Tigers 3, Padres 2


Wednesday, June 4th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Dmitri Young crossed home plate after hitting the go-ahead home run and pointed to his little brother, Delmon, in the stands.

It was a special day for the Youngs, all right.

Eleven hours after the Tampa Bay Devil Rays made Delmon the top pick in baseball's amateur draft, Dmitri hit a three-run homer in the ninth inning to give Detroit a 3-2 win over San Diego on Tuesday night. It was a matchup of the worst teams in the majors, and the Padres are just percentage points ahead of the Tigers.

Wearing a Devil Rays cap, Delmon Young visited the Detroit clubhouse afterward and told his brother, "Good job."

"Family's the most important thing to me, but when you can share special moments like today, it makes it that much better," Dmitri Young said.

"Twelve years ago when I was drafted, he was 5 years old and we took pictures together. I mean, who would have thought?

"Once I went on to the minor leagues and on to my big league career, my friends at home always called me up and said, `Oh, you ought to see your brother. Your brother could kick your (rear)."

Young hit his 10th homer, a line shot to right-center, on the first pitch he saw from Brian Lawrence. Young and manager Alan Trammell knew the ball was going over the head of right fielder Gary Matthews Jr., but didn't think it was going out.

"I just thought it was an extra-base hit, like a double," Young said. "I saw it get over Matthews' head. But I didn't realize it cleared the wall."

It was the second straight start in which Lawrence stumbled after taking a shutout into the ninth.

"The only bad pitch I threw was to Young -- one terrible pitch," he said.

Lawrence (3-7) allowed just four hits against the Tigers, whose .215 batting average is the worst in the majors, and he led 1-0 going into the ninth. But he allowed consecutive singles to Ramon Santiago and Bobby Higginson before being chased by Young's homer.

Manager Bruce Bochy visited Lawrence after Santiago's single. After leaving Lawrence in the game, Bochy received an ovation from the crowd of 15,521, which had seen many meltdowns by San Diego's bullpen this year. Bochy tipped his cap to the crowd.

"I wasn't going to take him out," Bochy said. "He felt great. At that point, it was his game. We felt like we had our guy out there. He just made a mistake there."

On Thursday, Lawrence took a three-hit shutout into the ninth against Milwaukee but allowed three straight RBI hits and lost 3-2.

The Tigers and Padres played scoreless ball until the seventh inning, when Sean Burroughs and Xavier Nady hit consecutive doubles to give the Padres a 1-0 lead.

Jamie Walker (2-2) got the win despite allowing a ninth-inning run, on Lou Merloni's infield single. Franklyn German got his fourth save in five chances.

It was the first time the teams had played since Detroit beat San Diego in the 1984 World Series in five games.

Now they're at the bottom of their respective leagues, the Padres (17-42) with the worst record in the NL and the Tigers (15-40) the worst in baseball.

The Padres haven't won consecutive games in more than five weeks, since winning three straight from April 23-25. They've lost 29 of 36.

Thwarted by three Tigers double plays, the Padres finally broke through against Nate Cornejo in the seventh. Burroughs hit an opposite-field double just inside the left-field line with one out. Nady followed with a double to left to score Burroughs.

The Padres twice had runners on third base, only to have the inning end with a double play.

Cornejo allowed one run and nine hits in seven innings, striking out one and walking one. Notes: Just more than an hour before the game, Trammell was giving Cornejo tips on bunting. It didn't do much good, as Cornejo struck out while trying to bunt in his first at-bat. ... Trammell grew up in San Diego and was the Padres' first base coach for three seasons before being named Detroit's manager in October. He was MVP of the 1984 World Series. ... Tigers 3B Eric Munson called Bochy "Mr. Bochy" when they talked before the game. Munson and Bochy's oldest son, Greg, were high school teammates. ... Several members of the Padres' 1984 NL championship team were introduced before the game, including Dave Dravecky, Ed Whitson, Terry Kennedy and Tim Flannery. Noticeably absent was Tony Gwynn, now the baseball coach at San Diego State.