Mariners score 13 runs in first 4 innings against Tigers and cruise to 14-7 win

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DETROIT (AP)—The Seattle Mariners got their offense going and helped their flickering playoff hopes.

Ichiro Suzuki scored in each of the first four innings and Seattle busted out of a long slump, beating the Detroit Tigers 14-7 on Sunday for just its second victory in 15 games.

“We’re not dead yet,” Willie Bloomquist said.

Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer, Adrian Beltre had four RBIs and Jose Guillen drove in three runs for Seattle, which is five games behind the New York Yankees in the AL wild-card race.

“This is a big win at the end of a tough trip,” Mariners manager John McLaren said. “Now, we have something good to take on the plane ride home, and we’ve got 14 of 21 in Seattle.”

Felix Hernandez (12-7) earned the win despite giving up seven runs—six earned—and 10 hits with three walks over five-plus innings.

The Tigers, who fell four games behind the Yankees, had won four straight for the first time since mid-July.

“We’ve been playing better, but we haven’t been good enough,” said Magglio Ordonez, whose three RBIs gave him 126 for the season. “Hopefully, we’ll be good enough the rest of this month to get back in the playoffs.”

Detroit’s loss—and an injury that might end Jeremy Bonderman’s season— put a damper on Curtis Granderson’s latest feat.

The speedy center fielder joined Willie Mays and Frank “Wildfire” Schulte as the only players in major league history with 20 stolen bases, 20 homers, 20 triples and 20 doubles in a season.

“It probably won’t get the recognition it deserves,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “That’s big-time.”

Granderson stole his 20th base in the first inning and received a rousing standing ovation—from fans in the stands and his teammates in the dugout.

He expects to get the base he stole as a memento.

“I’ll get it framed up and probably will keep it at my parents’ house,” Granderson said.

Schulte was the first to accomplish the feat in 1911 while playing for the Chicago Cubs, and Mays did it in 1957 with the New York Giants.

Granderson hit his 20th homer Friday in the series opener, becoming the sixth player since 1900 in the 20-20-20 club and the first since Kansas City’s George Brett in 1979.

His 21st home run in the second inning pulled Detroit within a run, then the Mariners took control with seven runs over the next two innings to take a 13-5 lead.

Bonderman (11-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in 1 1-3 innings—matching the shortest outing of his five-year career—in what might be his final outing of the season.

Leyland said the team will probably shut down Bonderman while the right-hander’s elbow is examined.

“He’s not right, so that’s the end of that for now,” Leyland said. “The medical people will look into it further. It’s not right.”

Bonderman was 10-1 after beating Seattle on July 13, but he is 1-8 since and has given up at least six earned runs in five of his past nine starts.

“I’ve got some sharp pain on the outside of my elbow,” he said. “They’re going to give me some tests (on Monday) to find out what’s going on.

“I had it in ’05, and it’s a little worse this time. I’m done for a while, but I don’t know how long it’s going to be. … I’m going to do what I can to hopefully get back this year.”

After Leyland replaced Bonderman with Jason Grilli, things didn’t go much better for the Tigers. Grilli allowed three runs in 1 1-3 innings.

The Mariners didn’t necessarily need it in the lopsided game, but shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt made some jaw-dropping plays in the field.

Betancourt fielded a chopper up the middle, stepped on second base and flipped the ball to first for a double play with two on and none out in the sixth inning.

With two runners in scoring position in the fourth, Betancourt robbed Ordonez of at least one RBI when he got to a sharp grounder up the middle, whirled and fired a throw to first.

“He’s the best defensive shortstop in the league—without question,” Leyland said.

Notes

Ordonez has the most RBIs by a Tigers player since Cecil Fielder had 133 in 1991. … Hernandez is 6-1 since he had a .500 record on July 22. … The Mariners averaged only 3.43 runs per game during their recent slump.

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