Final

Series: Game 1 of 4

Detroit leads 1-0 (as of 7/3)

Game 1: Thursday, July 3
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Seattle4
Game 2: Friday, July 4
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Seattle4
Game 3: Saturday, July 5
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Seattle3
Game 4: Sunday, July 6
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in 15
Seattle1

Tigers 8

(43-42, 18-25 away)

Mariners 4

(33-52, 17-26 home)

    10:10 PM ET, July 3, 2008

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    DET 001131002 8 15 1
    SEA 101000002 4 14 0

    W: J. Verlander (5-9)

    L: C. Silva (4-10)

    S: F. Rodney (1)

    Verlander solid, ex-minor leaguers Hollimon, Joyce spark Tigers' win

    SEATTLE (AP) -- All through the minor leagues, Matt Joyce and Michael Hollimon could only dream of games like they had Thursday.

    The Detroit rookies, drafted the same year and teammates on three different minor league teams on the way through the organization, each played a big part in the Tigers' 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

    Joyce was recalled on Sunday and had a career-high four hits, with a pair of doubles and an RBI, and Hollimon hit his first big league home run.

    "It's a neat experience," said Hollimon, who was called up from Triple-A Toledo on June 6. "I'm happy for [Joyce], four hits tonight. I was pumped up for him."

    Their offensive breakout was part of the Tigers' 15-hit attack. Ivan Rodriguez also drove in three runs in support of Justin Verlander, who threw six strong innings.

    Verlander (9-5) allowed two runs on eight hits to win for the sixth time in seven career starts against Seattle. After starting the season in a slump, he hasn't lost since June 6.

    "Those guys played a great game, Joyce in particular," Verlander said. "It's fun to see those guys play. They play with an excitement that's tough to come by. They're just so excited to be out there and being able to play at the big league level."

    Carlos Silva, who signed a four-year, $48 million free agent deal in the offseason, lost for the 10th time in 18 starts. He's been at his worst against the Tigers, allowing 17 runs in 9 2-3 innings covering three starts, going 0-3. Detroit is hitting .472 off him.

    "That Detroit ballclub is an aggressive, good-hitting ballclub," Mariners' manager Jim Riggleman said. "And [Silva] probably elevated the ball a little more."

    A sinkerball specialist who thrives off groundball outs, Silva (4-10) got only three outs from the infield.

    Ichiro Suzuki had three hits for the second straight game to reach 1,700 for his career, one of 30 active players to eclipse that mark. He's hitting .516 over his past seven games.

    "I think he's closing in on 3,000 between Japan and here," Riggleman said. "If he goes along at this pace he'll get 1,800 sometime this year, too. It's unbelievable what he has accomplished since he has been here."

    Suzuki opened with a single to right, then cruised to third when Verlander tried to pick him off but wound up throwing the ball down the first base line. Suzuki eventually came home on Jose Lopez's single to left.

    Verlander issued a couple walks in the inning, loading the bases, but ended it on a groundout out by Richie Sexson.

    "I was able to get big outs. That's what it comes down to," Verlander said. "I was able to keep my team in the game and the offense picked me up. I was able to limit the damage."

    The Tigers responded in the third on Placido Polanco's run-scoring single, but the Mariners jumped ahead again in their half. Lopez opened with a double into the left-field corner, and after moving up on Raul Ibanez's grounder came home when Jose Vidro checked his swing and knocked a slow roller toward third that worked out like a squeeze play.

    The Tigers tied it again in the fourth on Rodriguez's RBI single, then took the lead with three runs in the fifth.

    Curtis Granderson opened with a triple into the left-center gap and scored on Carlos Guillen's infielder grounder. Joyce and Gary Sheffield added RBI singles to make it 5-2.

    Hollimon hit his milestone homer into the center-field seats on an 0-1 pitch from Silva in the sixth.

    "I couldn't feel my feet to be honest with you," Hollimon said. "I wanted to smile but I knew that it was still early in the ballgame. It's not about personal accomplishments, it's about the team. I was just happy to contribute in some sort of way."

    Rodriguez added a two-out, two-run single in the ninth.

    Vidro and Adrian Beltre each drove in runs to chase Todd Jones in the ninth. Fernando Rodney entered and retired Jeff Clement on a fly to left for his first save in two opportunities.

    Game notes


    The Mariners announced the signing of second-round draft pick Dennis Raben, a 20-year-old outfielder from the University of Miami. The 66th overall pick, Raben was hampered by injuries but still hit .292 with 10 homers and 51 RBIs in 53 games this season. He will report to Class-A Everett. ... Jeremy Reed made an outstanding diving catch in center field to take a hit away from Sheffield in the second. ... During his pregame session with reporters, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said "it's a possibility" when asked if Joel Zumaya could be a starter next season. ... Leyland said that he may flip the starts of Verlander and Eddie Bonine next week, starting Verlander on Tuesday and Bonine the following day.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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