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A's Take a Pounding from the Tigers, 20-4

April 14, 1993|HARRY ATKINS | ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT — If Detroit can score 20 runs a game, who knows? Maybe the Tigers won't have to worry about their pitching.

The Tigers, who led the major leagues in scoring last year, pulled the power switch Tuesday and zapped the Oakland Athletics 20-4.

Rob Deer, Mickey Tettleton and Travis Fryman each hit three-run homers as the Tigers set a team record for runs in a home opener.

Amazingly, Cecil Fielder did not drive in a run despite four hits. He has led the majors in RBIs the last three seasons.

"Detroit isn't going to have much trouble scoring 15 runs in this park," said Storm Davis (0-2), who gave up eight runs on seven hits in 2 1-3 innings. "They remind me a lot of the '82 Brewers. There isn't an easy out in the lineup, especially not here.

"They are never going to be out of a game."

Last season, the Tigers became only the second team in history to lead the majors in scoring, but give up more runs than they scored. Then, they started the 1993 season by going 2-4 the first week despite scoring 39 runs. Tiger pitchers yielded 30 runs, compiling a 5.40 ERA over those six games.

"If these pitchers are smart, they're going to look around and say, 'Hey, if I can go six innings around here, with these guys, I've got a chance to win some games,"' manager Sparky Anderson said.

The previous club record for runs in a home opener was set in a 15-7 victory over Cleveland in 1922. It also tied the most runs ever allowed by Oakland, set on two other occasions.

"There are a few games every year when you are vulnerable, and this was one of those," Oakland manager Tony LaRussa said. "A lot of times, we've gotten through those. But today, we got caught."

Mike Moore (1-1), the former Oakland pitcher whom the Tigers obtained as a free agent, allowed four runs on five hits in 6 2-3 innings for the victory. It was a big turnaround from Moore's first two starts when his ERA soared to 12.00 after allowing eight runs on 12 hits in just six innings.

"The funny thing is, I felt I pitched better in those two starts than I did today," Moore said. "I had really good stuff in Anaheim (on Friday) and only lasted 1 1-3 innings. Today, I felt I only had mediocre stuff. But, as you can see, it was working.

"The toughest thing today was sitting in the dugout and waiting through out long innings. It made every inning seem like the first inning for me."

The Tigers, who dropped two of three to the Athletics in Oakland to start the season last week, scored in each of the first four innings. They scored four in the first, three in the second, one in the third and eight in the fourth. Detroit, which had 18 hits and 12 walks, added four unearned runs in the eighth.

Fryman matched a career-high with five RBIs and Fielder equaled a career-high with his four hits, all singles, before being lifted for a pinch runner in the fourth.

After Fryman singled home Lou Whitaker in the first, Fielder singled to set up Deer's homer into the second deck in left field.

Fryman singled home Tony Phillips in the second. Whitaker and Fryman both scored on Davis' throwing error after he picked up Fielder's nubber in front of the plate.

Davis walked two and Mike Mohler walked another to load the bases in the third. Tettleton scored on Whitaker's bases-loaded RBI grounder.

Tettleton homered off the left-field foul screen against Mohler with two runners on in the fourth. Fryman's homer off Mohler scored Whitaker and Milt Cuyler.

Oakland scored two runs in the third. Moore walked Rickey Henderson on four pitches with the bases loaded to force in Dave Henderson and Mike Bordick scored as Jerry Browne grounded into a double play.

Coming into the game, Moore had allowed eight earned runs and 12 hits in six innings. He lost to the A's, 9-4, at Oakland on opening day.

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