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Casey, Thames provide power as Tigers wallop Nats, pound out 17 hits

Dmitri-Young-Placido-Polanco

Former Tiger Dmitri Young beats the tag of Placido Polanco for a double in the second inning last night at RFK Stadium.

Nick Wass / AP Enlarge

WASHINGTON - Sean Casey hit his first home run of the season, and the Detroit Tigers pounded out 17 hits in a 15-1 rout of the Washington Nationals last night.

Marcus Thames also homered for Detroit, which tied a season-high for runs a night after Todd Jones gave up three in the ninth and nearly blew a four-run lead. The Tigers have won four of their last five games and have scored at least 10 runs six times in 17 June games.

The 15 runs and 17 hits were the most allowed by the Nationals this season.

Chad Durbin (6-3) made a case to remain in the Tigers' rotation by giving up one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked none.

Casey's three-run shot to right field off Jason Simontacchi in the third was his first since last Oct. 27, when Detroit lost the fifth and final game of the World Series against St. Louis. Casey had not had a homer in 211 at-bats this season entering the game, and had not hit a regularseason homer since last Sept. 28. against Toronto.

He continued his dominance of the Washington/Montreal franchise, going 2-for-5 with a walk and driving in a season-high four runs. His .400 batting average (74-for-185) against the franchise entering the game was the best among active players.

Simontacchi (4-5) surrendered 10 earned runs in three innings to tie Shayne Bennett's franchise record set with Montreal on Aug. 15, 1999. He gave up 10 hits, walked two and struck out one, and his ERA increased from 4.84 to 6.31.

Each Detroit starting position player had at least one hit. Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield and Brandon Inge each had two, and Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs.

Granderson led off the game with a single, and after Sheffield walked, Ordonez's RBI double and Carlos Guillen's RBI groundout made it 2-0. Casey followed with a two-out double to left that brought home Ordonez.

Sheffield and Ordonez singled ahead of Guillen's RBI single in the third, and Casey's three-run homer made it 7-0.

Detroit made it 12-0 in the fourth, sending nine batters to the plate. After Granderson led off with a double, Polanco hit an RBI single and moved to second on the throw home. He advanced to third on Sheffield's infield single, and Ordonez followed with an RBI single.

Casey walked two batters later to load the bases, and Brandon Inge cleared them with a double to right-center.

Brian Schneider scored for Washington in the fifth after reaching on a one-out single. He moved to second on Ryan Langerhans' single and scored on Cristian Guzman's single two batters later.

Mike Rabelo's RBI double in the eighth and Thames' two-run homer in the ninth made it 15-1.

NOTES: Washington's Dmitri Young had two hits against his former team. ... Durbin spent 2005 in Washington's minor league system with Triple-A New Orleans. ... Tigers manager Jim Leyland said RHP Justin Verlander will get an extra day of rest and start Saturday at Atlanta.

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