Mariners 5, Tigers 3
DETROIT (AP)—Willie Bloomquist was just hoping to get the ball out of the infield.
He did much more than that.
Bloomquist sent a pitch from Mike Maroth over the shortened fence in left field for his first homer in more than 13 months—a go-ahead three-run shot in the fifth inning—to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
“I guess you can say I missed it—I was trying to hit a line drive,” Bloomquist said. “The third baseman was in and I was trying to hit something past him. I got it up in the air, and it went out.”
Bloomquist’s other homer was a grand slam on July 13, 2003, against Tampa Bay.
“It’s been a while,” he said. “Any time I can do that, it feels good.”
Gil Meche (4-5) allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 inning, helping Seattle avoid a three-game sweep. He has won three straight starts after winning just once in his first 12 starts.
“He’s been outstanding,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. “He tightened up his repertoire a little—he bagged his slider and is going fastball, change, curve.”
“Going into that inning, I knew I was going to face Pudge at some point,” Putz said. “I tried to run one inside on him, and he hit it pretty well, but that’s why we’ve got Ichiro out there.”
Brandon Inge reached on Jose Lopez’s fielding error at shortstop, and Rondell White hit a pinch-hit single to put runners on first and second with two outs in the ninth. Rodriguez, 4-for-5 with an RBI on Saturday, hit a sinking liner that Suzuki was able to catch on the run.
“Pudge probably hit that ball too well,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “If he doesn’t get so much of it, it probably drops in.”
Maroth (10-8) lost for the first time since July 8, a span of seven starts. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings as Detroit’s three-game winning streak ended.
“I would have to say that was very lenient scorekeeping,” Trammell said, agreeing with Munson’s assessment.
Bloomquist followed with his second homer in 374 career at-bats.
“It’s frustrating because I made my pitches and they put three runs on the board,” Maroth said. “Two guys hit infield singles and Bloomquist gets the barrel on a good pitch and it goes out. That’s baseball, I guess.”
Seattle took a 1-0 lead on Jolbert Cabrera’s RBI single in the second, but the Tigers scored three times in the bottom of the inning.
Dmitri Young, Carlos Pena and Craig Monroe started the inning with singles to load the bases, and Munson tied the game with a groundout to first base. One out later, Meche appeared to be out of the inning when Inge lifted a shallow pop down the right-field line, but Suzuki called off second baseman Cabrera and the ball dropped in front of him for a two-run double.
“I called it and there was a reason for it,” Suzuki said. “I’m not going to say why, but I felt I had to get to it.”
A day after going 4-for-7 with two RBIs, Suzuki was 1-for-5—lowering his American League-leading batting average to .370. … Tampa Bay outfielder Randy Winn went 0-for-5 a day after matching a career high by going 5-for-6. … The Comerica Park scoreboard showed a tribute to Martinez when he came up in the first inning of his final game in Detroit. … Maroth is 1-3 with an 8.76 ERA in five career starts against Seattle.