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Seattle Mariners Find Fireworks to Defeat Tigers

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Seattle 8, Detroit 1 (box)

Cliff Lee‘s complete game streak came to an end but his eight strong innings were more than enough to defeat the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The Tigers turned three first-inning singles into a 1-0 lead but couldn’t cross the plate for the rest of the day.

The Mariners, meanwhile, took advantage of the longball to bury the Tigers put the Tigers in a deep hole. Russell Branyan hit a three run home run over the fence in right-center field following a failed double-play and a walk to Chone Figgins in the third inning. (…)

Franklin Gutierrez got the M’s back on the board in the fifth with an RBI single. That set up Casey Kotchman‘s three run home run to right field to blow the game wide open.

The home runs weren’t the only fireworks as Jeremy Bonderman and Gerald Laird were both tossed following the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor. For what it’s worth, an ESPN survey conducted after Jim Joyce’s blown call named Bucknor as MLB’s worst umpire.

The ejection ended a disappointing day for Bonderman who never really gave his team a chance to compete against one of the game’s best pitchers. Lee, who brought a better than 15 to 1 strike out to walk ratio into play, punched out 11 Tigers while walking just one. The Mariners figure to land a nice haul of young talent for Lee who will be one of the hottest commodities on this year’s trading block.

Prior to the game, Miguel Cabrera and Jose Valverde were named to the American League All-Star team. Brennan Boesch and Magglio Cabrera failed to make the cut and neither made the field for the final fan vote.

Elsewhere, the Arizona Diamondbacks designated Dontrelle Willis for assignment. Willis made six appearances, including five starts, and struggled with his controls just as he did in Detroit. The D-Train finishes his D’back career with a 1-1 record, 6.85 ERA, and 27 walks in 22.1 innings.