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Mariners Roll Through Motown


Russ Davis is glad his troubles in the field this season haven't carried over to the plate.
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    Forum: How many homers will Griffey hit this year?

  • Davis hit two homers and Alex Rodriguez continued his torrid hitting at Tiger Stadium as the Seattle Mariners beat Detroit 9-3 Saturday.

    Rob Ducey and Edgar Martinez also homered for the Mariners, who have won three straight and five of their last six. Detroit has lost five straight and nine of 11.

    Ken Griffey Jr. went 1-for-5 with an RBI single as the designated hitter but went homerless for the eighth straight game. The AL home run leader with 41, Griffey has not gone deep in 37 at-bats since July 30.

    Davis hit a three-run homer off reliever Doug Bochtler after walks to Rodriguez and Martinez in the seventh. Davis added a solo homer, his 17th, off Dean Crow in the ninth for his third multihomer game this season and fourth of his career.

    "It's all about winning, and any time you do something to help the team win you feel good," Davis said.

    Davis has struggled all year defensively, committing 30 errors in stints at third base and left field. He's tried to make up for it with his bat, hitting .317 (19-for-60) with three home runs and 16 RBI since the All-Star break.

    "That's one thing I've been really happy about," Davis said. "I've got to stay in the lineup somehow, o I have to swing the bat."

    Davis has had his moments in the field, too. On Saturday he made a fine play to throw out Brian Hunter, who tried to beat out a bunt to third.

    "He's been playing better all the way around and I'm pleased to see that," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "He's relaxed and having fun."

    Rodriguez, 5-for-9 in the Mariners' doubleheader sweep of the Tigers on Friday, hit an RBI double in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth. Rodriguez went 2-for-4 and is batting .429 (9-21) at Tiger Stadium this year.

    Ken Cloude (7-7) won his third straight despite falling behind 2-0 after two innings. He allowed three runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

    "He's throwing the ball harder than he did earlier this year and he's pitching with more confidence," Piniella said. "That's obvious."

    Brian Powell (2-3) gave up five runs on eight hits, including two home runs, in five innings.

    "I didn't think I threw well by any means, but this is one of the best lineups in either league," Powell said. "When you've got guys like A-Rod, Griffey, Martinez and Russ Davis, they're dangerous any time. My problem was I got behind a little bit, then had to come over the plate. Those guys wait for that."

    The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first when Brian Hunter scored from third on Bobby Higginson's double-play grounder. Frank Catalanotto doubled and scored on Paul Bako's double to make it 2-0 in the second.

    Ducey, who started in center in place of Griffey, led off the third with his third homer and, after Joey Cora walked, Rodriguez hit a tying RBI double.

    Rodriguez was credited with another double when left fielder Trey Beamon slipped and couldn't recover in time to catch his fly ball. Griffey followed with a go-ahead bloop RBI single before Martinez hit his 21st home run to give the Mariners a 5-2 lead.

    Deivi Cruz hit an RBI double in the Tigers' seventh, but Detroit ended up with three or fewer runs for the eighth time in 10 games. Several players took extra batting practice on the field after the game.

    "We have a lot of guys struggling right now, both on the mound and at the plate," Tigers manager Buddy Bell said. "That's not a very good combination. It's tough to get over, but we have to weather the storm.

    "Hopefully we have some guys who can get out of it."

    Notes

  • Griffey was Seattle's designated hitter for the first time this season after starting the first 114 games in center field.
  • Saturday's crowd of 37,495, Detroit's second-largest of the season, was bolstered by the Tigers' second Beanie Baby giveaway of the season.
  • Powell has given up at least two homers in five of his eight starts, and 21 of the 34 runs he's allowed have scored on homrs.
  • Raul Ibanez started in right field for the Mariners and made a fine sliding catch to rob Catalanotto of a probable double in the sixth.

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