Renteria, Cabrera help Tigers rough up Sabathia, spank Indians

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers are beginning to hit the way everybody expected.

Nobody anticipated this kind of start from Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia.

Edgar Renteria hit a grand slam, Miguel Cabrera also homered and drove in five runs and the resurgent Tigers roughed up a struggling Sabathia in a 13-2 victory over the Indians on Wednesday night.

"C.C. is tough to hit," said Renteria, who matched his career high with five RBIs. "He's one of the greatest pitchers in baseball. He had a bad night. We got lucky."

Cabrera finished with four hits and Renteria's fifth-inning slam capped Detroit's offensive outburst against Sabathia (0-3), last year's AL Cy Young Award winner who has a 13.50 ERA after four outings. That's one big reason the Indians (5-10) have lost three straight and eight of 11.

"We've had sloppy play, made mental mistakes and there's no excuse," manager Eric Wedge said after Sabathia and the Indians were lustily booed.

With newcomers Renteria and Cabrera finding their strokes, Detroit's loaded lineup has broken loose after an early slump. The Tigers have scored 30 runs while winning three in a row following a 2-10 start.

"We can have nights like this," Renteria said. "We are having good at-bats."

After failing in two starts during the 2007 AL Championship Series against Boston and then opening this year with three poor performances, Sabathia was eager to get untracked against the Tigers, expected to be Cleveland's chief rival in the AL Central.

Instead, he was jeered as he trudged to the dugout after giving up nine runs, eight hits and five walks over four-plus innings.

"I'd boo myself, too," said Sabathia, who can become a free agent after this season.

The left-hander insisted his contract situation is not a distraction. He requested in February that all negotiations be suspended until after the season so that he could focus on pitching. Yet he has walked 14 and yielded 32 hits in 18 innings. A year ago, he walked only 37 in 241 innings while going 19-7 with a 3.21 ERA.

"My arm feels fine. I just can't command either side of the plate," Sabathia said.

Armando Galarraga (1-0) gave up two runs and only one hit over 6 2/3 innings in his Detroit debut. Acquired from Texas in February, the right-hander was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday after right-hander Francis Beltran was designated for assignment.

David Dellucci's first-inning homer put Cleveland ahead 1-0. Galarraga, who struck out six, then retired 16 straight before hitting pinch-hitter Jamey Carroll and Kelly Shoppach with pitches to open the seventh.

"I was a little bit nervous, but when I gave up the home run, I had to get going," Galarraga said. "The runs made me feel more relaxed."

Wedge was upset that the Indians, hitting an AL-worst .232, often swung early in the count.

"Not to take anything away from [Galarraga], but we gave away at-bats and that really bothers me," Wedge said. "I don't have much tolerance for that at all."

Meanwhile, Sabathia couldn't hit his spots. He walked Magglio Ordonez on four pitches to open the second and gave up Cabrera's third homer to fall behind 2-1.

In the third, Placido Polanco, hitting .149, drove a leadoff double high off the wall in left. Two outs later, Cabrera's sharp single made it 3-1. When Carlos Guillen grounded out to end the third, Sabathia yelled obscenities at himself as he stomped off the mound.

"I'm always my worst critic," Sabathia said. "It's frustrating that I've pitched four games and not even given my team a chance in any of them. That's unacceptable."

Cleveland fans screamed plenty during Detroit's seven-run fifth as Sabathia failed to get an out. He walked the bases loaded, and Cabrera's two-run single made it 5-1. Guillen's single reloaded the bases for Renteria, who hit a first-pitch, down-the-middle fastball for his fifth career slam.

The first out of the Tigers' sixth finally came on the 49th pitch -- a strikeout of Ivan Rodriguez by reliever Tom Mastny, who had yielded a single and double to the first two batters he faced.

Later in the inning catcher Victor Martinez failed to tag Marcus Thames, stepping on the plate because he thought the bases were loaded and he could get a forceout. Thames scored as Martinez threw to third to at least get an out.

Mastny walked the bases loaded in the sixth and was replaced by Craig Breslow, whose two-out walk to Brandon Inge made it 11-1.

Game notes
Detroit totaled 17 hits and nine walks. ... In his past two starts, Sabathia has yielded 20 hits and 18 runs in only 7 1/3 innings. ... Hall of Famer Bob Feller, 89, celebrated the 68th anniversary of his Opening Day no-hitter for Cleveland in 1940 in Chicago. ... Indians third baseman Casey Blake (1-for-15), second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera (0-for-15) and shortstop Jhonny Peralta (1-for-18) are in a combined 2-for-48 (.042) slump.