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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2007

Mariners derail Tigers express

ASSOCIATED PRESS
Detroit starter Nate Robertson was touched up for 10 hits and 6 runs in losing his second game of the season last night. Detroit starter Nate Robertson was touched up for 10 hits and 6 runs in losing his second game of the season last night.
DUANE BURLESON / AP Enlarge

DETROIT - Jose Guillen hit a three-run homer, Cha Seung Baek pitched a six-hitter and the Seattle Mariners snapped the Detroit Tigers' eight-game winning streak with a 9-2 victory last night.

Raul Ibanez had three hits, two RBIs and scored two runs. Seattle had three runs each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.

The Mariners finished with 16 hits, including a season high-tying six doubles.

Curtis Granderson homered for Detroit, which had tied San Francisco for the longest winning streak in the majors this season.

Baek (1-0) struck out four and didn't walk a batter in his first career complete game. He gave up a triple to Carlos Guillen in the second, singles to Brandon Inge in the third and eighth and Craig Monroe in the fifth, and a double to Gary Sheffield in the ninth.

Tigers starter Nate Robertson (3-2) lasted only 42/3 innings, despite retiring the first seven batters. He allowed six runs and 10 hits.

With Seattle trailing 2-0, Jose Guillen's homer in the fourth gave the Mariners the lead for good after Ibanez and Richie Sexson had singled with one out.

The inning ended when Kenji Johjima was thrown out at the plate by left fielder Craig Monroe on Jose Lopez's single. It appeared that Johjima had beaten catcher Ivan Rodriguez's tag, but he was called out by home plate umpire Dan Iassogna.

The Mariners added three more in the fifth on RBI dou-bles by Ibanez, Sexson, and Adrian Beltre. Beltre's hit, with two out, knocked Robertson out of the game.

Seattle also got three in the sixth on a run-scoring double by Ichiro Suzuki, an RBI single by Jose Vidro, and an RBI double by Ibanez.

Granderson led off the bottom of the first with his sixth homer of the season, driving Baek's 1-2 pitch into the right-field stands. The Tigers made it 2-0 in the second when Carlos Guillen scored on Sean Casey's sacrifice fly.

Notes: The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 36 minutes by rain. ... Seattle's Felix Hernandez, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right forearm, played catch for 20 minutes and felt good afterward, according to pitching coach Rafael Chaves. Hernandez threw three innings of a simulated game on Tuesday, and Chaves said he would have a bullpen session tomorrow. ... Detroit's Jeremy Bonderman said the blister on one of the fingers of his pitching hand was hurting last night. He'll get treatment for it, and doesn't expect to miss his next scheduled start on Sunday, though manager Jim Leyland said it's a possibility. ... The Tigers also had six doubles on May 4. ... Granderson's leadoff home was the eighth of his career.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - Deep in the belly of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cal Ripken Jr. donned the customary white gloves used to handle the treasured artifacts of bygone times and gently picked up the weather-beaten glove Lou Gehrig wore when he starred for Columbia University.

"There was no such thing as a backhand with that," Ripken marveled.

In the blink of an eye, baseball's iron men were connected again.

Gehrig, the New York Yankees Hall of Famer who played in 2,130 straight games, and Ripken, the man who broke what once was considered an unsurpassable mark, playing in 2,632 straight for the Baltimore Orioles.

And in less than three months they will be connected forever when Ripken is inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"In some ways, I've been trying not to think about it," Ripken said. "I guess the process has begun. I can't put it off anymore."

Ripken, who played his entire career with the Orioles, mainly as a shortstop, was elected in January along with former San Diego Padres slugger Tony Gwynn. Ripken was picked by 537 voters and appeared on 98.53 percent of ballots to finish with the third-highest percentage behind Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan.

On this day, during the customary Hall of Fame tour given to each future inductee, it didn't take long for the emotions to strike.

Ripken held bats once wielded by Babe Ruth and Rabbit Maranville, gazed at the Honey Boy Evans Trophy given to Ty Cobb for winning the American League batting title in 1911, saw Gehrig's jersey from 1939, his final season.

It felt good to at last be so close to the "Iron Horse."

"When the comparisons to Lou Gehrig's unbreakable record kept being made, I think I pushed Lou away and didn't want to know about him, didn't want to change my approach," Ripken said. "Now in hindsight, you wish you had the chance to ask him what he was thinking.

"I'd love to be able to know the answer from him. Was it an extension of his approach? Did it happen by accident or did he actually set out to do that?"



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