Shelton continues to belt 'em; Tigers win, 1-0
DETROIT — Chris Shelton keeps saying he's not a home-run hitter, even though he leads the major leagues.
Shelton's eighth home run backed Mike Maroth and led the Detroit Tigers over the Cleveland Indians, 1-0, yesterday.
"I just put a good swing on it. I can't really tell you why it went out of the ballpark, but it did," Shelton said. "I wasn't trying to go up there and hit a home run, I was just trying to hit it hard."
Shelton is the first AL player to hit eight homers in his team's first 12 games, according to historian David Vincent and the Elias Sports Bureau.
Shelton homered over the left-center field fence and into the Cleveland bullpen against Cliff Lee (1-1) with one out in the fourth inning. Five of Shelton's homers have been solo shots.
"It wasn't that bad of a pitch," Lee said of the cutter. "It wasn't exactly where I wanted it. He's seeing the ball good and making solid contact."
Maroth (2-0) allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked two. Maroth's start had been pushed back three days because of elbow soreness. He said the elbow felt fine but was a little tender late in the game.
"He just kept the ball down, did a good job, made his pitches," said Cleveland's Grady Sizemore.
"We didn't do a good job making adjustments, so we helped him out a little bit."
Joel Zumaya got out of a two-on jam in the eighth by striking out Sizemore and Jason Michaels. Fernando Rodney completed the four-hitter with a perfect ninth for his third save in as many chances.