It was the Indians’ first error of the season. It cost them three runs and probably the game.
On a cold, grey home-opener for the Detroit Tigers, David Huff cruised through the first four innings, retiring nine straight at one point. A couple of weak hits and a costly throwing error were his undoing.
Travis Hafner got things started right for the Tribe in the top of the 2nd, hitting a 2-2 Rick Porcello pitch into the seats for the Indians’ first home-run of the 2010 campaign. The Tribe added another run in the 5th on a two-out double by catcher Mike Redmond, scoring Marte to take a 2-0 lead.
Huff ran into trouble in the bottom of the 5th as Brandon Inge started the inning with an infield single. Gerald Laird was safe at first following a bang-bang double play attempt. Scott Sizemore and Adam Everett followed with weak hits to load the bases. Austin Jackson got an RBI infield single to make the game 2-1. After Huff got Jonny Damon to pop out to Luis Valbuena, Jhonny Peralta mishandled a grounder off the bat of Magglio Ordonez and, rushing his throw to first, threw the ball past Andy Marte, clearing the bases.
Huff got into trouble again in the 6th, when he walked Carlos Guillen. Inge doubled to left, but Huff got catcher Laird to ground out, Sizemore to pop out, and got out of trouble when Everett popped out to right.
Huff had good command in his first outing. He struck out the first two batters he faced and did not get to a three-ball count until the 4th. He ended the day pitching a solid 6 innings, giving up 6 hits, 4 runs, and 1 earned run. He walked two and struck out two.
Down 4-2, the Indians threatened in the 7th with Austin Kearns and Valbuena opening the inning with walks off Tigers’ reliever Phil Coke. Manager Jim Leyland went to the bullpen, bringing on Joel Zumaya, who got Andy Marte to fly out and Mike Redmond to ground into an inning-ending double play. The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the 7th, as Jackson scored on an Ordonez double. Jose Valverde came on the pitch the ninth for his first save of the season.
Grady Sizemore had another solid game, going 2-4 with a triple and a stolen base. Asdrubel Cabrera also had two hits on the day. Ordonez and Inge led the Tigers with two hits each.
The Indians try to bounce back tomorrow at 1:05 as rookie Mitch Talbot sees his first action of 2010. He will face Jeremy Bonderman.