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Published: Sunday, 7/15/2007

Johjima's grand slam slays Tigers

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE - Kenji Johjima hit a game-breaking grand slam off Kenny Rogers, and Miguel Batista held the highest scoring team in the major leagues to one run in six innings as the Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 6-4 last night.

Johjima's second career slam came in the sixth after he fouled off four of Rogers' pitches. Rogers' final toss of the game was a hanging, 76-mph curveball that Johjima sent into Seattle's bullpen to blow open a 2-1 game and send Detroit to its second loss in eight games.

Rogers (3-1) allowed five hits and five earned runs for his first defeat since last Oct. 1.

Batista (9-7) allowed five hits, struck out six, and walked two to help Seattle win for the fifth time in six games.

Detroit rallied with three runs in the eighth, two on Carlos Guillen's single off Chris Reitsma. Recently hobbled Raul Ibanez then raced to left field warning track to make a running catch of Ivan Rodriguez's drive with a man on.

All-Star J.J. Putz entered and got the final four outs - striking out the side in the ninth - for his 26th save.

Rogers' control left him in spurts: He walked two consecutive batters to load the bases in two different innings. The second time came right before Johjima's grand slam.

Richie Sexson led off the fourth with a double to end an 0-for-17 skid. He advanced to third on a ground out. With two outs, Yuniesky Betancourt lined a single to put Seattle up 2-1.

Rogers made two mistakes on one play that cost him Seattle's first run. Sexson led off the second with a grounder to the right of the mound that Rogers picked up, then dropped. The five-time Gold Glove winner then turned and threw without looking wide of first base for a two-base error. After consecutive walks, Jose Lopez brought home Sexson with a sacrifice fly.

The Tigers got to third base twice against Batista, after Curtis Granderson led off the game with his 13th home run. But when Brandon Inge ran around third on a bloop single by Placido Polanco, right fielder Jose Guillen threw out Inge by three steps at home to cut down the go-ahead run and end the third.

And when Polanco walked in the sixth and eventually got to third base with Seattle leading 2-1, Batista struck out Rodriguez on an 89-mph breaking pitch.

Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez has been suspended for one game by Major League Baseball for his conduct during a game against the Mariners.

Rodriguez, who was also fined an undisclosed amount, was ejected from Thursday's game in the fourth inning for arguing that he was interfered with while trying to throw out a base stealer.

Betancourt, but his throw sailed over second base and into center field for an error that allowed Beltre to advance to third.



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