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Tigers have lost past nine of 11 games

9/27/2002

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