Infante sparks late rally, lifts Tigers past Mariners

DETROIT (AP) -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland said that his team needed more production from Magglio Ordonez.

It didn't take long.

Ordonez hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Detroit went on to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-2 on Monday afternoon.

"We don't need him to carry us," Leyland said after the game. "We just need him to be Magglio, and that's what he did."

Ordonez entered the game hitting just .247 since the All-Star break and hadn't homered at home since June 3.

"My performance hasn't been up to par lately," Ordonez said. "But I am working and playing hard. I hope I can continue to help the team."

Ordonez's homer gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead, and Seattle's first-inning run was the only thing it got in seven innings against Tigers starter Nate Robertson.

"For them to get me those two runs was huge," he said. "I got out of sync in the first, but I battled through it, and getting the lead back gave me a chance to relax and figure out my mechanics."

Robertson (12-11) allowed one run, eight hits and two walks. He had four strikeouts, all of Adrian Beltre, while improving to 2-5 in his last seven starts.

"He was getting the ball up early, but then he started pounding it down and getting groundballs," Leyland said. "He made pitches when we needed him."

Jarrod Washburn (8-13) lost for the second time in six starts, giving up six runs on six hits and two walks in 6 2/3 innings.

Detroit has lost eight of 11, while the Mariners are 1-14 in their last 15 road games. The Tigers now hold a five-game lead in the AL Central over Minnesota.

Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first but could have had more.

With one out, Jose Lopez walked, stole second and scored on Raul Ibanez's two-out single. A base hit and a walk loaded the bases, but Kenji Johjima grounded out to end the inning.

"We had runners, but he kept us to one run," said Eduardo Perez. "We definitely missed an opportunity."

Detroit quickly grabbed the lead on Ordonez's two-run homer in the bottom of the first, but that was the last hit it got off Washburn until Marcus Thames doubled to lead off the seventh.

"I've never had much success against that guy," said Thames, who was 0-for-11 against Washburn before the double. "I watched a lot of film, and I guess it paid off. I got the double, and that seemed to get everyone going."

Thames moved to third on an Ordonez groundout, and after an intentional walk to Ivan Rodriguez, Omar Infante lined a two-run double down the leftfield line.

After Chris Shelton walked with two out, Ramon Santiago and Curtis Granderson made it 6-1 with RBI singles.

"I didn't make pitches that inning, and they did a good job of finding holes," Washburn said. "I think I threw the right pitches, just not in the right spot."

Meanwhile, Seattle had runners in scoring position in the second, third and fifth innings but couldn't break through against Robertson. Lopez's RBI single in the ninth added the second run.

"We just couldn't put anything together," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "We never got a big hit."

Game notes
The game drew 32,948 fans, many of whom had to dodge the Detroit Labor Day parade, which went past the stadium about an hour before the first pitch. ... Ordonez hadn't homered at home since June against Boston. ... Beltre went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts, one short of Miguel Olivo's franchise record. ... The Tigers did not activate left-hander Mike Maroth as expected Monday. Maroth, who has been out since May 26 with elbow problems, is still expected to come off the disabled list this week.