Mariners 5, Tigers 4
Mike Sweeney and Josh Wilson took turns crediting the other for
a rally that seemed so unlikely from the punchless Mariners.
Seattle’s old designated hitter with a balky back, and the
youthful looking shortstop nicknamed “paperboy” could both take
an equal stake in a second straight comeback win.
Sweeney gave Seattle a chance with a two-run homer off Detroit
reliever Ryan Perry, and Wilson capped the four-run eighth inning
with a two-run single as the Mariners rallied for a 5-4 win over
the Tigers on Wednesday afternoon.
Seattle swept the two-game set and both times came through in
the eighth inning. On Tuesday night it was Milton Bradley’s single
putting the Mariners ahead for good. A day later, Sweeney, Wilson
and a handful of others combined to exploit an off-day from the
best bullpen in the American League.
“We really needed a defibrillator to come in here and give us a
shock because we didn’t have a heartbeat for quite some time,”
Sweeney said. “We lost some tough games that zapped some out of us
but the last couple of games have been huge for us.”
Down 4-1 entering the eighth, and having done nothing all day
against Detroit starter Jeremy Bonderman, Seattle took advantage of
Franklin Gutierrez started the eighth with a sharp single to
center, but Perry (1-3) got Bradley swinging for the first out and
only out he would get.
Sweeney stepped in looking for a fastball, but instead got a
slider that hung at knee level. He reached down and clubbed his
sixth homer in his last 10 games, a 407-foot shot to the back of
the Seattle bullpen.
“It felt good coming out of my hand, but … ,” Perry said
The rally didn’t stop with Sweeney. Jose Lopez made up for a
costly error in the sixth inning with a single, and Rob Johnson
followed with a double off the hand-operated scoreboard in left
field that missed being a homer by just a few feet.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland stayed with Perry, despite
hard-throwing Joel Zumaya standing ready in the bullpen. Wilson
lined the third pitch from Perry into left-center, scoring both
Lopez and Johnson.
David Aardsma then entered in the ninth and shutdown the Tigers
in order for his 11th save in 13 chances. Brandon League (4-4) got
the win for Seattle with 2 1-3 innings in relief.
“We’re not hitting a whole lot but when (homers) happen that’s
big for us,” Wilson said. “It’s definitely a big relief and then
in a one-run ball game we can get back to more of our game, get the
guys out there and drive them in.”
Bonderman, a Washington native who has never thrown well in his
home state, worked seven innings, giving up one unearned run and
scattering five hits. He struck out six and walked two, and retired
12 of the final 14 batters.
Perry’s performance wasted Bonderman’s effort. Seattle doubled
its hit total for the first seven innings in the six batters Perry
“The bullpen has been outstanding like I’ve said a thousand
times. The bullpen didn’t do it today. That happens,” Leyland
said. “They are not going to do it every time out. Those hurt
because it is a game in hand that you should have won.”
Magglio Ordonez hit a long two-run homer for the Tigers, his
seventh of the season, and also had a single and double. Adam
Everett added an RBI double and Austin Jackson an RBI single in the
sixth as Detroit took advantage of Lopez’s error at third base.
Bonderman was also helped out by a few defensive gems by left
fielder Boesch and first baseman Ryan Raburn. But Boesch’s
jackknifing catch into the stands on a foul ball and Raburn’s
diving stop behind the bag at first were lost in the eighth-inning
Seattle starter Jason Vargas saw his streak of quality starts
end at seven, but did enough to keep Seattle close. Leaving too
many pitches high in the zone and catching too much of the plate,
Vargas gave up seven hits – the most since his first outing of the
season – but just the two runs on Ordonez’s homer.
NOTES: Suzuki went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and grounded into
a double play for only the second time this season. … Bonderman
has gotten a no decision in five of his last seven starts. …
Wednesday was the 13th time the Safeco Field roof has been closed