Marcus Thames started his Saturday in a North Carolina hotel room. He finished it as a big league star.
A few hours after finding out that he would be returning to the majors, Thames hit a grand slam to lead the Detroit Tigers to an 11-1 rout of the Cleveland Indians.
"I was in the hotel at midnight, looking for some food, and the manager called me to tell me something had happened in Detroit," said Thames, who replaced injured Ramon Martinez on Detroit's roster. "A few minutes later, he called to give my itinerary. I think I got 90 minutes of sleep -- I was running on pure adrenaline today."
Thames was the last cut in spring training, when Detroit manager Alan Trammell chose to keep Bobby Higginson instead of the younger and cheaper Thames.
"It was tough," Thames said. "But I took three days off to clear my head and get away from the game, then I went to (Triple-A) Toledo and got ready to go."
Brandon Inge fell just short of the cycle for the Tigers. He tripled, doubled and singled in his first three at-bats, but flew out in the seventh.
"I'm not going to lie -- I was thinking about the homer," he said. "But my hitting style is to take everything up the middle, and that's not a good place to hit a home run here. I was just hoping to make a mistake and pull something."
Carlos Pena also homered for the Tigers, who had 11 hits and took advantage of three Cleveland errors.
"It's early, but we need to be better than that," said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. "We have people out there who are capable defensively, but we need to make the plays."
Wil Ledezma was the winner in his season debut, allowing one run and seven hits in six innings. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
Jake Westbrook (0-2) allowed a career-high eight runs -- seven earned -- on seven hits and two walks in two-plus innings. The seven earned runs were also a career worst.
"Today wasn't a good day," Westbrook said. "It kind of snowballs on you once you start battling."