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Cornejo helps give Tigers first victory

4/12/2003

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers knew they were going to
eventually win a game.

That didn't lessen the sighs of relief when it finally happened
for the Tigers and rookie manager Alan Trammell.

The Tigers ended their record-setting 0-9 start, getting a
three-run homer from Shane Halter and six strong innings by Nate
Cornejo to beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 Saturday.

"We're still 1-9, so we can't celebrate like we had just won
the World Series,'' Halter said.

Trammell kept the lineup card and the ball from the final out.

"This feels great, but to be honest, my first thought was that
now we can win tomorrow and win the series,'' Trammell said.

"It's certainly nice, but there is a lot more to this than just
one win,'' he said.

The Tigers (1-9) fell two losses short of matching last season's
0-11 start. They are the only team since 1900 to start back-to-back
seasons with nine straight losses.

"We're laughing now,'' said center fielder Hiram Bocachica.
"We almost blew it a couple times, but we hung on.''

Chicago stranded 14 runners, helping snap its eight-game winning
streak against the Tigers.

"We left a lot of men on. That was the tough thing about it, we
kept giving ourselves a shot but we couldn't seem to come
through,'' Chicago manager Jerry Manuel said. "I felt like we had
the right people up there, especially early in the ballgame.''

Cornejo (1-1) picked up his first victory since April 27, 2002,
a span of seven starts. He gave up one run on seven hits in six
innings, walking two and striking out three.

"I got into a lot of jams today, and there have been a lot of
times in the past where I've tried too hard in those situations and
made things worse,'' he said. "Today, I was able to relax and get
out of them.''

Three Tigers relievers finished, with Matt Anderson getting the
final four outs for his first save. The White Sox put runners on
first and second with two outs before Anderson struck out Aaron Rowand.

Josh Stewart (0-1) took his first career loss, allowing four
runs on five hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out
six.

"I'm going to take something from this, stay aggressive,''
Stewart said. "I was missing with a lot of fastballs today. Maybe
it was mechanically or maybe trying to do a little too much. It's a
good lesson to learn.''

After stranding two runners in the first, Chicago went up 1-0 in
the second on Tony Graffanino's first homer of the season.

Detroit, though, took the lead with three runs in the third,
ending a streak of 23 innings without an earned run. Omar Infante
walked, Bocachica doubled and Halter followed with a long homer to
left-center field.

The Tigers loaded the bases later in the inning on a hit, a walk
and an error, but Stewart struck out Brandon Inge and got Ramon
Santiago to fly out.

Chicago loaded the bases with no one out in the fourth, but
Graffanino lined into an unassisted double play by first baseman
Craig Paquette and Rowand grounded out.

The Tigers added a run in the fifth when Bobby Higginson doubled
and scored on Dean Palmer's sacrifice fly.

The White Sox left the bases loaded again in the seventh, but
Detroit couldn't get out of a similar situation in the eighth, as
Joe Crede made it 4-3 with a two-run, pinch-hit single off
Anderson.

"I really had my heart pumping in that ninth inning,'' Trammell
said. "The adrenaline was really going -- it's a feeling I hope to
have many more times.''

Game notes
Palmer started at third base, his first appearance in the
field since he played first and third on Oct. 1, 2000. All of
Palmer's 68 games since had been as a DH or pinch-hitter. ...
Graffanino's and Halter's homers cleared both the new and old
fences in left field. Minnesota's Dustan Mohr is still the only
player to hit a homer that only cleared the new, shorter fence. ...
Paquette ended an 0-for-13 start with a fifth-inning single. ...
Pinch-hitter Sandy Alomar hit into a rare 8-4 forceout in the
eighth inning. Bocachica dropped a fly ball, but recovered in time
to throw out Rowand at second.