The Detroit Tigers were determined to move on from the blown call that cost Armando Galarraga the first perfect game in franchise history.
Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera hit consecutive homers in a five-run seventh inning to lift Detroit to a 12-6 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday, a day after first-base umpire Jim Joyce admitted he made a big mistake.
"I have already turned the page,” Galarraga said. "I think the guys have, too.”
The Tigers were sad the morning after the infamous call, but later understood Major League Baseball’s decision to let it stand.
Commissioner Bud Selig won’t reverse Joyce’s call, a baseball official familiar with the decision confirmed to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because that element was not included in the statement Selig released during the game.
"If you overturn something like that, you’re opening a whole can of worms,” Detroit catcher Gerald Laird said. "I don’t think anything has ever been done like that.”
The sights and sounds at Comerica Park before the series finale seemed to be unprecedented.
Detroit took the field about 14 hours after Joyce’s infamous call — signaling safe instead of out with two down in the ninth — and a lighthearted moment was followed by a poignant one.
Galarraga, looking very surprised and humbled, was presented with a 2010 Corvette convertible in a pregame ceremony for his near-perfect performance and remarkable sportsmanship. When Joyce blew the call, Galarraga turned and smiled and kept his composure after the out — the 28th one as it’ll be remembered in Detroit sports lore — and didn’t lash out at Joyce along with his manager and teammates.
"I was shocked when they drove it on the field and told me it was mine,” he said.
The suddenly famous pitcher presented the no-longer anonymous umpire with the lineup card before the game, shook hands and patted him on the back.
Joyce was welcomed with a smattering of applause when he walked onto the field, making him cry, and was booed by some when he was introduced.
"I thought it was going to be so loud that I wouldn’t be able to think, and that it would be overwhelmingly negative,” Joyce said. "When I walked out of the tunnel and got applause from the Tigers fans, I had to wipe the eyes.”
Three-plus hours later, the compassionate reaction from the fans compelled Tigers manager Jim Leyland to wear sunglasses in his office — likely to hide his tears from TV cameras — during his postgame news conference.
"I’m proud to be the manager for these fans,” Leyland said, choking up. "They showed me a lot of class and it was a hard thing to do.”
It wasn’t easy for David Huff to do what he did, taking his turn in the rotation after New York’s Alex Rodriguez hit a line drive off his head Saturday. Huff struggled, giving up five runs over three innings, but took a step toward bouncing back from a scary moment.
"I felt fine out there,” he said. "What happened had nothing to do with what happened in New York. I just wasn’t locating my pitches.”
Brad Thomas (2-0) retired two in the sixth inning for the win. Hector Abriz (0-1) gave up a run on two hits in an inning.
Rick Porcello retired the Indians in order to open the game and Carlos Guillen hit a two-run double in the second.
Ordonez had an RBI triple in a three-run third, giving Detroit a 5-1 lead.
The Indians made it 6-all in the fourth, thanks in part to consecutive errors by third baseman Brandon Inge and Guillen at second, but let Detroit score in each of the next three innings, including five times in the seventh to turn the game into a rout.
"Obviously, we didn’t pitch very well,” Manager Manny Acta said.
NOTES: Guillen left the game in the eighth with a bruised left toe. … Indians All-Star CF Grady Sizemore will undergo potential season-ending surgery on his left knee Friday in Colorado. … Cabrera has an AL-high 51 RBIs and is among league leaders with 16 homers and a .352 average, but isn’t embracing Triple Crown talk. “It’s too early for that,” he said. … Tigers rookie Austin Jackson had at least three hits and a spectacular, back-to-the-plate catch for the second straight game. … Jason Donald, who was ruled safe on Wednesday night’s disputed play, had a hit for the ninth time in 10 games. … Detroit’s Jose Valverde pitched the ninth, extending his streak to 21 games without giving up a run. Todd Jones, who went 22 games without giving up a run, has the longest such streak for the Tigers since 1952.