April 24, 2012 in Sports

Liddi’s career night lifts Mariners

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle’s Dustin Ackley slides home safely.
(Full-size photo)

DETROIT — Alex Liddi had a career-high three hits, including a solo homer, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 7-4 on Tuesday night.

Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila homered for the Tigers, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early 4-0 deficit. Michael Saunders drove in three runs for Seattle, which snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jason Vargas (3-1) pitched six innings for the Mariners, allowing four runs and six hits. He struck out four and walked one. Three relievers finished, with Brandon League pitching a hitless ninth for his sixth save.

Max Scherzer (1-2) allowed five runs and 10 hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Liddi’s homer — his first of the season — made it 6-4 in the seventh. The Italian-born third baseman made his debut last September and had only one two-hit game before Tuesday. He singled in the first and fifth before his home run.

Scherzer, who has been erratic so far this season, struggled through a 25-pitch first inning, allowing an RBI single by Jesus Montero to open the scoring.

The right-hander appeared to steady himself, fanning Saunders to end the inning and striking out the side in the second, but the Mariners scored three in the third. Kyle Seager drove in a run with a single, and Saunders added a two-run double.

Detroit’s Brennan Boesch hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third, and Avila made it 4-3 with a two-run homer the following inning — a 432-foot shot into the shrubbery over the wall just to the right of dead center field. Prince Fielder was on base for that home run after hitting an infield single. His comebacker bounced off Vargas and toward the line between home and third, and the big Detroit slugger hustled down to first.

But the Tigers could never pull even. Miguel Olivo hit a run-scoring groundball in the fifth for Seattle before Cabrera answered with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning. Then Liddi restored a two-run advantage.

Cabrera and Fielder started the bottom of the eighth with singles off Tom Wilhelmsen, but Ichiro Suzuki made a jumping catch in front of the wall in right-center on Delmon Young’s flyball. Cabrera went to third on that out, but Jhonny Peralta struck out looking on a breaking ball.

After a passed ball allowed Fielder to move to second as the tying run, Avila struck out swinging.

Saunders hit an RBI double in the ninth.

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