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Rod, Ibanez Hit M's Past Tigers

Alex Rodriguez came up a triple short of hitting for the cycle for the second time at Tiger Stadium. That was about the only thing that went wrong for Seattle in its first doubleheader sweep in 19 years.

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  • Rodriguez was 3-for-5 with his 34th homer as the Mariners beat Detroit 7-1 on Friday night to complete the sweep and hand Brian Moehler his first home loss of the season.

    In the first game, Raul Ibanez, recalled from the minors earlier in the day, hit a tie-breaking two-run double in the eighth inning in Seattle's 6-3 victory.

    The Mariners, who have won four of their last five, swept a doubleheader for the first time since taking a pair from Baltimore on May 6, 1989.

    "Really?" Seattle manager Lou Piniella said. "This is a year of firsts in a lot of ways."

    Rodriguez, who hit for the cycle June 5, 1997, at Detroit, was 5-for-9 in the doubleheader. In the second game, he singled and scored in the first inning, doubled and scored in the second, and homered leading off the fourth. He grounded into a double play and struck out in his final two at-bats.

    "It's difficult to hit a triple in this ballpark unless you hit it over (center fielder) Brian Hunter's head, and that's pretty tough to do," Rodriguez said.

    "Alex has been playing well all year; that's nothing new," Piniella said. "What you see is what you get with Alex"

    Ken Griffey Jr. was 1-for-5 with two RBI in the second game after going 1-for-3 in the first game. The Seattle star, the AL homer leader with 41, hasn't homered in 34 at-bats over his last seven games since July 30.

    Shane Monahan had three hits in the second game, including an RBI single in the eighth.

    Moehler (12-8) allowed six runs and 10 hits in four innings. He entered the game 9-0 at Tiger Stadium and hadn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his previous 12 home starts.

    "You know it's going to catch up with him sometime," Detroit manager Buddy Bell said after the Tigers' fourth straight loss and eighth in 10 games.

    Jamie Moyer (9-8) won for the fourth time in his last five starts, allowing a run on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

    "We got three runs early and added a few more and Jamie made it work," Piniella said.

    Griffey had an RBI groundout and Russ Davis added a run-scoring single in the first inning of the second game. Griffey, Joey Cora and Edgar Martinez had RBI singles in the second, and Rodriguez homered in the fourth.

    Bobby Higginson had a sacrifice fly for Detroit in the fifth.

    With the score 3-all in the second game, Martinez doubled off Dean Crow (1-1), Davis walked and reliever Sean Runyan walked pinch-hitter Joe Oliver.

    Ibanez, hitting for John Marzano, sent the first pitch from Matt Anderson up the right-center field gap. Monahan followed with an RBI single.

    Ibanez was in the majors for the first time since Sept. 28. He played 15 games for Seattle in 1996 and 1997.

    "It's definitely a big thrill," Ibanez said. "And I appreciate the opportunity to get up in that situation with the game on the line."

    Ibanez said he was looking for a first-pitch fastball from Anderson, a rookie whose fastball has been clocked at 100 mph.

    "I knew he throws hard, so I was looking for a good pitch to hit and I got the fat part of the bat on it," Ibanez said. "I figure a guy that throws real hard is going to come after you with his best pitch."

    Ibanez was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma and flew to Detroit on Friday morning after playing in a 15-inning game Thursday at Nashville.

    "Yesterday I was tired, but today I had energy," said Ibanez, who arrived at Tiger Stadium about five hours before the first game.

    "What killed us was the walk to Oliver," Bell said. "That goes to a point where you're looking for a pop-up or a ground ball. You don't want to walk anybody."

    Oliver was signed by Seattle after being released last month by the Tigers.

    Heathcliff Slocumb (2-4) pitched 1 2/3 shutout innings, and Mike Timlin got three outs for his eighth save.

    Seattle starter Jeff Fassero allowed a run on three hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 5 2/3 innings. Detroit rookie Seth Greisinger gave up three runs on eight hits in six innings.

    Rob Ducey's run-scoring single gave Mariners a 1-0 lead in the second, and Rodriuez and Griffey hit consecutive RBI doubles in the fifth.

    Joe Siddall hit his first major-league homer off the facing of the right-center field bleachers leading off the Tigers' sixth. Detroit tied the score against Bobby Ayala in the seventh on Gabe Alvarez's RBI single and Deivi Cruz's sacrifice fly.


  • Moeller's home ERA rose from a league-best 1.97 to 2.37.
  • Ibanez was recalled when the Mariners feared David Segui would have to go on the disabled list, but an MRI exam on Segui's right knee was negative. The knee locked up as Segui waited out the rain delay before Thursday night's game was postponed.
  • The Mariners optioned outfielder Charles Gipson to Tacoma.

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