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AL NOTES

For Thames, It's the Ultimate Wake-Up Call

Sunday, April 10, 2005; Page E10

Marcus Thames started his day in a North Carolina hotel room. He finished it as a big league star.

A few hours after finding out that he would be returning to the majors, Thames hit a grand slam to lead the host Detroit Tigers to an 11-1 rout of the Cleveland Indians.


Marcus Thames is welcomed home by Dmitri Young, right, and Carlos Peqa after a grand slam. (Duane Burleson -- AP)

"I was in the hotel at midnight, looking for some food, and the manager called me to tell me something had happened in Detroit," said Thames, who replaced injured Ramon Martinez on Detroit's roster. "A few minutes later, he called to give my itinerary. I think I got 90 minutes of sleep -- I was running on pure adrenaline today."

It was the second career grand slam for Thames, who arrived at the park right before batting practice.

"This was fun," said Thames, who is best-known for homering off Randy Johnson on the first pitch of his career while playing for the Yankees.

TWINS: Minnesota's Johan Santana was presented with his AL Cy Young Award in a brief ceremony before the team's game against the White Sox. Jim Perry (1970) and Frank Viola (1988), the Twins' other two Cy Young winners, greeted Santana on the field. . . . 1B Justin Morneau, who was hit by a pitch in the head on Thursday and still has a headache, won't play until at least Tuesday.

DEVIL RAYS: Hideo Nomo made his 300th major league start. The rest of Tampa Bay's rotation has a combined 213. Nomo retired 17 of his final 18 batters, and is now three wins short of 200 combined for his Japanese and major league careers. . . . Tampa Bay stole five bases through the fourth inning of its game against the Athletics, equaling the team record for a nine-inning game.

YANKEES: CF Bernie Williams singled for his first hit in 13 at-bats this season. He is now 1 for 16. (.063).

"With Bernie, when you don't get a hit, you start thinking about things, like 'Where are my hands?' So it becomes psychological," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said.

RED SOX: CF Johnny Damon missed the team's game against Toronto after having six stitches inserted just below his left elbow.

Damon had a painful run-in with the new color Plexiglas scoreboard in left-center field at Toronto's Rogers Center on Friday night.

BLUE JAYS: LHP Ted Lilly (shoulder) is scheduled to start against Boston today, marking his first appearance of the season.

MARINERS: RF Ichiro Suzuki has five straight multihit games after he went 2 for 4 against the Rangers.

ATHLETICS: Keiichi Yabu became the first Japanese player to pitch for Oakland. The 11-year veteran in Japan signed with the Athletics in January.

-- From News Services


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