DETROIT (AP) -- Marcus Thames started his Saturday in a North
Carolina hotel room. He finished it as a big league star.
"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
Thames was the last cut in spring training, when Detroit manager
Alan Trammell chose to keep Bobby Higginson instead of the younger
and cheaper Thames.
"It was tough," Thames said. "But I took three days off to
clear my head and get away from the game, then I went to [Triple-A]
Toledo and got ready to go."
Brandon Inge fell just short of the cycle for the Tigers. He
tripled, doubled and singled in his first three at-bats, but flew
out in the seventh.
"I'm not going to lie -- I was thinking about the homer," he
said. "But my hitting style is to take everything up the middle,
and that's not a good place to hit a home run here. I was just
hoping to make a mistake and pull something."
Carlos Pena also homered for the Tigers, who had 11 hits and
took advantage of three Cleveland errors.
"It's early, but we need to be better than that," said
Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. "We have people out there who are
capable defensively, but we need to make the plays."
Wil Ledezma was the winner in his season debut, allowing one run
and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and did not walk
Jake Westbrook (0-2) allowed a career-high eight runs -- seven
earned -- on seven hits and two walks in two-plus innings. The seven
earned runs were also a career worst.
"Today wasn't a good day," Westbrook said. "It kind of
snowballs on you once you start battling."
The Tigers scored at least once in each of the first four
innings on their way to a 10-run lead.
Pena's first homer of the season made it 2-0 in the first, and
in the second, Inge tripled and scored on Nook Logan's single
through a drawn-in infield.
Detroit then put the game away with five runs before an out was
recorded in the third.
Carlos Guillen led off with a double and Pena and Dmitri Young
both walked, loading the bases. Craig Monroe grounded to short, but
second baseman Ronnie Belliard dropped Jhonny Peralta's toss,
allowing a run to score.
"I just tried to be too quick," Belliard said. "I knew
[Young] was running hard, and I took my eyes off the ball."
Thames, who arrived at the park just before batting practice,
then gave the Tigers a 8-0 lead with his second career grand slam.
"This was fun," said Thames, who is best-known for homering
off Randy Johnson on the first pitch of his career while a member
of the Yankees.
The Indians got on the board in the top of the fourth on Aaron
Boone's second homer in as many days, but the Tigers scored three
more in the bottom half on RBI singles by Monroe and Inge, and
Peralta's second error, a bad throw on an attempted force play at
Damion Easley was the last Tigers player to hit for the
cycle, doing it against the Angels on June 8, 2001. ... Thames'
other grand slam came at Comiskey Park on July 25, 2004. ...
Westbrook's two-inning start was his shortest since a one-inning
outing at Kansas City on Sept. 11, 2003. ... Magglio Ordonez (viral
infection) missed his third straight game and remains day to day,
while Ivan Rodriguez got a routine day off. ... The Tigers placed
Martinez (sprained thumb) on the 15-day disabled list and called up