Tigers-Mariners Preview

Milton Bradley’s first two months in Seattle have resembled his

final days with several other teams, but the Mariners are hoping

his performance Tuesday portends a better future in the Pacific

northwest.

The embattled outfielder and the last-place Mariners hope to

complete a winning homestand with a two-game sweep of the Detroit

Tigers, who will again play without Miguel Cabrera on Wednesday

afternoon.

Bradley, who has worn out his welcome with numerous clubs while

wearing five different uniforms in the last four seasons, entered

Tuesday’s game batting .222, and has already missed two weeks while

undergoing treatment for emotional issues.

However, the veteran helped Seattle beat the Tigers 5-3 on

Tuesday, posting his third multihit game in six contests since

being activated from the restricted list. Bradley hit a two-run

home run in the first inning and broke a 3-all tie with an RBI

single in the eighth, with both hits coming off Tigers ace Justin

Verlander.

Detroit changed pitchers after the go-ahead hit. During the

delay, Bradley left first base and high-fived his teammates in the

dugout.

“Milton came off the base to give everybody a little love,”

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He has the ability to ignite

a club, we’ve said that before.”

The Mariners (17-28) need all the help they can get offensively,

as they remain last in the AL with 158 runs.

They’ll try to better support Wednesday’s starter Jason Vargas

(3-2, 3.08 ERA), who has been limited to three victories during a

string of seven consecutive quality starts.

The left-hander, who has held opponents to an AL-low .193

batting average, gave up three runs in 6 2-3 innings at Toronto on

Thursday, but only avoided a loss when Seattle scored three runs in

the bottom of the ninth to win 4-3.

Vargas will be making his first start against the Tigers, who

counter with Washington state native Jeremy Bonderman.

Bonderman (2-2, 4.43) went 2-1 with a 3.03 ERA in his first four

starts at Seattle, but gave up 10 runs – eight earned – in

four-plus innings of an 11-3 loss there April 16.

The right-hander has recovered nicely after missing most of last

season due to shoulder surgery, posting a 1.89 ERA in three May

starts. He walked three and hit a batter in the third inning of

Thursday’s game at Oakland, but bounced back to finish six innings

with one run and three hits allowed.

Bonderman also had a season-high eight strikeouts in the 5-2

win.

“There was that one stretch where Bondo couldn’t find the plate

but he sharpened up pretty quick,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said.

“A lot of good things happened.”

The Tigers (25-20) hope to produce more offense than in their

first game without Cabrera, the team leader with 10 homers and 40

RBIs who is missing this series for the birth of his second

child.

The slugger is expected to rejoin the team at home Friday, but

first the Tigers need a victory to finish a seven-game West Coast

trip with a winning record. The Mariners, who took two of three

from Detroit at Safeco Field last month, are also 3-3 entering the

final game of their homestand.