Gary Sheffield homered off Daniel Cabrera two innings after the Baltimore starter hit him with a pitch, leading the Detroit Tigers to an 8-4 victory over the visiting Orioles last night.
Cabrera hit Sheffield in the third inning, and the pair had to be pulled apart during a bench-clearing incident in the fifth before Sheffield got the last word with a homer estimated at 408 feet. Sheffield watched the drive sail into the leftfield stands from home plate before he slowly trotted around the bases.
Detroit righthander Jeremy Bonderman (1-0) picked up his first decision of the season.
Baltimore scored twice in the first on RBI singles by Miguel Tejada and Ramon Hernandez, but the Tigers tied it in the bottom half without a hit.
Curtis Granderson led off with a walk, and Tejada's fielding error allowed Placido Polanco to reach base. Cabrera then walked Sheffield and Magglio Ordonez to force in the first run, and Carlos Guillen made it 2-2 when he grounded into a force at second.
Sheffield made it 3-2 in the third. He reached when Cabrera (1-3) hit him with a pitch, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Ordonez's single.
The teams were tied at 3 in the fifth when Tejada was angered by a Bonderman pitch at his ankles. Tejada pointed his bat at Bonderman as the pair yelled at each other, but he was grabbed by Ivan Rodriguez.
The benches cleared, and although no one was ejected and no punches were thrown, Sheffield and Cabrera screamed at each other and had to be separated.
In other games:
* At Toronto, Roy Halladay (4-0) threw a five-hitter, Aaron Hill hit a two-run homer and the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers, 6-1. Halladay struck out eight and walked none in his second complete game of the season. Former Phillies pitcher Vicente Padilla dropped to 0-4.
* At Kansas City, Vladimir Guerrero doubled home two runs in the first inning and John Lackey (4-2) pitched into the seventh, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-1 victory over the Royals.
* Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said that manager Joe Torre has his backing to turn around the Yankees, but that the team's 9-14 start is "clearly not acceptable."
Steinbrenner challenged players and staff "to show me and the fans what they are made of" and said of his $195 million team: "I believe in them."
* The Orioles put righthander Jaret Wright (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list.
* The Blue Jays placed lefthander Gustavo Chacin (elbow) on the 15-day DL. *