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RAIN, RAIN, WENT AWAY.....TIGERS 7, Seattle 6, Th 8/20/09
Posted on: 08-20-2009

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>>caption:  CLETE DID IT AGAIN<<


    Trailing 4-0 and 6-2, the Tigers
stormed back following a 58-min/B-6th
rain delay and edged Seattle 7-6
Thursday on a walkoff RBI-1B by Clete
    It was the second walkoff hit for
Thomas this month, who had a GW-HR
AUG 3rd vs Baltimore.
    Struggling all afternoon, the Tigs
had managed to load the bases with
1-out in the B-6th as they chased
Mariners starter Ryan Rowland-Smith.
As Chris Jakubauskas came out of the
M's bullpen and warmed up to take
Rowland-Smith's place on the mound the threatening skies opened up and the tarp
had to cover the field.
    Rain had been all around all day including a shower which didn't interrupt
play in the B-1st through the T-2nd. When the CoPa ground crew put the tarp
in place the minimum 5-INN required for an official game had already been
accomplished. Winds with the storm caused heavy showers to come down sideways
and the Downtown Detroit skyline beyond the ballpark was hardly visable. In the
days before doppler this getaway day game would have been called a shortened
Seattle victory by the umpires and both teams would have scrambled to get out
of town.
    However, the radar showed a fast moving front and patience was rewarded
with late afternoon sunny skies when play resumed.
    Tiger MGR Jim Leyland called upon newly acquired Aubrey Huff to pinch-hit
for catcher Gerald Laird as the trio of Tiger runners resumed their places on the
bases. Huff had only mild success, moving everybody up and scoring a run on an
RBI-INF-G'out to put the score at 6-3. Leyland made another move by having rookie
back-up catcher Alex Avila pinch-hit for SStop Adam Everett and the kid delivered
a 2-out, 2-run, up-the-middle single off Jakubauskas to get Detroit within 6-5.
    It stayed that way until the B-9th. Carlos Guillen led off with a walk against
Seattle closer David Aardsma, who already had three of his 28 saves vs Detroit
this year. Ryan Raburn, who already had 3-H in the game for Detroit, foul-popped
to the catcher on the first pitch he saw. Tiger clean-up man Miguel Cabrera sliced
an opposite field double down the RField line to put Guillen at third with the tying
run. After Magglio Ordonez was intentially walked to load the bases and set up a
potential double play, Brandon Inge sent a flyball to short CField and a charging
Franklin Gutierrez caught the out, then fired a strike to the plate. Guillen crashed
M's catcher Kenji Johjima to knock the ball away and score to deadlock the contest
at 6-all with Cabrera moving up to third.
    Thomas came to the plate with extra innings looming on an already long
afternoon. Thomas battled back from a 1-2 count with a foul and took two balls
to make it 3-2. Thomas then turned on a low, inside fastball to line a single down
the 1Base line and score Cabrera for the comeback victory.
    Thomas' clutch hit concluded what could have been a very frustrating day for
Detroit where Seattle scored 6-R on only 5-H and Detroit stranded 10-LOB.
    All five Mariner hits were for extra bases including four homeruns and all came
off former Seattle LHP Jarrod Washburn, who was making his first Tiger start
against his old team.
    Ichiro Suzuki led-off the ballgame with a double to CField, was sac-bunted to
third and trotted home on a Mike Sweeney sac-fly to quickly make it 1-0/T-1st.
    Washburn then gave up four homeruns to tie his career-high in the span of
12 batters.  Jose Lopez hit a 2-out, 2rHR (#16) to the LField corner in the T-3rd.
Johjima soloed (#6) in the T-4th. After Detroit got within 4-2, Sweeney (#5) and
Russell Branyan (#28) back-to-back soloed in the T-6th. Johjima and Sweeney's
homers were just over the glove of Tiger LFielder Raburn and into the home
bullpen. There was no doubt about Branyan's, though. His blast fell just shy of
the facing of the RField upper deck and landed to the rear of the lower deck seats
an estimated 425-feet from the plate.
    The first two Tiger runs came on a pair of solo homeruns by Raburn (#8) and
Inge (#24) in the B-4th off Rowland-Smith.  
    Raburn went 3-for-5, Thomas 2-for-4 and Cabrera 2-for-5 at the plate for Detroit
while no Mariners managed multiple safeties.
    The Tigers took the 3-game home series 2-1 and the season set with the M's 5-4.
    Third Tiger pitcher Bobby Seay worked a perfect T-9th for the win (4-2) after middle
reliever Zach Miner had pitched two perfect frames when he replaced Washburn following
the weather delay. Both Detroit bullpenners had 1-K.  
    Washburn had his third rough outing in four starts as a Tiger and remains winless
(0-1, 3-ND) since coming to Detroit in a July 31st trade deadline deal with Seattle.
    The Tigers improved to 40-20 at home.
    AL-Central leading Detroit gained standings ground on idle second place Chicago
Thursday. The White Sox are n ow two and a half games behind the Tigers.

