Eckstein Powers Blue Jays in First Game Without Frank Thomas
Eckstein hits a three-run homer, Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3
By Lev Weinstein,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2008 5:24 PM CDT
Toronto Blue Jays short stop David Eckstein, right, turns the game-ending double play on Clete Thomas, bottom, during the ninth inning of their American League baseball game in Toronto.    ((AP Photo/The Canadian Press, J.P. Moczulski))
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(Newser) – David Eckstein hit a three-run homer, supplying some of the power Toronto might miss without Frank Thomas, and the Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3 on Sunday. A.J. Burnett (2-1) issued a season-high six walks in five innings but still managed to win for the first time in four starts. He allowed three runs and four hits.

Toronto released Thomas before the game, one day after the slumping designated hitter became angry for being taken out of the lineup. The move leaves the Blue Jays on the hook for the remainder of the $18 million, two-year contract the 39-year-old Thomas signed in November 2006. Thomas' replacement, Rod Barajas, went 0-for-3. Fans briefly chanted "We want Frank" when Barajas was up in the seventh.