Toronto at Detroit

W: N. Robertson (1-0) L: A. Burnett (0-1)
S: T. Jones (1)
HR: TOR - A. Hill (1)   DET - C. Granderson (1)

Tigers enjoy AL ring ceremony, but have to hang on for one-run win

CBS wire reports

DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers received their AL championship rings, then treated thousands of hardy fans to the same roller-coaster experience of last October.

Curtis Granderson hit his first career grand slam as Detroit built a nine-run lead Wednesday, and the Tigers held on for a 10-9 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

"This lets us know that we can go ahead and hold teams off, and that's one of the things we're going to have to do over 162 games," Granderson said.

Coming off their first pennant since 1984, the Tigers lost Monday's opener 5-3 in 10 innings. Detroit chased A.J. Burnett (0-1) early in this one, and Granderson connected off Shaun Marcum for his first homer of the season, capping an eight-run third with a drive that landed on top of the wall in right-center, hitting the yellow home-run line, and bounced back onto the field.

Granderson also had an RBI triple in the seventh off Victor Zambrano and tied his career high with five RBI.

"We just wanted to try and continue and add runs on knowing the game's not over," he said. "The game's not over until we come off that field."

Toronto closed with seven runs in the eighth off relievers Jason Grilli and Fernando Rodney but the potential tying run was stranded at third when Magglio Ordonez, who lost two fly balls in the swirling wind earlier in the inning, made a running catch of Troy Glaus' drive to right-center.

"That was the play of the game," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "It was so tough out there. A lot of guys could have given up after having a little bit of tough inning. "Those conditions out there were just brutal."

The wind became a factor in the late innings, holding up several pop flies and carrying a handful of seemingly easy outs out of the reach of Ordonez. The forecast for Thursday's series finale calls for similar conditions.

Todd Jones worked the ninth for his first save. After Toronto put two on with one out, Jason Smith flied out and Reed Johnson popped out.

"We're not going to be able to beat everyone up," Granderson said. "We're going to have to be able to hold off some late-inning comebacks like today."

Kenny Rogers drew the loudest ovation from fans when players received their championship rings in a pregame ceremony. The 42-year-old left-hander, who won all three of his starts during the 2006 postseason, had surgery Friday to remove a blood clot from his pitching shoulder. He's not expected back until July.

Nate Robertson (1-0), who moved up to Rogers' spot in the rotation, allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings, leaving after Aaron Hill's two-run homer.

While a record crowd of 44,297 came to the opener, just 24,881 fans turned out on a day with a 43-degree temperature, chilly wind and a threat of snow.

Burnett gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in two-plus innings, leaving after Detroit's first six batters reached in the third. It was his shortest start since June 30, 2004, when he recorded three outs for Florida at Atlanta.

"It's embarrassing," he said. "This is the big leagues. It's unacceptable. The only good thing about today was seeing the heart of this team. They almost got me off the hook."

Pinch-hitter Smith, acquired by Toronto in the winter meeting draft, had a three-run triple against Grilli in the eighth, his first at-bat with the Blue Jays. Vernon Wells added a two-run double against Rodney, Monday's loser.

"We could've gone in the tank on a cold day," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "We hung around and gave ourselves a chance."

Zambrano, coming back from elbow surgery, made his first big league appearance since a relief appearance for the New York Mets on Sept. 20, 2005.

Ivan Rodriguez, who was hitless in the opener, went 4-for-5 for the Tigers. Carlos Guillen added two RBI.


  • Rogers, who flew from Texas, and four minor league players who were on last season's active roster joined the Tigers for the ceremony.
  • DH Gary Sheffield singled in the fifth for his first hit with Detroit.
  • Gibbons kept 1B Lyle Overbay, a lefty, in the lineup against Robertson and said he may continue to bat him against left-handed pitchers.
  • Granderson had five RBI last May 26 against Cleveland.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Curtis Granderson smacks his first career grand slam, which is worth props from Ivan Rodrgiuez.  (AP)
Curtis Granderson smacks his first career grand slam, which is worth props from Ivan Rodrgiuez. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Granderson
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 1

V. Wells
AB 5
R 0
H 2
HR 0

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
Reed Johnson, LF6121012 .200
Lyle Overbay, 1B4120110 .500
Vernon Wells, CF5022003 .333
Frank Thomas, DH5220002 .333
Troy Glaus, 3B4120111 .375
Alex Rios, RF5120002 .300
Aaron Hill, 2B5122015 .250
Gregg Zaun, C3111201 .125
    John McDonald, PR0000000 .000
Royce Clayton, SS3000011 .200
   a- Jason Smith, PH-SS2113002 .500
a-tripled for Clayton in the 8th
2B - Lyle Overbay (2, Rodney), Vernon Wells (1, Rodney)
3B - Jason Smith (1, Grilli)
HR - Aaron Hill (1, Robertson)
RBI - Reed Johnson (1), Vernon Wells 2 (3), Aaron Hill 2 (2), Gregg Zaun (1), Jason Smith 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Aaron Hill 2 (2)
SB - Vernon Wells (2, 3rd base off Rodney/Rodriguez)
Team LOB - 10
Toronto Blue Jays
A.J. Burnett (L,0-1) 2566420 27.00
Shaun Marcum 2433231 13.50
Jeremy Accardo 2200020 0.00
Victor Zambrano 1211300 9.00
Jason Frasor 1000010 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Burnett 55-26, Shaun Marcum 43-28, Jeremy Accardo 30-20, Victor Zambrano 31-16, Jason Frasor 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Burnett 1-3, Shaun Marcum 1-2, Jeremy Accardo 3-1, Victor Zambrano 1-2
Batters Faced - A.J. Burnett 15, Shaun Marcum 12, Jeremy Accardo 8, Victor Zambrano 8, Jason Frasor 3
Detroit Tigers
Curtis Granderson, CF5225122 .400
Placido Polanco, 2B5131011 .600
Gary Sheffield, DH4110113 .143
Magglio Ordonez, RF2210301 .333
Carlos Guillen, SS5122004 .200
Ivan Rodriguez, C5140000 .444
Sean Casey, 1B3000207 .167
Craig Monroe, LF4102114 .000
Brandon Inge, 3B4100138 .000
3B - Curtis Granderson (1, Zambrano)
HR - Curtis Granderson (1, Marcum)
RBI - Curtis Granderson 5 (5), Placido Polanco (2), Carlos Guillen 2 (2), Craig Monroe 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Curtis Granderson 4 (4)
SB - Curtis Granderson (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Zaun), Placido Polanco (1, 2nd base off Burnett/Zaun)
Team LOB - 12
DP - Guillen-Polanco-Casey
Detroit Tigers
Nate Robertson (W,1-0) 5.2722241 3.18
Jason Grilli 1.2555110 27.00
Fernando Rodney 0.2322000 21.60
Todd Jones (S,1) 1100100 0.00
WP - Nate Robertson (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Nate Robertson 104-57, Jason Grilli 40-22, Fernando Rodney 22-11, Todd Jones 19-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nate Robertson 10-2, Jason Grilli 2-2
Batters Faced - Nate Robertson 25, Jason Grilli 11, Fernando Rodney 5, Todd Jones 5
Game Information
Attendance - 24881
Game Time - 3:32
Temperature - 43
Umpires - Home - Chuck Meriwether, First Base - Alfonso Marquez, Second Base - Tim Timmons, Third Base - Rick Reed