Thursday, May 27, 2010

MARINERS: M's continue winning ways in 5-4 comeback over Tigers

By: Jeff Stoss

It took an 8th inning rally for the Mariners to take this afternoon’s game against the Tigers, 5-4. Jason Vargas, starter for the M’s, was held to a short outing after reaching a pitch count of 109 through 5 innings. One fastball was the only blemish on Vargas’ line, which Magglio Ordoñez blasted off the scoreboard in left field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead in the top of the 3rd. Ordoñez’ 7th home run of the year was accompanied by Adam Everett’s RBI double and an RBI single by Austin Jackson in the 6th inning giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

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The M’s offense struck first on a Michael Saunders single in the bottom of the 2nd off Tigers starter Jeremy Bonderman. Other than that minor blip on the radar, Bonderman was exceptional the rest of the game. At the end of the night, he had surrendered only one unearned run on five hits with six strikeouts through seven innings. He handed a 4-1 lead to the bullpen which, unfortunately for Bonderman, was not enough to earn Detroit the victory.

Mike Sweeny hit his 6th home run of the year off of Ryan Perry to jumpstart the M’s offense in the bottom of the 8th. Sweeny, batting .309 at the end of the night, cut the deficit to one run in a single swing, creating an energy felt throughout Safeco Field. The next three batters reached base, culminating with a 2-run single by Josh Wilson to take the lead. After facing six batters and only recording one out, Detroit manager Jim Leyland had seen enough and turned to Phil Coke, who struck out the only two batters he faced to keep the Tigers within striking distance in the final inning.

David Aardsma came in to pitch a perfect top of the 9th to earn his 11th save of the season and a victory for the M’s, despite a 0-for-5 performance by their usually reliable leadoff man, Ichiro. The win wrapped up the M’s seven game homestand, in which they went 4-3.

The next challenge for the Mariners will be against division rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, on the road. Cliff Lee (2-2) is slated to start for the M’s Thursday night against Scott Kazmir (3-4) of the Angels.

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