Thames, Tigers topple Mariners in 15 inningsJul 7, 2008 - 1:53 AM By Paul Lowenberg PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Marcus Thames plated Michael Holliman with a sacrifice fly off catcher-turned-pitcher Jamie Burke to snap a tie in the 15th inning as the Detroit Tigers recorded a 2-1 triumph over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Ivan Rodriguez had four hits and Ryan Raburn belted a solo home run in the fifth for Detroit, which stopped a modest two-game losing skid.
"It was a good win for us," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "It was a long game and it was grueling. I don't think people understand how tough it is on the guys to play a 15-inning game then get on a plane and travel. I'm proud of how the guys played today."
Yuniesky Betancourt slapped a run-scoring double in the third for Seattle, which fell for just the fourth time in its last 13 games.
Burke (0-1) took the mound for the Mariners after already being in the game as a catcher, becoming the third Seattle position player to pitch and the first since John Mabry on May 28, 2000.
"We were stuck a little bit today because we had a couple of relievers who were down today," said Mariners manager Jim Riggleman, explaining why he went to his backup catcher to pitch the 15th inning. "It would take too much time to praise everybody as much as I'd like to praise them. But, you can imagine what I feel about they way they battled."
Miguel Cabrera greeted Burke with a double to center and pinch runner Holliman took third on a wild pitch. Thames followed with his sacrifice fly to deep left field.
"I take it (facing Burke) very seriously," Cabrera said. "I was surprised when they brought him out. When I saw him I knew I had to be patient and not try to do too much. He threw me like a fastball right down the middle."
Burke, who had pitched a little in the minors, felt he was up to the challenge.
"For me, it wasn't scary," Burke said. "I was just focused on trying to throw strikes and go from there. I think I could have gone back out there for a couple more innings. I was trying to pace myself."
Aquilino Lopez (3-1) worked one inning for the victory while Todd Jones pitched scoreless 15th for his 16th save.
"That was one of the strangest games I've ever seen," Jones said. "This was a good one to get because we played so hard."
Tigers starter Nate Robertson allowed only four hits and walked two as he went nine innings for his longest outing of the season.
"Both teams had excellent pitching today," Leyland said. "I was very happy with our guys. Robertson was great. (Joel) Zumaya was great, and (Freddy) Dolsi was great. It was just one of those games where both teams were tired and couldn't muster much offense, but we finally got one across."
The Mariners put the potential winning run on second with one out in the ninth, but Robertson struck out Raul Ibanez and, following an intentional walk to Adrian Beltre, got Richie Sexson to fly out and send the game into extra innings.
Robertson, who gave up a season-high six runs on 11 hits in four innings in his previous start - a loss to Minnesota, was touched for a run on two hits in the third inning, but they were the only baserunners he allowed until Ibanez's one out double in the seventh.
The 25-year-old lefthander retired the first seven batters he faced, but the Mariners got on the board in the third on Willie Bloomquist's infield single and a run-scoring double by Betancourt for a 1-0 lead. But Betancourt was caught in a rundown after he over-ran second base to prevent further damage.
Ryan Rowland-Smith, a 24-year-old lefthander from Australia, made his second consecutive start, filling in for Felix Hernandez who is on the 15-day disabled list.
He held the Tigers scoreless through the first four innings before surrendering Raburn's fourth homer, a game-tying shot over the left field fence for a 1-1 tie.
Rowland-Smith wound up going five innings during which he threw 87 pitches, and allowed one run on five hits, three walks and two strikeouts.
Rowland-Smith got some defensive help in the second inning after loading the bases on a single and a pair of walks. With two outs, shortstop Betancourt made a fine diving stop on a sharp grounder by Placido Polanco that appeared headed for left field.
The Tigers wasted another scoring opportunity in the sixth when they loaded the bases with two outs against reliever Mark Lowe, but were unable to cash in as Lowe got Curtis Granderson on a routine fly.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
- - - - - - - - -
DETROIT 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
SEATTLE 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 11 12 13 14 15 R H E
-- -- -- -- -- -- - - -
DETROIT 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 8 2
SEATTLE 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 (FINAL 15)
Jul 6 8:34 PM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
SACRIFICE FLY BY MARCUS THAMES SCORED MICHAEL HOLLIMON.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 2
SEATTLE 1 TOP, 15TH
DUE UP FOR DETROIT: I RODRIGUEZ (.291, 4-FOR-6)
Tigers 2, Mariners 1 Top 15, 0 OutsJul 6 8:31 PM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY RYAN RABURN (4) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
5TH OFF RYAN ROWLAND-SMITH.
CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 1, SEATTLE 1
DUE UP FOR DETROIT: C GRANDERSON (.297, 0-FOR-1, BB)
Tigers 1, Mariners 1 Top 5, 0 OutsJul 6 5:10 PM
AT SEATTLE - SCORING UPDATE
DOUBLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED WILLIE BLOOMQUIST.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: DETROIT 0
SEATTLE 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.303, 0-FOR-1)
Tigers 0, Mariners 1 Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 6 4:53 PM
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