The Tigers Kenny Rogers delivers a pitch during the fi rst inning against the Indians. It was his fi rst start of the spring, and the left-hander allowed two hits in two scoreless innings.
Joe Ranze / AP Enlarge
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Even with all those all-stars, the Detroit Tigers had a quiet day at the plate.
Jake Westbrook and seven other Cleveland pitchers held Detroit's strong lineup to four hits - one that quickly turned into an out - and Kelly Shoppach and Michael Aubrey had RBIs as the Indians beat the Tigers 3-1 yesterday.
Picked to unseat the Indians in the AL Central after adding Miguel Cabrera, Dontrelle Willis, Edgar Renteria and Jacque Jones during the off-season, the Tigers managed only a second-inning single by Magglio Ordonez through seven innings.
In the eighth, Matt Joyce, batting for Ordonez, lined to deep right-center for Detroit's second hit.
However, Joyce stepped over the bag as he rounded second, and his baserunning blunder was spotted by Cleveland first-base coach Luis Rivera.
Before the next pitch, the Indians appealed and Joyce was called out.
The Indians Travis Hafner fouls a ball into the dirt. Cleveland s designated hitter was hitless in three at-bats yesterday.
Joe Ranze / AP Enlarge
Only a bases-loaded walk yielded by Indians reliever Chuck Lofgren in the ninth prevented the Tigers from being shut out.
Detroit's Brandon Inge, who lost his starting job at third when Cabrera came over in a trade, caught for the first time since 2004.
And he wasn't happy about it.
One of Detroit's most popular players, Inge has asked to be traded and the Tigers are trying to accommodate him.
They have reportedly contacted the Los Angeles Dodgers about the versatile Inge, who can also play the outfield.
"Nothing has changed, but having caught a game reinforces my thoughts," Inge said. "It really makes me realize that I love third base."
Inge hasn't backed off his request to be traded, but isn't going to make it an ongoing issue throughout camp.
"I'm not going to say, 'Get me out of here,'•" he said. "Because this organization has stuck with me and there's a lot of respect."
Westbrook was scheduled to pitch Cleveland's spring opener but got scratched because of arm soreness.
He pitched a 1-2-3 first inning before heading to the bullpen to throw a simulated inning so he could reach his 25-pitch limit.
"My arm felt good," said Westbrook, who threw nothing but sinkers. "That's what I was looking for."
Westbrook hasn't specified where his arm hurts, but he's glad the Indians decided to give him a rest.
"I'm glad we did what we did," he said.
Detroit's Kenny Rogers, 43, allowed two hits in two scoreless innings.
"I feel my age [though]," said Rogers.
"I can't do what I did two years ago or five years ago so I have to adjust. I throw a pitch and start moving, hoping I'll be where they hit it."
The Detroit Tigers say they sold 202,000 tickets on the first weekend of single-game ticket sales.
Club spokesman Rob Matwick also says the team has sold the equivalent of more than 26,000 season tickets, an increase of nearly 8,000 from a year ago.
The Tigers still have a limited number of full-season ticket packages available. Opening Day tickets are included in the 81-game packages; the 27 and 41-game packages include an additional game against the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox.
Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski has said acquiring all-stars Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis at the winter meetings led to an unprecedented spike in ticket sales.