• Summary: Sean Casey hit his first home run of the season as the Tigers grabbed 17 hits to roll over the Nationals.
• Unsung hero: Chad Durbin held the Nationals to one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked none.
• Goat: Jason Simontacchi's ERA increased from 4.84 to 6.31 as he surrendered 10 earned runs in three innings to tie Shayne Bennett's franchise record set with Montreal on Aug. 15, 1999.
• Figure this: Casey had not had a homer in 211 at-bats this season entering the game, and had not hit a regular-season homer since last Sept. 28, against Toronto.
• Quotable: "I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I've had thinking, 'You've got to be kidding me. I've got to get one here soon.' It was nice to get it out of the way." -- Casey on his first homer of the season
-- ESPN.com news services
Tigers 15, Nationals 1
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sean Casey forgot the Washington Nationals used to be the Montreal Expos -- but his bat sure didn't.Casey hit his first home run of the season, continuing his dominance of the Washington franchise, and the Detroit Tigers pounded out 17 hits in a 15-1 rout of the Nationals on Tuesday night."I can't tell you how many sleepless nights I've had thinking, 'You've got to be kidding me. I've got to get one here soon," said Casey, who had gone 211 at-bats this season without a homer. "It was nice to get it out of the way."Casey's three-run shot to right field off Jason Simontacchi in the third was his first since last Oct. 27, when Detroit lost the fifth and final game of the World Series against St. Louis. Casey had not hit a regular-season homer since last Sept. 28. against Toronto.That he broke through against this particular team was no surprise. Casey's .400 batting average (74-for-185) against the franchise entering the game was the best among active players."I always enjoyed hitting at Olympic Stadium," Casey said. "It's funny. I think sometimes you just end up hitting well against certain clubs than other clubs."Casey finished 2-for-5 with a walk and drove in a season-high four runs. His teammates pranked him after his homer by giving Casey the silent treatment when he returned to the dugout."He's swinging the bat really good," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "A professional hitter. He's been that way for a long time and he's starting to produce some more runs for us."Marcus Thames also homered for Detroit, which tied a season-high for runs. The Tigers have won four of their last five games and have scored at least 10 runs six times in 17 June games.The 15 runs and 17 hits were the most allowed by the Nationals this season."That's the best team we have played so far," said Washington manager Manny Acta, whose club has surrendered 24 runs in the first two games of the series. "They're the best hitting team in the world. ... It's no coincidence that that club was in the World Series, and I wouldn't bet against them being there again."Chad Durbin (6-3) made a case to remain in the Tigers' rotation by giving up one run on five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked none. In a rotation anchored by Justin Verlander, Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman, Durbin is competing with Nate Robertson, Mike Maroth and several others for two spots."You go out and you do your work, and the decisions they make are going to be the right decisions no matter what they are," Durbin said.Simontacchi (4-5) surrendered 10 earned runs in three innings to tie Shayne Bennett's franchise record set with Montreal on Aug. 15, 1999. He gave up 10 hits, walked two and struck out one, and his ERA increased from 4.84 to 6.31."A couple of those guys probably got black eyes going to their bat rack," Simontacchi said. "It's just one of those games that anything I threw up it was hit hard, see ya later. It was just ridiculous."Each Detroit starting position player had at least one hit. Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco, Gary Sheffield and Brandon Inge each had two, and Magglio Ordonez went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs.Detroit scored three in the first inning and continued the onslaught in the third. Sheffield and Ordonez singled ahead of Guillen's RBI single, and Casey's three-run homer made it 7-0.Detroit made it 12-0 in the fourth, sending nine batters to the plate. Inge's bases-loaded double to right-center punctuated the rally.Brian Schneider scored for Washington in the fifth after reaching on a one-out single and scoring on Cristian Guzman's single two batters later.Mike Rabelo's RBI double in the eighth and Thames' two-run homer in the ninth made it 15-1."The only thing that can stop them from winning is themselves," said Washington's Dmitri Young, who had two hits against his former team. "They swing the bats extremely well, they've got the pitching. Barring injury, they may be the team to beat."
Washington's previous season-high for runs allowed was set on Apr. 22 in a 12-6 loss at Florida. .. Durbin spent 2005 in Washington's minor league system with Triple-A New Orleans. ... Leyland said Verlander will get an extra day of rest and start Saturday at Atlanta.