Tigers beat Athletics 11-6 behind Ordonez’s 2 homers in second inning
DETROIT (AP)—Magglio Ordonez was simply trying to get an opposite-field hit when he led off the second inning.
By the time the inning was over, Ordonez had two homers and a place alongside Al Kaline in Detroit Tigers lore.
Ordonez hit two homers in an eight-run second and Detroit beat the Oakland Athletics 11-6 Sunday to win consecutive games for only the second time since mid-July.
“It’s an honor to be the second one to do it in Detroit history. It’s really nice,” the soft-spoken slugger said. “When you hit two home runs in a game, it’s huge. When you do it in one inning, it’s bigger.”
Ordonez also surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season, helping the inconsistent Tigers move back into first place in the AL Central by a half-game over slumping Cleveland.
The All-Star outfielder joined Kaline as the only Tigers to homer twice in one inning. The Hall of Famer did it in 1955 against the Kansas City Athletics. Now a special assistant to Detroit president Dave Dombrowski, Kaline watched Ordonez match his accomplishment from a suite behind home plate.
“The biggest part about it is, it was a huge factor in us winning the game,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “It’s an unbelievable feat that in all of the years of the Tigers, only two guys have done it.”
Detroit’s Placido Polanco also had a big day, tying a major league record by playing his 143rd consecutive game without an error at second base. Luis Castillo set the mark for second basemen from May 30, 2006, to June 5, 2007, with Minnesota.
“I have the record, but most importantly, we won the game,” Polanco said. “That’s what we’re here for.”
Since the Tigers had four victories in a row from July 15-19, they won two straight only once (Aug. 6-7) while losing 16 of 22 before beating Oakland 5-2 Saturday night.
“We’re going to be OK,” Ordonez said. “We’re still a good team.”
Oakland has lost 21 of 33 to plummet in the AL West standings, a year after losing to Detroit in the AL championship series. The banged-up A’s have seven players on the disabled list and lost center fielder Nick Swisher in the third inning with a sore hamstring. Then his replacement, Mark Kotsay, departed in the sixth with a stiff back.
Manager Bob Geren said both players are day-to-day and doesn’t expect either to be out for a significant length of time.
Oakland’s Marco Scutaro was 3-for-4 with a homer, two doubles and four RBIs.
“Marco has hit the ball hard for about a month now, but it was always right at someone,” Geren said. “Today, he found a couple alleys.”
Nate Robertson (7-9) gave up five runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, giving Detroit consecutive wins by a starter for the first time since its four-game streak last month. Robertson was replaced after giving up his season-high fifth walk. He also struck out six.
Dallas Braden (1-7) lasted just 1 2-3 innings, allowing eight runs and seven hits. He hasn’t won since April 24—his first major league start—and is the first Oakland pitcher to lose more than six straight in one season since Mike Mohler in 1997.
“I’m alive. Barely,” Braden said.
Braden’s poor outing started and ended against Ordonez.
He led off the second by sending a low pitch to the opposite field, over the right-field wall. His second homer, with two on, went to left and chased Braden as Detroit took an 8-2 lead.
“The sinker was down and away—right where I wanted it—and he just popped it out,” Braden said. “The second one was a fastball up. Pretty much perfect for him. Just a dumb pitch.”
San Francisco’s Bengie Molina is the only other player to hit two homers in an inning this season, on May 7 against the New York Mets, and only Tampa Bay’s Julio Lugo did it last year, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Polanco has not made an error since July 1, 2006. The major league record for consecutive errorless games by any infielder is 193, set by Steve Garvey. … Oakland’s Mark Ellis played his 77th straight game without an error, extending a franchise record for a 2B. … Polanco led off for the first time this season, a day after he was a late scratch because of a sore thumb. “It’s still hurting, but it’s playable,” Polanco said. “I hurt it sliding into third.” … Ordonez is the first Tiger with two straight 100-RBI seasons since Dean Palmer in 1999 and 2000.
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