Curtis Granderson led off the game with a home run and Ivan Rodriguez had a pair of two-out RBI singles, but Maroth couldn't get out of the fifth inning. Jason Grilli then bailed him out to help the Detroit Tigers beat the Los Angeles Angels 9-5 Monday night.
"As a starter, I've been in those situations too," Grilli said. "Even when you get that much of a lead, you have to pitch like it's a 1-0 game -- but you still have to be aggressive. When a team is down like that, they're looking for that big inning to get themselves back in the game. That's the mentality. So you can play into it or you can just put yourself on cruise control."
Maroth was pulled by manager Jim Leyland one out shy of the required five innings for a victory, despite leading 8-3. Grilli (2-1) relieved the left-hander with the bases loaded and retired Mike Napoli on a fielder's choice grounder. He pitched 2 1/3 innings of hitless relief for the win, allowing an unearned run.
"I'm just glad that we won the ballgame, and I was happy to come in and do the job with the bases loaded," Grilli said. "Those are situations I thrive on."
Maroth threw 105 pitches, allowing three runs -- two earned -- seven hits and five walks.
"He had a tough time with his control," Leyland said. "I was trying to milk him through it and get him through the fifth, but I couldn't quite do it."
Maroth, who entered averaging only 2.36 walks per nine innings since the start of the 2003 season, walked Guerrero three times on 13 pitches his first three times up. Guerrero came in 5-for-13 against Maroth with three homers.
"Guerrero's obviously a guy you don't want to beat you. But when you're ahead 7-0, that makes things a little bit different," Leyland said. "He's one of the most dangerous hitters in all of baseball. I love to watch that guy play. But there's no sense in having a report on him, because you might as well throw that out the window.
"How do you get him out? Nobody knows," Leyland added. "You've got as good a chance of getting him out if you throw one right down the middle as you do if you bounce it."
Jered Weaver (0-2) threw 70 pitches in 1 2/3 innings and retired only five of the 14 batters he faced in his second start since coming off the disabled list. The right-hander, facing the Tigers for the first time, was charged with seven runs -- five earned -- and seven hits.
Weaver won his first nine decisions last season as a rookie and finished 11-2 with a 2.56 ERA in 19 starts. But he missed spring training because of biceps tendinitis, the same problem that forced him to miss a start last July.
"Everything feels good. I don't blame anything on what happened because of anything physical," Weaver said. "I just couldn't get any of my off-speed pitches over for strikes, and it showed. You're not going to have a very good night when you don't have your secondary stuff working for you."
Gary Matthews Jr. led off the ninth against Joel Zumaya with his first home run for the Angels after hitting a career-high 19 last season with Texas.
Granderson drove Weaver's fifth pitch of the game over the 18-foot wall in right-center for his seventh career leadoff homer, and Rodriguez added an RBI single in the first.
The defending AL champions staked Maroth to a 7-0 lead with a five-run second. All of the runs came with two outs. Gary Sheffield, who came in batting just .119 in his first full season as a designated hitter, singled home Granderson for only his second RBI. Carlos Guillen chased Weaver with another RBI single, and two more runs scored on a throwing error by third baseman Robb Quinlan.
"When you haven't seen a guy like that before, you've just got to be selective. And basically, that's what we did," Rodriguez said. "We took a lot of first pitches to see his delivery and how he released the ball. He got himself in trouble early in the game and we took advantage."
- Granderson's only other home run against the Angels was an inside-the-park trip against Bartolo Colon on Sept. 15, 2005, at Anaheim.
- Craig Monroe struck out twice in the second inning, once against Hector Carrasco. He already has fanned a team-high 24 times in 69 plate appearances. Monroe struck out 126 times last season.
- Rodriguez had no RBI in 27 at-bats against the Angels last season.