for this game

Johjima, Hernandez help Mariners stifle Tigers

Jun 1, 2008 - 12:17 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

SEATTLE (Ticker) -- It was time for a little payback for an embarrassing three-game sweep in Detroit last week, and the Seattle Mariners used the dominant pitching of Felix Hernandez and two relievers to finally beat the Tigers on Saturday.

Kenji Johjima drove in a pair of runs and also stole home to lead Seattle to a 5-0 victory and give Felix Hernandez his first win in six weeks.

Hernandez (3-5) went seven innings, allowing just two hits, walking none and striking out seven before being relieved by Brandon Morrow to start the eighth. J.J. Putz worked a scoreless ninth to hand the Tigers their major league-leading ninth shutout of the year.

The four runs were the most the Mariners have scored in the previous eight starts by Hernandez, who ended a personal five-game losing streak dating to April 16.

"Felix was pretty good and we finally scored him a few runs," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "He had a little tired calf and that's why we got him out of there. It was a good win and a clean game. Good defense, a little hitting and good pitching."

Hard-throwing righthander Justin Verlander (2-8) gave up four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out two in seven innings to absorb his first career loss to the Mariners after five victories. It marked Verlander's sixth loss in his last seven starts.

"I think he was a little hyper the first couple of innings," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "I think he gave us a chance. I don't think his curve or changeup were as good today."

The win provided a measure of revenge for the Mariners, who were swept in their three-game series in Detroit last week, when the Tigers outscored them, 37-18. The Tigers won Friday's opener, 7-4, scoring all seven runs in the first inning.

Johjima got the Mariners off to a 2-0 start when he singled home Jose Lopez and Jose Vidro in the first inning.

"The first was the key to the game," Leyland said. "We had two on and one out and didn't score. Then they got two on and we had a chance to get out of the inning but we couldn't do it.

The Mariners' catcher then led off the fourth with a double and, after taking third on a groundout, broke for home on an attempted squeeze play. He was called safe by umpire Ron Kulpa after catcher Ivan Rodriguez dropped the ball twice while attempting to tag him, giving the Mariners a 3-0 lead.

"On that play there was nothing I could do," Johjima said. "I couldn't go back because I would have been out. Fortunately Pudge (Rodriguez) dropped the ball twice and that was why I had a chance of being safe."

It was only the fifth stolen base of Johjima's three-year major league career and first steal of home by a Mariners catcher since Dan Wilson did it on August 1, 1999. He swiped third base Friday night for his first steal of the season.

"That was a better steal," Johjima said. "That you need skills to do. This (stealing home) is something that just happened naturally."

Ichiro Suzuki's run-scoring groundout later in the inning made it 4-0.

Jeremy Reed hit his first home run of the season in the eighth off reliever Aquilino Lopez for Seattle's final run.

Leyland was ejected by first base umpire Dan Iassogna after Curtis Granderson hit a grounder to third and Adrian Beltre's strong throw barely got the speedy runner at first, prompting a long argument by the manager.

Hernandez looked like he might be in trouble from the start after a hit batsman and a single put runners at first and second with one out in the first inning. But the young Venezuelan ace struck out Magglio Ordonez and Marcus Thames to end the inning.

The only other hit he allowed came on Ordonez's one-out single in the fourth.

"Everything was working for me today," Hernandez said. "When my two-seamer is working they can hit the first pitch if they want, but they are going to get ground balls, fly balls and a lot of quick outs.

"I am happy we got the win and it has been a long time since I won a game, like 45 days."

The righthander said his 2-5 record at the start of the game was not indicative of his ability.

"I'm better than that," Hernandez said. "Those guys give me some runs and we win the game."








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

    BATTERIES: DET - JUSTIN VERLANDER, AQUILINO LOPEZ (8TH) AND IVAN RODRIGUEZ
    SEA - FELIX HERNANDEZ, BRANDON MORROW (8TH), J.J. PUTZ
    (9TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA

    HOME RUNS: DET - NO

    May 31 6:23 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEREMY REED (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF AQUILINO LOPEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0, SEATTLE 5
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: M CAIRO (.204, 1-FOR-3)

    Tigers 0, Mariners 5  Bot 8, 0 OutsMay 31 6:06 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    Tigers 0, Mariners 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 31 5:13 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY ICHIRO SUZUKI SCORED MIGUEL CAIRO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, I SUZUKI ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    SEATTLE 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.294, 1-FOR-2)

    Tigers 0, Mariners 4  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 31 5:01 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    KENJI JOHJIMA STOLE HOME.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    SEATTLE 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: M CAIRO (.191, 0-FOR-1)

    Tigers 0, Mariners 3  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 31 4:53 PM


  • AL
    AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY KENJI JOHJIMA SCORED JOSE LOPEZ AND JOSE VIDRO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHJIMA ON FIRST, R IBANEZ ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
    SEATTLE 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J REED (.200, 0 HR, 1 RBI)

    Tigers 0, Mariners 2  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 31 4:19 PM