DETROIT -- No matter the sport, good teams are supposed to fatten up their record against weak and struggling opponents.
For once, the Tigers remembered to do that.
Facing an Indians team in the middle of a horrific road trip, the Tigers put 22 runners on base and cruised to an easy 10-2 victory Friday night.
"This is a nice way to start the homestand everybody doing something," Jim Leyland said. "It was nice to get that first one, particularly after a tough trip and in front of a nice crowd. Good to get that one on the board."
Cleveland is 0-7 on its current trip, and has been outscored by an average of 8-2 in the losing streak. Manager Manny Acta knows that, after being swept by Minnesota and Kansas City, things weren't likely to get better in Detroit.
"When you are playing like this, teams aren't going to feel bad for you and just give you a game they are going to want to beat up on you," he said. "We aren't pitching, and it is very hard to keep your chin up when you are down by five or six runs in the fifth inning every night."
While most of Detroit's offense had a good night every starter had a hit or scored a run it was Prince Fielder who did the most damage. Fielder hit a laser off the right-centerfield wall in the third inning, then topped that with a shot deep into the right-field stands in the fourth.
"See it. Hit it," said the never-loquacious Fielder. "Everyone has their own approach, but that's what's easiest for me."
Indians starter Justin Masterson said he thought Fielder had hit a good pitch for the double, so wasn't afraid to go back to it.
"I threw a pitch down and away and he hit it really hard, but it wasn't a bad spot," he said. "I guess he was looking for it again, because I put the next one in the same spot and he hit it even harder."
Masterson was so baffled by the game, which included leftfielder Ezquiel Carrera losing two balls one in the sun and one in the lights that he was left wondering if his problem was bigger than just baseball.
"Sometimes, I feel like there was an over outside force that is trying to keep me down," he said. "I just have to fight through that."
Leyland, unsurprisingly, got emotional when talking about the team's decision to designate Don Kelly for waivers in order to make room for Andy Dirks. Leyland was fighting back tears while talking about a text message that Kelly had sent him after the move, although he declined to divulge the contents of the text.
"That's part of the downside of managing: You break some hearts," he said before the game. "Donnie Kelly was a saint in the clubhouse. If there's ever a guy you want in the clubhouse, it is Donnie Kelly."
Kelly was also emotional, but unsurprised by the move.
"When you aren't swinging the bat well, it can happen at any time," said the 32-year-old, who is hitting .175 this season. "You try to do the best you can, but I obviously wasn't doing it. We needed a kick, so we had to make a move."
The Tigers have 10 days to place Kelly on waivers, trade him or release him. If he clears waivers, he could go to Triple-A Toledo, much like Brandon Inge did last season.
SCHLERETH STARTS COMEBACK
Daniel Schlereth, who has been sidelined since April 21 with a shoulder problem, made his first rehab assignment for Single-A Lakeland on Friday. He started the game, but faced only two batters, striking out the first and walking the second.
Al Alburquerque, who had been rehabbing in Lakeland, was moved to Toledo and will continue working there. Alburquerque has been out all year after offseason elbow surgery.