Work in Sports
Only in Comerica
Mariners top Tigers, end eight-game losing streak
DETROIT (AP) -- "Pitcher-friendly" is a phrase often used to describe Comerica Park. It was just friendly enough to Seattle closer Kazuhiro Sasaki for the Mariners to end their eight-game losing streak
Left fielder Rickey Henderson caught Dean Palmer's bid for a game-tying grand slam on the warning track in left-center for the final out Tuesday night, preserving the Mariners' 8-4 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Mike Cameron hit a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth inning and Alex Rodriguez had a three-run homer in the ninth for the Mariners, whose losing streak was their longest since a club-record 14 straight losses in 1992.
"I guess we had to make it interesting," Rodriguez said. "The bottom line is we got the game over and got a big monkey off our back."
Mariners manager Lou Piniella said his team finally got a few breaks.
"We haven't gotten many lately, but we haven't created many," Piniella said. "Tonight, we did and we broke the streak."
Rodriguez's' 31st homer gave Seattle a seemingly comfortable 8-3 lead. But his fielding error at shortstop helped the Tigers score a run and loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
"I thought to myself, 'Don't go out, don't go out,' " said Sasaki, who got his 29th save in 32 chances.
Detroit manager Phil Garner said the wind affected Palmer's drive but didn't use it as an excuse.
"Everyone's playing in the same conditions," Garner said. "The wind beat that ball down. Any other day, that ball's 10 rows up."
Cameron, playing center field, said he never thought Palmer's ball was headed out.
"I thought it was going to be off the wall or something," Cameron said. "I haven't seen [Henderson] run that fast all year."
"I was turning and twitching and everything else trying to make that ball fair," Cameron said.
"That was a good at-bat by Cameron," Piniella said. "He hit the chalk line."
Two-out walks to Henderson and Olerud set up Rodriguez's 31st homer, a drive off Matt Anderson in the ninth.
"It wasn't very smart to walk two guys to get to Rodriguez," Garner said.
Jose Paniagua (2-0) worked 1 2/3 innings for the win. He escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the seventh when Gonzalez flied out to deep center.
"Gonzo hit the ball in the wind and it backed up," Garner said.
The Tigers who failed for the second time in three days to reach .500 for the first time since they were 1-1. Detroit lost for the only the second time in nine games.
"It was just a tough game," Weaver said. "The past few games we've had a lot of ups and downs. It takes a little bit of a toll on you."
Weaver gave up four runs and six hits in seven-plus innings. Weaver, who won at Seattle in his last start, has lost his last four home decisions.
Seattle starter Freddy Garcia allowed three runs on five hits in 6 2-3 innings. The Tigers turned two of his five walks into runs.
Cameron gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the second when he hit a two-out single, stole second and scored when Carlos Guillen's hard liner glanced off the glove of first baseman Palmer, who tried to make a jumping catch, for a single.
Rodriguez tied it with a sacrifice fly in the third after Henderson walked and Olerud singled. Higginson led off the home half with his 24th homer.
Notes: Sasaki has saves against every AL team except Cleveland this year. ... The Tigers are 15-5 when Higginson homers. ... Gonzalez was 0-for-4, snapping his season-high 13-game hitting streak. ... Henderson stole a base in the ninth inning. The swipe at Comerica Park gave him steals in 42 different stadiums in his major league career.