LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Jake Westbrook struggled in his last start
before he takes the mound on opening day, giving up seven runs in
just two innings of the Cleveland Indians' 7-3 loss to the Detroit
Tigers on Wednesday.
The right-hander was hit on his pitching hand Friday in a minor
league game, but said it didn't give him any trouble Wednesday when
he gave up six hits, three walks and a hit batter.
"I was all over the place," he said. "I couldn't find my
release point. I was getting behind hitters and I just couldn't
Westbrook was named the opening day starter after C.C. Sabathia
strained his side earlier in the spring. Sabathia threw a bullpen
session Wednesday and is scheduled to pitch in a minor league game
Friday. He is not scheduled to pitch during the regular season
until April 17 against Minnesota.
Westbrook threw more than 60 pitches during his two innings then
threw another 30 in the bullpen.
"We're still building him up," Indians manager Eric Wedge
said. "Down there (in the bullpen) we can still control him a
Marcus Thames hit a bases-loaded triple in a five-run first
inning in which Westbrook walked three and hit a batter. Brandon
Inge led off the second for Detroit with a solo home run, his fifth
of the spring.
Jason Johnson, who lost the Tigers' opening day start with two
subpar outings in a row, bounced back with five effective innings.
He gave up four hits and two runs and retired the last 11 batters
Johnson said he had been throwing across his body with his hand
on the side of the ball instead of getting his hand on top of the
ball, a correction he made on Wednesday.
"My mechanics are back," Johnson said. "Cluckie (pitching
coach Bob Cluck) and I worked on it. I did a lot of dry runs on the
mound. Every start (before Wednesday), I had my hand on the side
and it flattens out my pitches."
Tiger manager Alan Trammell said Johnson eased his mind a little
bit heading into the season. He had planned on Johnson being the
opening day starter but changed his rotation and elevated Jeremy
Bonderman to No. 1 in the rotation on Monday with Johnson dropping
"That's by far his best outing," Trammell said. "He threw
more two-seam fastballs. There was success, and groundballs, with
Cleveland's Ben Broussard hit a solo homer in the seventh.
Indians RF Juan Gonzalez missed his third straight game
with a sore right hamstring. He was scheduled to play but was
scratched from the lineup before Cleveland left Winter Haven. ...
The Tigers assigned outfielder Dewayne Wise and catcher Sandy
Martinez to their minor league camp leaving 31 players still in
camp. Trammell said he hopes to set his opening-day roster on