Tigers ride four-run fifth inning past Indians

DETROIT -- A record-breaking crowd at Comerica Park roared when the sun peeked through the clouds on a cold afternoon. The Detroit Tigers gave them more reasons to cheer.

Jhonny Peralta bobbled Magglio Ordonez's grounder, and the third baseman's throwing error cleared the bases in a four-run fifth inning that lifted Detroit over the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Friday in its home opener.

The game drew 45,010 -- the most for a Comerica Park opener and the second-largest crowd in the ballpark's 11-year history -- and some of the loudest ovations were for sunshine as temperatures hovered around 40 degrees.

"I noticed that a couple times when they got fired up," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "I'm old. I was cold too. It was a nice day for us. We gave them a good show."

Ordonez led the way.

Besides his sharply hit grounder, he had an RBI double in the seventh that put Detroit ahead 5-2 and kept his batting average at .500.

Ordonez is picking up where he left off last season. He hit .375 following the All-Star break after slumping with a .260 batting average before it in 2009.

"There's no question in my mind that the first half of last year was a fluke," Leyland said. "The ball sounds good off his bat. There were some health issues with his wife [last year] and he didn't get any at-bats in spring training."

Travis Hafner's second-inning solo homer put the Indians ahead, and Mike Redmond's RBI double in the fifth gave them a two-run lead that vanished after Peralta's rushed throw with two outs.

"That's the tough thing about playing in the other team's home opener, there's a big crowd that gets excited when the game starts to shift," Redmond said. "We made one mistake that broke the game open."

Rookies Scott Sizemore and Austin Jackson had hits and scored runs in the pivotal fifth.

Jackson, who scored a season-high two runs, had more trouble finding his locker in the clubhouse before the game than he did at the plate or in the field.

"I guess that's a good sign," he said with a grin. "If I can be this relaxed every day, I think I'll be OK."

Sizemore and Jackson made a solid first impression, playing at Comerica Park for the first time, while Johnny Damon went 0-for-4 in his Detroit debut as a Tiger. Damon is 0-for-13 over the last three games.

Rick Porcello (1-0) gave up two runs in five-plus innings. Phil Coke and Joel Zumaya combined for three innings of scoreless relief and Jose Valverde got his first save in two chances.

"When you're using your relievers because you want to, not because you have to, you're in business," Leyland said.

David Huff (0-1) allowed four runs -- just one earned -- in six innings.

"I thought David pitched very well, but you aren't going to beat that team 2-1 many times," manager Manny Acta said.

Huff got into trouble by loading the bases in the fifth and letting Jackson hit an RBI single. He appeared to get out of the jam when Ordonez hit a sharp grounder to Peralta, but he bobbled the ball and hurried a throw to Sizemore, Adam Everett and Jackson score to make it 4-2.

"It's tough when that happens behind you, but you can't blame Jhonny," Huff said. "That's a play he makes hundreds of times in his sleep."

The Indians didn't get much rest before the game, arriving at their Detroit-area hotel at 3:15 a.m. after opening the season in Chicago.

"There's no excuse," Acta said. "Professional athletes have a lot of short nights, and this was just another one."

Game notes
The largest crowd at Comerica Park was 45,280 on July 26, 2008. ... Cleveland's home opener is Monday vs. the Texas Rangers. ... The Indians started a day over .500 for the first time since the 161st game of the 2008 season. ... Matt Giraud of Kalamazoo, a fifth-place finisher on "American Idol," sang the national anthem and comic Tim Allen presented one of the ceremonial baseballs for the first pitch. ... Ernie Harwell's lawyer and friend, Gary Spicer, said a suite was filled with the doctors and nurses who have helped the famed broadcaster. Harwell said last September he has inoperable cancer, a month after surgery for an obstructed bile duct. Spicer said Harwell planned to watch the home opener on TV while listening to the radio broadcast at his home in suburban Detroit.