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After three-hour rain delay, M's top reeling Tigers in 10

DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Tigers' clubhouse was somber and
filled with awkward silence.

The Tigers didn't drop just another game, they lost a teammate.

Kenji Johjima's RBI single in the 10th inning put the Seattle Mariners ahead and J.J. Putz held the lead in a 5-4 win over the
slumping Tigers on Wednesday.

After the game, Detroit designated hitter Dmitri Young was cut
in a move that seemed to stun him and definitely shocked his
teammates.

"It's a business, I guess," said first baseman Sean Casey,
whose locker was next to Young's. "Dmitri is a great guy and a
great player. Any time you lose a player like that. ... I really
don't know what to say to tell you the truth."

If the Tigers don't turn it around quickly, the truth could
include the loss of their once-huge lead in the AL Central.

Detroit still has the best record in the AL but has lost 19 of
28 games. What had been a 10-game lead in the AL Central had shrunk
to four games at the start of Wednesday.

The Tigers begin a four-game series Thursday night against the
second-place Minnesota Twins, who are just ahead of the Chicago White Sox in the division and the wild-card race.

"Do we have pressure on us? Yeah, we do," Tigers manager Jim
Leyland said. "But in my opinion, we have less pressure than
Minnesota, the White Sox and some of the teams that were supposed
to win. We were supposed to get better."

Young appeared to be getting better after leaving the team in
May -- hitting .169 -- to get help at a substance-abuse center in
California. Since being activated from the disabled list July 21,
Young was hitting .292 with seven homers and 19 RBI. His batting
average was .250 in 48 games this season, his fifth in Detroit.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski insisted the move was
"strictly performance related."

Young's bags were packed for the upcoming series at Minnesota
when he returned from a postgame shower.

He was in no mood to talk in the clubhouse, where he was warmly
embraced by teammates, and when approached by a reporter on his way
up a ramp to exit Comerica Park he didn't sound like he would be
interested in commenting later.

"I'm not going to want to talk about it," Young said, wearing
sunglasses, after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

After Johjima's bloop single, Joel Zumaya (6-3) prevented
further damage by getting out of a bases-loaded jam with two
strikeouts and a flyout.

Jon Huber (1-0) struck out one and gave an intentional walk in
the ninth inning, and Putz pitched the 10th for his 31st save in 36
chances. Magglio Ordonez got a one-out single and Craig Monroe drew
a walk, but Casey hit into a game-ending double play.

"It's frustrating," Casey said.

Detroit erased a three-run deficit in the eighth inning before
the game was delayed 3 hours, 9 minutes by rain and lightning.
Brandon Inge led off the inning with a solo homer and Monroe hit a
two-out, two-run double over Ichiro Suzuki, who slipped on the wet
grass in center, to make it 4-all.

Suzuki said he would've made the play if the conditions were
better.

"I don't know if it would've been easy, but I would've had
it," he said through an interpreter.

Seattle went ahead 4-1 in the sixth on Raul Ibanez's two-run
double and Eduardo Perez's RBI groundout, the second run the
designated hitter drove in.

Seattle has won nine of 13, but is stuck in last place in the AL
West.

"You've got to do your best to finish the season strong,"
Ibanez said. "When I was in Kansas City, Carlos Beltran used to
always say you can't rewind the past."

Gil Meche gave up two runs -- both on solo homers -- five hits and
three walks over seven-plus innings.

After Inge led off the eighth with his 23rd homer, Meche was
replaced by George Sherrill, who was chased after giving up two
singles without getting an out.

Monroe's double was off Sean Green, who left the game with a
straight muscle on his right side, and Eric O'Flaherty threw a
couple warmup tosses on the mound when the game was delayed.

Detroit's Kenny Rogers gave up four runs and eight hits over
seven innings. Rogers had won his previous four starts, giving up
just three runs combined in those games.

Richie Sexson doubled and scored on Perez's single in the second
inning and Vance Wilson's homer in the third made it 1-all.

Game notes
Young began the year hitting .291 with 147 home runs and
576 RBI with Detroit, Cincinnati and St. Louis. ... Detroit SS
Carlos Guillen (hamstring) might be ready to play Friday at
Minnesota. ... Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said Joel Pineiro, who
worked 3 2/3 innings of perfect relief in Tuesday's win, will not
be considered for a spot in the rotation. ... The Tigers activated
LHP Mike Maroth on Wednesday, more than three months after his last
start and surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow. Maroth is
expected to be used as a reliever after going 5-2 as a starter
early in the season. RHP Chris Spurling was designated for
assignment to make room for Maroth on Detroit's 40-man roster. ...
Detroit drew 23,000-plus fans the past two games, the smallest
crowds at Comerica Park since 20,935 came to the June 13 game
against Tampa Bay.