DETROIT (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians beat the Tigers so badly
Jim Leyland was compelled to unleash a booming, expletive-filled
tirade that could be heard outside the clubhouse.
Detroit's Chris Shelton hit his major-league leading ninth
homer, but it wasn't enough to overcome Paul Byrd's seven solid
innings or a six-run third in Cleveland's 10-2 victory over the
Tigers on Monday.
Most HR by Tigers in April since 1960
Cecil Fielder, 1996*
Chris Shelton, 2006
Tony Clark, 1997
* Finished with Yankees
"We stunk," Leyland said while speaking to reporters for less
than a minute, a terse session that ended with him abruptly
storming out of his office. "The whole ball of wax was lackluster."It's been going on here before."In Leyland's first year back in the dugout after seven away, he
is trying to turn around a franchise without a winning record since
1993 or a postseason appearance in 19 years."He wants our expectations to be greater than maybe they've
been," Nate Robertson said after giving up seven runs -- six earned
-- on eight hits over 2 1/3 innings.Despite Shelton joining a category with just three players in
baseball history -- with at least nine home runs in his team's first
13 games -- the Tigers went 2-5 on their homestand after winning
five of their first six games."I don't care about personal success," he said. "It's all
about winning."When you have a chance to take three of four from the Indians,
you've got to do it."Casey Blake's solo homer sparked the onslaught in the third for
the Indians, who won without manager Eric Wedge, back in Cleveland
for the birth of his first child earlier in the day.Bench coach Joel Skinner managed, picking up where he left off
the previous day when Wedge was ejected for arguing a call. Wedge
made the 170-mile drive to Cleveland after Sunday's game, and was
with his wife when their daughter, Ava Catherine, was born Monday
morning.Byrd (2-1) also gave up a solo homer to Carlos Guillen that made
it 8-2 in the fourth, but quieted Detroit's bats for the most part.
He gave up two runs on four hits and one walk -- after allowing 11
runs and six walks in his two previous starts -- and struck out
five. His 88-pitch outing included 64 strikes."Solo home runs can't hurt you if you're pitching that way,"
Skinner said. "His command was better in the strike zone, and when
he does that, he has success."The six-run third put the Indians ahead 7-1 and allowed Byrd to
settle into a groove."It helps you relax," he said. "You don't have to be
perfect."Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge helped the Indians score first
by making an error, which led to Eduardo Perez's RBI double in the
second inning.Shelton tied it 1-all in the home half when he pulled Byrd's 0-2
pitch barely over the left-field fence, keeping up his startling
start."I wanted to respect the inside, but it went over the middle
and he crushed it," Byrd said.Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt hit 11 home runs in the first 13
games of the 1976 season and just two other players before Shelton
had at least nine homers at the same point: Larry Walker in 1997
and Luis Gonzalez in 2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.The Indians began to break the game open when Blake led off the
third with a home run. They scored five more runs on six hits and a
walk, chasing Robertson (1-2). Cleveland scored two more runs on
four hits off reliever Jason Grilli over four innings.
DH Dmitri Young (right quadriceps strain) will not join
the Tigers when they start a road trip Tuesday at Oakland. ...
Indians RHP Fernando Cabrera (bruised right heel) was to make a
start Monday night at Triple-A Buffalo. ... In nine previous starts
against Cleveland, Robertson averaged 7.41 strikeouts per nine
innings -- but did not strike out a batter in his 49-pitch outing.
... Byrd signed as a free agent in December following a 12-win
season for the Los Angeles Angels in 2005. He improved to 6-1
against the Tigers in 10 games, including nine starts. ... The
Indians are hitting .309 as a team. ... Martinez extended his
hitting streak to 12 games.