Cleveland's Jake Westbrook has given up just three earned runs in 16 innings against the rest of the American League, but Detroit has scored 16 in less than five innings. His record is 0-5.
TONY DEJAK / AP Enlarge
CLEVELAND - It may take some work to pull it off, but for the last five months of the baseball season, the Cleveland Indians should probably keep Jake Westbrook off the mound when the Detroit Tigers are the opposition. The two teams meet 13 more times, but Westbrook is best left out of the equation when they do.
Against the rest of the American League, the Tribe right-hander has been brilliant, allowing only three earned runs in 16 innings. Facing the Tigers, as he did ever so briefly last night, Westbrook has been thoroughly awful.
In less than five innings covering his two starts against Detroit, the Tigers have used him for batting practice, ripping Westbrook for 16 earned runs. Last night they pounded him for nine of those in a 10-3 rout of the Tribe.
"However I pitched, it wasn't very good and that's the bottom line," Westbrook said. "I stunk tonight, and the score showed it. They seem to have my number so far this year."
Westbrook got the first four Tigers out, hit Dmitri Young, then induced an infield pop out from Craig Monroe. After three consecutive doubles and a wild pitch, the Tigers led 3-0.
In the third inning, Westbrook allowed a single by Ivan Rodriguez, a double off the base of the wall in right by Carlos Guillen, a run-scoring groundout by Rondell White, a single through the left side by Young, and then a two-run monster homer by Craig Monroe deep into the Home Run Porch in left.
After Carlos Pena doubled up the alley in right center and Omar Infante walked, Wedge finally put Westbrook out of his misery. Jason Davis then walked Nook Logan and Brandon Inge singled for a 9-0 Detroit lead.
"Jake didn't have his best stuff tonight, and he kind of pitched away from his strengths," Tribe manager Eric Wedge said. "They got themselves into hitters' counts, and then he had to come in on them, and they were ready.
Detroit's a good hitting team. They've gotten to him a couple of times so far."
The Tribe managed just solo homers by Aaron Boone in the third inning, Grady Sizemore in the sixth, and Alex Cora in the ninth.
Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman (3-2) worked eight innings, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out seven.
"Any time a starter gives up one walk, you're probably in good shape," Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. "He was outstanding. And the offense just snowballed. We haven't played much lately, but we've been pretty crisp."
Detroit tacked on another run in the fourth when Guillen walked, White doubled into the leftfield corner, and Monroe's sacrifice fly brought Guillen home.
"Bonderman's a good pitcher and he did a great job tonight, and they gave him lots of support," Wedge said. "He has four pitches working, and he's still a young guy who is still learning."
Westbrook, who gave up a career-high nine runs and now has an 0-5 record and a 6.35 ERA, has received less than one run of support per outing from his teammates. Wedge said he expects that to change soon.
"I'm very confident with each of these position players as to what they can do up there at the plate," Wedge said. "But they have to show that same confidence."