five innings. Infante's only
career homer came last Sept. 10 against Lohse. ... For the second
game in a row, Koskie was replaced in the late innings by Denny
Hocking. Koskie missed Monday's opener with a sore back.