Gary Sheffield and Fernando Rodney had struggled a lot in the first month but on the last day of April they were two of the heroes in an 8-4 victory over the Orioles. Sheffield was at the center of attention all night long. He put the Tigers ahead 5-3 with a two run homer in the 5th. He also walked twice , was hit by a pitch, stole a base, alertly moved up on two wild pitches , scored 3 runs in all and was a visible participant in a near brawl.
Jeremy Bonderman had his usual first inning troubles giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and it took him 38 pitches to do it. He settled down a bit after that but still gave up 4 runs in 5 innings. He left with a 5-4 lead after giving up a lead off homer to Jay Gibbons in the 6th. Wil Ledezma relieved him and allowed 2 walks but was helped out immensely by Pudge Rodriguez who threw out speedsters Corey Patterson and Brian Roberts an attempted steals.
Ledezma retired the first two batters in the 7th but yielded to Rodney who struck out Miguel Tejada for the final out. Rodney then breezed through the 8th and 9th, the only base runner coming on a Brandon Inge error.
The game almost broke into brawl in the 5th inning. Bonderman had thrown inside to Tejada breaking his bat in the third. It certainly did not appear that he was trying to hit him but the Orioles retaliated anyway. Daniel Cabrera deliberately hit Gary Sheffield in the bottom of the inning. Sheffield did not respond. Not yet.
Bonderman then threw inside to Tejada, again not hitting him in the 5th. Tejada pointed and shouted towards Bonderman, Bonderman approached him the benches emptied. Nothing much happened although Joel Zumaya was clearly ready to rumble and had to be restrained. Sheffield got into it a little with Cabrera but again things were kept under control.
Sheffield finally got his message across to Cabrera when he crushed the homer in the 5th and stared him down as he rounded the bases. It was Sheffield's first Comerica homer and biggest moment as a Tiger so far.