Tigers score 4 runs in 9th to beat Mariners 7-5
AP Sports Writer
Placido Polanco hit a tiebreaking single and the Detroit Tigers scored four times in the ninth inning off struggling J.J. Putz to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-5 Sunday.
Magglio Ordonez and Miguel Cabrera each drove in two runs as Detroit, wayward for most of the season against everyone else, won for the fifth time in six games against Seattle this year.
Putz (2-3) began the ninth by striking out Ivan Rodriguez but then walked Brandon Inge, the No. 9 hitter. Curtis Granderson singled him to third, and Inge scored on a bloop single by Polanco to give Detroit its third lead of the game, 4-3.
That ended a scoreless streak of 18 2-3 innings by the Mariners' bullpen.
With two outs, Ordonez hit a hard one-hopper off the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre for an infield single as Granderson scored. Cabrera sent most of the crowd of 38,610 home early with a two-run double, his second double of the day.
That became important when Raul Ibanez, who had three hits and three RBIs, hit a two-run homer off Todd Jones in the bottom of the ninth.
Putz, who was on the disabled list with a ribcage injury in early April, already has two more losses and one more blown save (three total) than he had all last year. His ERA is 5.60 in 17 games, and he has allowed 11 earned runs. He had a 1.38 ERA last season, allowing 11 earned runs in 68 appearances.
Putz's failures are a big reason the Mariners own the AL's worst record at 21-36. They have lost eight of 11.
Seattle wasted a prime chance to break a 3-all tie in the eighth when it had Jeremy Reed on third with one out against winning pitcher Zach Miner (2-3).
After Yuniesky Betancourt lined out to third, Miner intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki, who was 2-for-4. Jose Lopez then grounded out to end the threat.
The Mariners took a 3-2 lead in the fifth on a double by Lopez and Ibanez's RBI single off Jeremy Bonderman. Detroit tied it in the sixth against Miguel Batista, who allowed the Tigers to load the bases with one out. Rodriguez then hit Sean Green's first pitch for a sacrifice fly that scored Cabrera and tied it at 3.
Beltre, who hit seven home runs in May to tie for the AL lead, hit his team-leading 13th of the season in the second inning.
Bonderman, a former high school star in Pasco, Wash., allowed a career-high 12 hits but only three earned runs in seven innings, with five strikeouts. He stranded nine baserunners from the second through the seventh. He still has only one win in his last six starts - over Batista in Detroit last month.
Batista, who has lost four of his last five decisions, allowed five hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings.
Notes:@ Carlos Guillen started in LF for the first time in his career as a way for Tigers manager Jim Leyland to get Inge, Guillen and Cabrera in the lineup together. ... Granderson scored three runs. ... Seattle's Miguel Cairo started his fifth consecutive game for 1B Richie Sexson, who is batting .200 and has just 21 RBIs in 44 games. Mariners manager John McLaren indicated before the game that Sexson, making $14 million in the final year of his contract, might not play again anytime soon.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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