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Infante's breakout game leads Tigers past Mariners

May 9, 2007 - 4:21 AM DETROIT (Ticker) -- Omar Infante has not been much of a factor for the Detroit Tigers this season. All that changed Tuesday.

Infante had three hits and a career-high four RBI to lead the reigning American League champions to a 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a three-game series on Tuesday.

Without an RBI or extra-base hit this season, Infante had eight hits in 12 games and had scored three times. He picked up both his first double and RBI in the first of two three-run innings for Detroit, which continued its winning ways.

"Omar's a good hitter," Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge said. "He has the ability to come off the bench and hit the ball as if he's been starting all year. He's able to slow things down and put them into perspective. He understands that this is a game."

The Tigers (20-11) are rolling and are in the midst of a major-league best eight-game winning streak.

"The fun thing about this team is that something different happens every day," Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe said. "That is a tough line-up one through nine. Teams are going the have to realize that they can't shut us down by getting the middle part of the order out."

Seattle took an early lead on Richie Sexson's three-run home run to left in the first inning, but Detroit answered with three runs in the second and added three more in the fourth to take the lead for good.

"We dug ourselves into a hole early," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But we got some timely hitting and good defense to pull this one out."

Sean Casey, Infante and Brandon Inge each had an RBI double in the second, and Infante added a two-run triple in the fourth, scoring on a single to left by Inge as the Tigers took a 6-4 lead.

"I didn't do anything different tonight," Inge said. "They just didn't catch it." Infante added an RBI single in the sixth and was 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored. Infante had his big night hitting in the eighth spot in the order and Inge was 2-for-3 with three RBI.

"He's a professional hitter," Tigers manager Jim Leyland. "He had big hits to all fields for us tonight."

The Detroit offense picked up starter Jeremy Bonderman, who turned in a sub-par performance. The righthander was scheduled to start on Sunday at Kansas City but a blister on his finger pushed him back two days.

"I just have to stop giving up runs in the first inning," Bonderman said. "I didn't throw the ball well that inning, I tried to do something different with Sexton. I didn't throw a smart pitch. I was able to settle down after that and keep us in the game."

Bonderman (2-0) allowed five runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked two.

"After the first, he (Bonderman) started throwing that great slider again," Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson said. "He did a nice job of settling down. In the first, he was throwing fastball and his sinker. He elevated a sinker to me, and I was just trying to get it in the air and get a run in, but it went out."

Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez (2-2) allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings to take the loss. It was the second straight rough outing for Ramirez, who was pounded for seven runs and 11 hits in four innings vs. Boston on Thursday.

"Infante, Inge and those guys hit some good pitches," Ramirez said. "But they also hit some mistakes. I was falling behind guys in the first couple innings, and when I fixed that, I started making bad two-strike pitches.

"You definitely have to give them a lot of the credit, if you make a mistake to them, they make you pay."

Seattle shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt nearly matched Infante's production from the eight-hole, going 3-for-4 with three RBI. The final out was a game-saving circus catch by Magillo Ordonez, who drove to his left to take a sure hit away from Richie Sexson.

"I have no complaints about that inning," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "Monroe makes a great play, Ibanez crushes one into the deepest part of the park, and then Richie hits one down the line that looks like a double until Ordonez makes another circus catch. There's nothing you can do about that."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 3 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 7 10 0
    DETROIT 0 3 0 3 0 1 2 0 x 9 14 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - HORACIO RAMIREZ, SEAN GREEN (6TH), BRANDON MORROW (8TH) AND
    KENJI JOHJIMA
    DET - JEREMY BONDERMAN, BOBBY SEAY (7TH), FERNANDO
    RODNEY (8TH), TODD JONES (9TH) A

    May 8 10:00 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED BEN BROUSSARD AND
    ADRIAN BELTRE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, Y BETANCOURT ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 7
    DETROIT 9 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.274, 0-FOR-3)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 9:40 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    BRANDON INGE HIT BY SEAN GREEN PITCH WITH BASES LOADED
    SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, B INGE ON FIRST, C GRANDERSON ON SECOND, S
    CASEY ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    DETROIT 9 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.261, 1-FOR-4)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 9:24 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY GARY SHEFFIELD (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 7TH OFF SEAN GREEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5, DETROIT 8
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: M ORDONEZ (.336, 1-FOR-3)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 9:16 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY OMAR INFANTE SCORED CRAIG MONROE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O INFANTE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    DETROIT 7 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.188, 2-FOR-2, 2 RBI)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 8:55 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENJI JOHJIMA SCORED BEN BROUSSARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K JOHJIMA ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    DETROIT 6 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: Y BETANCOURT (.258, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 8:39 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRANDON INGE SCORED OMAR INFANTE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B INGE ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    DETROIT 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.256, 0-FOR-2)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 8:13 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY OMAR INFANTE SCORED CARLOS GUILLEN AND CRAIG
    MONROE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, O INFANTE ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    DETROIT 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.180, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 8:12 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED RICHIE SEXSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, Y BETANCOURT ON FIRST, A BELTRE ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    DETROIT 3 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.280, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 8:02 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY BRANDON INGE SCORED OMAR INFANTE.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B INGE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    DETROIT 3 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.259, 0-FOR-1)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 7:38 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND RULE DOUBLE BY OMAR INFANTE SCORED SEAN CASEY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, O INFANTE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    DETROIT 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: B INGE (.172, 4 HR, 8 RBI)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 7:37 PM


  • AL
    AT DETROIT - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY SEAN CASEY SCORED MAGGLIO ORDONEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, S CASEY ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    DETROIT 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C MONROE (.233, 4 HR, 22 RBI)

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 7:33 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 3 3 2 0
    DETROIT 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - HORACIO RAMIREZ
    DET - JEREMY BONDERMAN

    DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.261, 3 HR, 15 RBI)
    P POLANCO (.361, 1 HR, 15 RBI)
    G SHEFFIELD (.218, 4 HR

    Mariners vs. TigersMay 8 7:15 PM