DETROIT (AP) -- Bartolo Colon is looking more like the promising
pitcher from a few years back, and less like the one with a
mediocre record from last season.
Ellis Burks drove in two runs, Brady Anderson homered and Colon
was solid as the Cleveland Indians beat the Detroit Tigers 5-3
Saturday. Colon made few mistakes in his second outing of the season after
becoming Cleveland's first pitcher in 34 years to throw an
Opening-Day shutout. The 28-year-old gave up three runs, five hits,
a walk and struck out four in 6 2-3 innings. Colon was just 14-12 last year, after going 47-22 from
"He's mixing his pitches up more," Cleveland manager Charlie
Manuel said. "He's really slowed down in his motion to the plate.
Every now and then, when he wants to throw the ball too hard,
that's when he gets real fast and really puts a lot into it. He's
really calmed down. He's using his breaking ball and changeup more.
I think that's the key to his success." Colon also credited the 40-degree day in Detroit. "I love to pitch in this kind of weather because when you throw
hard, the hitters feel kind of timid swinging the bat," Colon said
through an interpreter. "I'm real happy with the way I'm throwing.
I'm throwing more strikes, and having an idea on every pitch. I
worked during the winter and spring training just to be a pitcher,
not to be a thrower like I used to be." The Tigers (0-5) are baseball's lone winless team and are off to
their worst start since losing the first six games in 1992. They
have not had a winning season -- or a winning April -- since 1993. "I'm trying to get it across to the guys that we can't worry
about it," said Bobby Higginson, who hit a two-run homer. "All we
can do is go out there and play the games and try to enjoy
ourselves. Our careers are too short to do this without having any
fun. "I spent the first seven years of my career doing that, and I'm
not going to do it for the next seven. I don't think anyone in here
is worrying about this. The only time it gets mentioned is when the
media brings it up." Detroit's Nate Cornejo allowed four runs -- three earned -- on
eight hits and five walks in 5 2-3 innings. The 22-year-old made
his first start of the season, and 11th of his career. An error prevented Cornejo from getting out of a bases-loaded
jam he caused with three straight walks in the second. After striking out Russell Branyan for the second out, third
baseman Craig Paquette bobbled Einar Diaz's grounder for an error
as Travis Fryman scored the game's first run. The Indians loaded the bases again in the third, but Cornejo
ended the threat by striking out Ricky Gutierrez. "I was able to get myself out of some jams," Cornejo said.
"That's the positive thing that I'm going to take away from this
game. But I walked too many guys and I didn't make a couple pitches
that I needed to make." Detroit took its first lead since the season opener in the home
half. On consecutive pitches, Jose Macias singled and Higginson
homered -- the first allowed by Cleveland in 37 innings this year --
to put the Tigers ahead 2-1. Branyan doubled and scored, and Burks hit an RBI double to give
the Indians a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Burks chased Cornejo with an
RBI single in the sixth. Anderson's homer came in the seventh against Juan Acevedo. Jacob Cruz tripled and scored in the bottom half to make it 5-3,
and Ricardo Rincon replaced Colon following a two-out walk and got
Higginson to fly out. Bob Wickman pitched the ninth for his second save.
Cleveland starters have lasted 32 innings in five games
after throwing the fewest innings in the AL last season. ...
Detroit 2B Damion Easley left the game in the fifth with a trunk
strain, and is day to day, and his replacement, Damian Jackson,
will miss a few days after a relay throw ripped a fingernail off
his right hand. ... Anderson is 4-of-6 with a double, homer, a
stolen base and three RBI in three games. ... Cornejo won 20 games
between Detroit, Triple-A Toledo and Double-A Erie last season. He
was 4-4 with the Tigers. ... Cruz has a hit in every game this
season. ... Detroit SS Shane Halter, batting second, has one hit in