    SEA     6-5-2, 1-LOB         (L) Aaardsma, 3-5
    DET     7-10-0, 10-LOB     (W) Seay, 4-2  

TIGERS MGR JIM LEYLAND:   "This was a sweet win. It’s going to make that long,
long trip all the much easier for us...That's what you're farm system is for and
we've been blessed."

TIGERS CF CLETE THOMAS:   "It feels great, having the young guys producing, and
the veterans behind us backing us all the way, and a skipper that trusts us."

TIGERS PH CARLOS GUILLEN:   ""It's important, because we came from behind.
When you get on a plane for five, six hours, you're going to feel different [if it's a loss]."

TIGERS SP JARROD WASHBURN:   "“I tried to block out that the guy in the (batter's)
box was a friend two weeks ago...It (his Tiger tenure) hasn’t gone the way I wanted
so far...Two (of the four HR he allowed) were wind-blown and would’ve been outs
any other day. Unfortunately, those still count...It was a huge win, the kind of win
that builds character and tell you what kind of guys you have in the clubhouse. That's
awesome to see."

MARINERS RP DAVID AARDSMA:   "The first-batter walk, that’s always been my enemy."

MARINERS MGR DON WAKAMATSU:   "If you told me we’d hit four homers today and lose,
I would have thought you were crazy...I thought we battled for three days, and we put
ourselves in a position to win all three games in the eighth inning or later. I’m proud of
that, but obviously, you have to be able to close those games out.”


    Washburn has a 6.04-ERA with Detroit and has served up eight homeruns in his
21.1-IP for the Tigers. Washburn had allowed only 11-HR the first four months of
this season with Seattle. All his Tiger starts have come at home.
    Seay gained both Tiger victories in the just-concluded series and is 3-0 in seven
August appearances.
    Thomas was in CField for slumping (0-for-13) Curtis Granderson. Grandy was
the only Detroit non-pitcher who did not bat in Thursday's game.
    Inge made a pair of difficult foul-pop catches in the game, tumbling head-over-heels
into the front row of the seats on the first grab.  
    Ichiro went 7-for-13 (.538-BA) in the 3-game series with a double, homerun,
2-RBI and a single run scored in each game.
    Seattle's only other four homerun game this season was July 21st at Detroit.
    Prior to Thursday's game the Mariners optioned pitcher Garrett Olson to 3A
Tacoma to make roster room for 3Bman Bill Hall (obtained in a trade with Milwaukee
    The Baltimore Orioles claimed RHP Chris Lambert off waivers Thursday, ending
Lambert's brief Tiger career. Lambert took a Tiger relief loss at Boston a week ago
Wednesday and then was returned to 3A Toledo. However, Lambert was scratched
from a scheduled Tuesday Mud Hens start when his contract was designated for
assignment to make room on Detroit's 40-man roster for the signing of 2009 top draft
pick Jacob Turner. In two relief appearances for Detroit this year Lambert had a
14.85-ERA. In 10 games including three starts for the Tigers over the past two years
Lambert posted a 1-3 record swith a 7.90-ERA.
    DLed Tiger LHP Dontrelle Willis was removed from his injury rehab start for Toledo
Wednesday night after just 1.1-IP due to a recurring soreness in his right hip. Willis
was scheduled to see a doctor in Columbus, OH Thursday (where the Hens are on a road
trip) for diagnostic testing.  
    The Tigers open a 6-game west coast road trip with a 3-game series at Oakland
starting late Friday night. Edwin Jackson (9-5), Armando Galarraga (6-10) and Rick
Porcello (10-7) are the weekend Detroit probables. The A's are scheduled to counter
with Gio Gonzalez (4-3), Trevor Cahill (6-12) and Brett Tomko (2-2).


    Toledo clubbed Columbus 10-1 Thursday night for the Mud Hens' fifth straight
win including four over the Clippers.
    Don Kelly and Dusty Ryan both went 3-for-5 with a homerun. Kelly (#5) hit a
solo shot and Ryan had a 3rHR (#10) and 4-RBI.
    DLed Tiger LHP Nate Robertson made the injury (elbow) rehab start and went
5-IP for the win (1-1). Robertson threw 38 of his 54-pitches for strikes and allowed
1-R/1-ER on 5-H with 0-W & 4-K. DLed Detroit RHP Jeremy Bonderman (shoulder)
followed Robertson to the mound and threw 18-pitches/17-strikes over two perfect
innings with 2-K.  



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