Dontrelle Willis figured the worst when his knee gave way and he fell on a damp mound. And why not? It's been that kind of bad season for the Detroit Tigers.
``I thought initially I blew it out, but that's not the case,'' he said. ``I'm able to put pressure on it now. As long as they give me a lot of Advil, I can go back out there.''
Willis was pulled in the first inning Friday night with a hyperextended right knee, and the Tigers relied on their bullpen to beat the Chicago White Sox 5-2.
It was uncertain when Willis would be able to pitch again. The Tigers said he would be re-evaluated.
The victory at Chicago gave the Tigers a 2-8 record, still the worst in the majors. Yet the way they regrouped impressed manager Jim Leyland.
``We get in 3, 4 o'clock in the morning. Terrible weather. We're going tough,'' he said. ``Things haven't been going good and we come out and get an effort like that. ... That can put to rest anybody that thinks this club doesn't bust every day.''
In other AL games, New York beat Boston 4-1, Oakland downed Cleveland 9-7, Tampa Bay topped Baltimore 10-5, Minnesota beat Kansas City 5-0, Seattle stopped Los Angeles 8-5 and Toronto defeated Texas 8-5.
Willis made his Tigers debut last week against Chicago and walked seven in five innings. The start of this game was delayed a few minutes by rain, and it was wet when Willis walked leadoff Carlos Quentin.
On his first pitch to Orlando Cabrera, Willis' knee buckled and he slipped. Leyland and a trainer checked on Willis and left him in, but after another walk and wild pitch, he was gone.
``I was just driving on the mound and the cleat missed and I hyperextended my knee. I feel positive. It just feels stiff right now,'' Willis said.
``After it happened, I tried to continue to throw but my leg just felt numb all the way up,'' he said.
Yankees 4, Red Sox 1
At Fenway Park, Chien-Ming Wang won with a two-hitter in this season's first game of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry.
Wang (3-0) gave up a home run to J.D. Drew that grazed the glove of right fielder Bobby Abreu in the fifth inning and a bunt single to Coco Crisp with two outs in the ninth.
Jason Giambi hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh against Mike Timlin (0-1). While New York's slugger connected, Boston's big bopper did not - David Ortiz was hitless in three at-bats, dropping him to 3-for-39 (.077) this year.
Athletics 9, Indians 7
At Cleveland, C.C. Sabathia lasted only 3 1-3 innings as Oakland roughed up the reigning AL Cy Young winner.
Sabathia (0-2) was tagged for nine runs and 12 hits in his shortest start since going 2 1-3 innings against the Chicago Cubs on June 21, 2006.
Joe Blanton (1-2) pitched into the eighth inning and Huston Street worked 1 1-3 innings for his third save.
Rays 10, Orioles 5
At St. Petersburg, Fla., Carlos Pena homered twice and drove in six runs to lead Tampa Bay over Baltimore.
Pena drew a bases-loaded walk off Dennis Sarfate (2-1) in the eighth inning to put the Rays ahead 6-5.
Al Reyes (1-1) won in relief. He turned 38 Thursday and was shocked with a stun gun and arrested early Friday at a Tampa bar on a charge of being in a fight that disturbed the peace.
Tampa Bay prospect Evan Longoria was promoted from Triple-A Durham late Friday and will make his much-anticipated major league debut Saturday at third base.
Twins 5, Royals 0
At Kansas City, Mo., Livan Hernandez was sharp over seven innings as Minnesota beat Kansas City.
Hernandez (3-0) is off to his best start since 2002 with San Francisco. Gil Meche (0-2) left with a 7.13 ERA.
Justin Morneau hit a solo homer off Meche. Last Saturday, Morneau hit a three-run homer that led the Twins over Meche.
Mariners 8, Angels 5
At Seattle, Raul Ibanez once again picked on Jered Weaver as Seattle defeated Los Angeles.
Ibanez homered twice and drove in three runs, making him 12-for-21 (.571) with four home runs lifetime against Weaver.
Felix Hernandez (1-0) struck out seven in 6 2-3 innings. Mark Lowe pitched the ninth for his first career save.
Blue Jays 8, Rangers 5
At Arlington, Texas, Lyle Overbay hit a three-run double and Toronto stopped a three-game losing skid.
Vernon Wells drove in two runs to support Jesse Litsch (2-0). Scott Downs got his first save of the season.
Josh Hamilton homered and had a career-high four RBIs for the Rangers. Vicente Padilla (1-1) took the loss.
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