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Tigers' Pena shows promise in defeat of Mariners

DETROIT (AP) -- Carlos Pena knows he is fighting for his future
with the Detroit Tigers.

Pena struck out twice in his first three at-bats, giving him 84
in just 237 at-bats this season. But he also made a spectacular
leaping catch at first base, then hit the longest homer in Comerica
Park history in Detroit's 8-1 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Pena is hitting .309 with 13 homers in 31 games since being
recalled from Triple-A Toledo in mid-August.

"I don't even think about next year," he said. "I'm just
going out there and playing baseball and whatever happens,
happens."

Tigers manager Alan Trammell is going to give Pena every chance
to work his way back into Detroit's future, a place that seemed out
of reach when he was sent to Toledo at the end of May with a .179
batting average.

"He's been a different player since he has been back,"
Trammell said. "We want to evaluate him, so he'll get the bulk of
the playing time down the stretch."

Pena's two-run homer in the eighth off Jeff Harris was estimated
at 461 feet, landing on a concourse atop a 10-foot brick wall above
the right-field scoreboard.

"As hitters, we definitely know when we hit a ball well," Pena
said. "But then you see where it lands, and you say 'Whoa.' That
definitely felt good."

The previous record was 457 feet by Eric Munson on June 26,
2004, against Arizona. Comerica Park opened in 2000.

"I might be able to get up there with a driver," Brandon Inge
said. "But that's about it. That was at least 500 feet. I don't
care what they say."

The Tigers won their second straight, improving to 6-19 in
September, while the Mariners finished 3-8 on their longest road
trip of the season.

"Obviously, you always like to win," Trammell said. "I'm not
sure if a good finish can make up for that month."

Mike Maroth (14-13) moved to 2-0 in his last four starts, giving
up one run and four hits. Franklyn German and Jason Karnuth each
pitched a scoreless inning to finish the five-hitter.

"I pitched well and got a win," said Maroth, who has never
finished a season with a .500 record or better. "Now I've got one
more start to give myself a good finish."

Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1-3) allowed five runs in three innings of
relief of Gil Meche, who was removed after two innings.

"Gil said he just didn't have anything with his arm," Seattle
manager Mike Hargrove said. "There was no pain, he said he had
nothing at all. It started in the first, but he didn't tell us
until after the second."

Granderson scored when Chris Shelton hit into a double play in
the first, but Seattle tied the game two innings later on an RBI
double from Raul Ibanez.

The Tigers then took control with five runs off Hasegawa in the
fifth.

"I think Shiggy just got tired," Hargrove said.

Craig Monroe and Marcus Thames started the inning with singles
and moved up on Inge's sacrifice bunt.

Vance Wilson's single made it 2-1, and John McDonald followed
with an RBI double.

Granderson's triple scored Wilson and McDonald, giving the
Tigers a 5-1 lead, and Placido Polanco added a sacrifice fly.

Game notes
The game was briefly delayed after the fifth inning when
the umpires asked for first base to be replaced. ... Tigers
first-base coach Mick Kelleher had a dangerous sixth inning. He had
to dive out of the way of Pena's line drive, then jump over Pena's
hard grounder on the next pitch. ... A heavy rain shower fell in
the top of the eighth, but the game continued and the rain quickly
slowed to a drizzle. ... The Mariners finished 29-52 on the road.
... Hasegawa entered the game with a 13 1-3 inning scoreless
streak.