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Sheff finally goes deep for his fighting Tigers

Sheff finally goes deep for his fighting Tigers

Terry Francona has been watching Gary Sheffield since the two were teammates for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989-90.
In spring training, Francona - now the Red Sox manager - said this about the new Tiger: "He's fearless. If you throw a ball at his neck, on the next pitch he's not going anywhere. He's going to swing that ferocious swing and put the bat on the ball."
On Monday night, Sheffield got hit with a pitch (lower than the neck) by Daniel Cabrera in the third inning. On his next plate appearance, Sheffield hit a tie-breaking two-run home run.
It was Sheffield's first homer at Comerica Park as a Tiger, and it put the Tigers in front to stay in an 8-4 victory over the Orioles.
In between those two plate appearances, Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman threw a pitch that bounced at the feet of Orioles All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada with two out and nobody on base in the top of the fifth inning. Despite not being hit, Tejada pointed his bat at Bonderman from the vicinity of the batter's box.
Next thing you knew, the benches had emptied. Sheffield, who wound up in a swarm near the backstop, saw Cabrera several feet away, yelled at him and had to be restrained. There were no punches or ejections. After Sheffield homered in the bottom of the inning, Cabrera glared at Sheffield on his entire trip around the bases. Nothing came of it, and there were no more extracurricular incidents.
Sheffield said he became upset at Cabrera for "chirping" at Tigers manager Jim Leyland during the fracas. "I wasn't going out to initiate anything," Sheffield said. "When Cabrera started chirping ... that's when I said something: 'You hit me, and I went to first base and didn't say anything.' I felt like Skip deserves more respect than that."
Tejada explained why he got upset with Bonderman.
"In that moment, I just really got mad, because the ball (went) to my body," Tejada told Orioles beat writers. "I think, like I said, everybody would get mad if this happened. ... I'm ready to fight with them."
Sheffield said he wasn't focused on revenge when he batted against Cabrera later in the inning. His main goal, he said, was to hit a pitch high in the strike zone so he didn't ground into a double play.
Asked what he thought of his first Comerica homer as a Tiger, Sheffield said, "I'll remember that for a long time. It was really about getting Bondo going and getting his win. It showed that no matter what the situation is, Jim Leyland leads, and we follow."
In other AL action: Toronto 6, Texas 1; LA Angels 3, Kansas City 1
In NL action: Atlanta 5, Philadelphia 2; Pittsburgh 3, Chicago Cubs 2; Milwaukee 7, St. Louis 1; Florida 9, NY Mets 6; Washington 3, San Diego 2; Arizona 9, LA Dodgers 1; San Francisco 9, Colorado 5.


Updated : 2021-06-17 14:45 GMT+08:00