Monday's American League Capsules

May 9, 2007 - 2:44 AM By PA SportsTicker

DETROIT 9, SEATTLE 7 --------------------

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Seattle shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt nearly matched Infante's production from the eight-hole, going 3-for-4 with three RBI.

NY YANKEES 8, TEXAS 2 ---------------------

BRONX, New York (Ticker) -- Andy Pettitte pitched seven effective innings, Alex Rodriguez hit his major league-leading 15th home run and Doug Mientkiewicz scored a pair of runs to lead the Yankees to an 8-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Since losing two of three at home to the rival Boston Red Sox, the Yankees have won six of their last eight games and have received great starting pitching, a trend started a week ago in Texas when prized pitching prospect Philip Hughes took a no-hitter into the seventh before injuring his hamstring.

Pettitte (2-1) was embarrassed by not being able to get out of the fifth in an 11-4 loss to the Red Sox on April 27 but his last two outings have been outstanding.

Five days after allowing two runs and five hits in six innings at Texas, the veteran lefthander was equally effective Tuesday night, allowing one run and seven hits.

In his first victory since April 10 at Minnesota, Pettitte struck out four, issued one walk and threw 68 of 108 pitches for strikes.

He also had tremendous support from Mientkiewicz at first base, both defensively and offensively. Mientkiewicz scored New York's first run on Derek Jeter's RBI double in the third and added another run in the in the fourth on Jeter's single.

The Yankees blew the game open with a four-run fifth that chased Texas starter Mike Wood (0-1). Jason Giambi opened the frame with a walk and, two pitches later, Rodriguez deposited an 0-1 pitch into the right-center field bleachers for a 6-1 edge.

It was the 479th home run of Rodriguez's career but the All-Star third baseman's first blast since April 23 in Tampa Bay.

Hideki Matsui followed with a walk and moved to third on Jorge Posada's single, which knocked out Wood. Lefthander Ron Mahay entered and gave up Robinson Cano's RBI double and Mientkiewicz's sacrifice fly.

Before the big inning, Mientkiewicz recorded all three putouts in the top of the fifth. After missing a tag on Gerald Laird's bunt attempt, he beat him to the bag for the first out.

Texas scored its lone run off Pettitte in the third on Sammy Sosa's RBI single. The Rangers had a chance for more but Sosa was gunned down at the plate by right fielder Bobby Abreu as he tried to score on Hank Blalock's double.

BALTIMORE 8, TAMPA BAY 3 ------------------------

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Nick Markakis hit a two-run homer and Jeremy Guthrie pitched six strong innings to notch his first win as a starter as the Baltimore Orioles downed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 8-3, in the first of a three-game set.

With the Orioles leading, 2-1, Markakis hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Devil Rays starter Jae Seo (1-3).

The shot from Markakis snapped a 17-game homerless drought and marked only the third time in the last 10 contests that he plated a run for Baltimore, which has won nine of the last 11 meetings against Tampa Bay.

Part-time starter Guthrie (2-1), who has made three relief appearances since his last start on April 24, yielded just one run and six hits with no walks and two strikeouts to notch his second win against Tampa Bay this season.

Guthrie is being asked to step into the rotation to fill the void due to injuries to starters Kris Benson, Jaret Wright and, most recently, Adam Loewen.

Jay Gibbons broke a 3-for-38 slump with a homer among his three hits and Miguel Tejada had three hits for the Orioles, who have dropped 15 of their last 19 contests at Camden Yards.

Seo, who has allowed the most hits in the American League with 56 in just 32 2/3 innings, surrendered five runs and six hits with a walk and a strikeout. Before Tuesday, the righthander had allowed at least seven hits in every start, including three outings in which he failed to last more than three frames.

Seo has only two wins in 23 starts with the Devil Rays since being acquired last June along with catcher Dioner Navarro from the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Mark Hendrickson and catcher Toby Hall.

Carlos Pena went 4-for-4 for Tampa Bay. It was the first time Pena tallied four hits in a game since he went 6-for-6 at Kansas City on May 27, 2004.

BOSTON 9, TORONTO 2 -------------------

TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Boston Red Sox pounded out four homers and Josh Beckett pitched seven strong innings en route to a 9-2 win over the struggling Toronto Blue Jays.

Beckett yielded one run and five hits while striking out five to earn his major-league leading seventh win in as many starts, one behind Babe Ruth (1917), Dave Ferriss (1945) and Roger Moret (1973) for the franchise record for consecutive wins to begin a season.

Beckett, who averaged a team-leading 7.7 runs of support from Boston's offense entering Tuesday's start, had no need to complain about the offense against Toronto, which has lost seven in a row.

Red Sox batters were not fooled by Blue Jays' starter Victor Zambrano, who was chased after surrendering eight runs and eight hits in just 2 2/3 innings. The veteran righthander was making his second start of the season after beginning the 2007 campaign in the bullpen.

Boston scored just seven runs total while taking two of three from the Minnesota Twins over the weekend, but jumped on the board early when Kevin Youkilis - the second hitter of the game - drove a 2-1 thigh-high fastball from Zambrano over the center-field wall for a solo homer, his third of the season.

Toronto tied it in the bottom of the opening frame when leadoff hitter Alex Rios launched Beckett's first pitch over the wall in center for his sixth blast of the season. It was the third time this season he homered leading off a game and the eighth time in his career.

It was just the second homer that Beckett has surrendered this season, after allowing a career-high 36 during the 2006 campaign.

The Blue Jays gave Beckett fits last season, holding him to a 1-2 record with a 6.21 ERA while blasting eight homers in just five starts.






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