Sheffield Rankles, With Mouth And Bat

Saturday, July 14th 2007, 2:46 pm
By: News On 6

Detroit slugger Gary Sheffield stood by his controversial comments about Joe Torre, Barry Bonds and the New York Yankees, then backed Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman with his 12th career grand slam.

The homer provided all the offense Bonderman needed Friday night in the Tigers' 6-3 victory in Seattle that gave Detroit two of the American League's 12 10-game winners. Teammate Justin Verlander also has 10 wins.

Sheffield fielded questions before the game about his comments to HBO's ``Real Sports'' program, scheduled to air Tuesday night, that included claims that Torre said the Yankees should have acquired Vladimir Guerrero instead of Sheffield.

Sheffield also said that black players would be ``called out'' in the clubhouse by Torre while white players would be called into his office to discuss matters.

Torre had little to say about Sheffield's comments.

``I just don't even want to answer those types of questions because I feel comfort not answering,'' Torre said before New York's 6-4 loss at Tampa Bay.

In other AL games, it was: Los Angeles 2, Texas 1; Baltimore 2, Chicago 0; Minnesota 5, Oakland 3; Toronto 6, Boston 5; and Cleveland 5, Kansas City 4.

In the HBO interview, Sheffield also denied taking steroids, but admitted taking the ``clear'' and the ``cream'' _ two designer steroids created by BALCO. Sheffield said he didn't know they were steroids, and that he trusted and felt himself being controlled by Bonds. But, Sheffield claimed, ``If I took what Barry Bonds took, why don't I look like him?''

On Friday, Sheffield said he doesn't speak with Bonds.

``We don't have no communication,'' Sheffield said. ``I love and respect Barry to this day. I had a problem with him at that time, but I moved on and forgave.''

Sheffield's comments overshadowed a dazzling performance by Bonderman (10-1), who threw just 71 pitches through six innings and didn't face his first 3-ball count until the seventh. He allowed six hits and struck out five in seven innings.

``I think Bonderman is one of those guys to be honest with you, that when he pitches the guys feel good,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``When Kenny Rogers pitches, they feel good. When Justin Verlander pitches, they feel good. When your players feel good behind a guy, I think that's a big lift.''

Todd Jones worked the ninth for his 23rd save in 27 opportunities.

Sheffield's grand slam off Jarrod Washburn (8-7) was Detroit's sixth this season, tied for the league lead with Milwaukee.

Brandon Inge added an RBI single in the sixth off Washburn, and Sean Casey hit his second homer of the season off reliever Brandon Morrow in the seventh.

Washburn, who allowed just three earned runs in his last three starts, gave up seven hits and walked three, losing for the first time since June 17 against Houston.

Devil Rays 6, Yankees 4

At St. Petersburg, Fla., Scott Kazmir (6-6) allowed four hits in six innings to outpitch Roger Clemens and earn his first win at home in more than a year.

Clemens (2-4) allowed five hits and five runs in 5 1-3 innings.

Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 5

At Boston, Alex Rios had three hits and drove in the go-ahead run, and Shaun Marcum (5-3) survived a shaky start to win for the first time in nearly a month.

Toronto scored two runs with two outs off Boston reliever Kyle Snyder (1-2) in the sixth to take the lead for good. Jeremy Accardo pitched a scoreless 1 1-3 innings for his 12th save.

Angels 2, Rangers 1

At Anaheim, Calif., Casey Kotchman hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to make a winner of Francisco Rodriguez (3-2).

Gary Matthews Jr. legged out a double to left-center in the ninth off Joaquin Benoit (3-3) and advanced on a groundout, before Kotchman singled off Ron Mahay.

Orioles 2, White Sox 0

At Baltimore, Erik Bedard (8-4) allowed three hits over seven innings, and Nick Markakis and Corey Patterson homered off Mark Buehrle (6-5) in the left-hander's first start since signing a $56 million, four-year contract extension on Sunday.

Chris Ray worked the ninth to complete the four-hitter and earn his 15th save.

Twins 5, Athletics 3

At Minneapolis, Johan Santana (11-6) allowed four hits and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings, handing the A's their sixth loss in seven games.

Lenny DiNardo (3-6) gave up three runs _ two earned _ and eight hits in five innings for Oakland, which scored three runs in the ninth before Joe Nathan got the last out for his 17th save.

Indians 5, Royals 4

At Cleveland, Ryan Garko singled home the winning run with one out in the ninth to make a winner of Joe Borowski (2-3), who blew a save opportunity in the top of the inning.

Travis Hafner doubled with one out off Zach Greinke (4-5) and was replaced by pinch-runner Mike Rouse. After an intentional walk, Garko lined the first pitch to center.