Tigers 3, Mariners 2

Erik Bedard has nothing to show for his efforts this season,

even though he believes that he’s making progress.

The Seattle left-hander, coming off three shoulder surgeries,

lost his fourth straight game Wednesday afternoon, 3-2 to the

Detroit Tigers. Bedard went five innings, allowing all three runs

on five hits and five walks, while striking out two.

”It was more innings, another step forward,” said Bedard

(0-4), who didn’t get out of the fifth in his previous two starts.

”It was a little consistent but it’s getting there. It will

probably take time so just take a step at a time and work

hard.”

Ryan Raburn hit a 408-foot homer to center field off Bedard in

the first inning and Miguel Cabrera and Brennan Boesch also drove

in runs for the Tigers.

”He (Raburn) hit a sinker away. He hit a good pitch,” Bedard

said. ”One out to center in Seattle, that’s a pretty hard to do.

He hit it good.”

Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello held the Mariners to one run

and four hits but ran into trouble in the seventh, yielding his

first walk of the game to Luis Rodriguez along with two wild

pitches. Ryan Perry came in and struck out Jack Wilson to end the

inning.

”That was a huge out. It changed things around,” Tigers

manager Jim Leyland said. ”People don’t realize how much that

changes things. What it meant is (No. 9 hitter Chris) Gimenez will

come up next inning, not Ichiro. Ichiro is tough to keep off base.

That’s big.”

Joaquin Benoit worked a routine eighth. Jose Valverde took over

in the ninth and yielded a leadoff home run to Adam Kennedy, the

first he had allowed in eight appearances. Michael Saunders hit a

one-out double moments later, before Valverde struck out

pinch-hitter Milton Bradley and Carlos Peguero, in his first

big-league start, for his fifth save.

Detroit has won six of its last nine games after a slow start to

the season, while the Mariners lost for the sixth time in eight

games.

The Mariners got their run in the third on Suzuki’s two-out

single to right.

The critical point for the Mariners was the fourth. Kennedy and

Jack Cust opened with singles. Porcello then struck out Saunders,

Rodriguez flied out to left and Peguero struck out.

”That was their big push. To come out of that with no runs,

that was big,” Porcello said. ”Then we come out and scored a run

(in the fifth). That’s what I have to do to be successful,

establish my sinker early, use my off-speed in to lefties to keep

them off-balance.”

Bedard used 95 pitches to get through his five innings.

”I thought he was better. Again, it is another step,” Mariners

manager Eric Wedge said. ”There is still more in there in regard

to him being a complete pitcher. He knows it and we know it. He

just needs to keep grinding, keep doing the work and the rest will

take care of itself.”

Wedge added that the biggest positive from the game was the

four-inning, one-hit relief from David Pauley.

”He gave us every opportunity to win,” Wedge said. ”We came

close but fell short. He really did a great job.”

Notes: RHP Jeremy Bonderman visited the Tigers clubhouse before

the game. The appearance of the 28-year-old free agent sparked

speculation that he might be interested in returning to the Tigers.

Bonderman lives in Kennewick, Wa. … Mariners RHP David Aardsma,

on the DL after hip surgery, had his first rehab assignment

Tuesday. He threw 22 pitches, allowed two hits, including a two-run

home run, and walked two. ”I felt good, being on the mound, facing

hitters and getting that anxiety out of the way,” said Aardsma,

who will throw again Friday. … Peguero, called up Tuesday to

replace Justin Smoak on a bereavement leave, made his big league

debut as a ninth-inning defensive replacement. He started in left

field and was 0 for 4.