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DETROIT Thames' slam wallops Tribe

Published: Sat, April 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.

DETROIT (AP) -- Marcus Thames started his Saturday in a North Carolina hotel room. He finished it as a big leaguer.
A few hours after finding out that he would be returning to the majors, Thames hit a grand slam to lead the Detroit Tigers to an 11-1 rout of the Cleveland Indians.
"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 today."
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."
Inge gets 3 hits
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 a batter.
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."
Early 10-0 lead
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.
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.
Crisp cf4010Infante 2b5000
Blliard 2b4010CGillen ss4320
Boone dh4111CPena 1b4212
VMrtnz c4010DYong dh3220
JHrndz 3b3010Monroe rf4212
Cora ph1000Thames lf4114
Blake rf3010Inge 3b4131
Szmore ph1000VWilsn c4000
Brssrd 1b3010Logan cf4011
Ldwick lf4000
Peralta ss3010
E--Belliard (1), Peralta 2 (4). DP--Cleveland 2. LOB--Cleveland 7, Detroit 4. 2B--CGuillen (1), Inge (1). 3B--Inge (1). HR--Boone (2), CPena (1), Thames (1). CS--Peralta (1).
Westbrook L,0-2278721
Ledezma W,1-0671103
Westbrook pitched to 7 batters in the 3rd. HBP--by German (Broussard), by Westbrook (CGuillen). Umpires--Home, Chris Guccione; First, Mike Reilly; Second, Andy Fletcher; Third, Paul Schrieber. T--2:26. A--26,037.

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