Seattle at Detroit

W: C. Lee (8-3) L: J. Bonderman (4-6)
HR: SEA - R. Branyan (12),C. Kotchman (4)   DET - None

Lee dominant but complete-game streak ends in Mariners' victory wire reports

DETROIT -- Cliff Lee was poised to become the first pitcher in two years to have four straight complete games.

He never got the chance.

With the Mariners holding a commanding 8-1 lead over the Detroit Tigers on a 90-degree Sunday afternoon, manager Don Wakamatsu decided to end Lee's streak after the eighth inning.

"He gave us eight tough innings on a hot day, and that was enough," Wakamatsu said. "If the score was different, or it was a little cooler, he would have completed that game."

Lee threw 111 pitches, only four short of his season high, but said he would have happily taken the chance at becoming the first pitcher with four straight complete games since Roy Halladay in April 2008.

"If Wak had asked me what I wanted to do, I would have said I wanted to go back out there," he said. "But he didn't ask. He just told me I was done. That's how it works -- he makes that call."

Lee, who was named to the American League All-Star Game earlier Sunday, allowed one run on nine hits and a walk.

"I don't know what you can say about Cliff," Wakamatsu said. "He just goes out there and keeps doing this, start after start."

Lee (8-3) matched a career high with 11 strikeouts in improving to 7-1 in his last nine starts. Two of the hits were grounders that bounced off his legs.

"I got one off the right foot and one off the left foot," he said. "I was fine on both of them -- they caught my cleats more than anything else."

Russell Branyan and Casey Kotchman each hit three-run homers for Seattle.

"It's a great feeling to get that kind of offense," Lee said. "It makes my job a lot easier."

Kotchman's fifth-inning homer, which made it 7-1, came after a pitch that Jeremy Bonderman clearly thought should have been a called strike. Bonderman was ejected by home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor for arguing while leaving the mound at the end of the inning. Catcher Gerald Laird was thrown out while Lee was warming up to start the fifth.

"I was definitely not getting the same strike zone as [Lee] did, but I obviously didn't throw the ball well, so I'm not going to make excuses," Bonderman said. "It gets in your head, but I'm not going to sit in here and say it was his fault I got beat, because it wasn't."

Bucknor had an embarrassing moment in the seventh when he made a dramatic called-third-strike call on Johnny Damon before realizing it was only strike two.

Bonderman (4-6) allowed seven runs in five innings, and fell to 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA in three starts against Seattle this season.

"We just pitched bad today, and you can't pitch bad against Cliff Lee and win," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "We had 10 hits, but didn't get the killer hits. A lot of hits, no runs, didn't pitch well, that's the end of the game."

The Tigers manufactured a run in the first despite not hitting the ball hard. Austin Jackson beat out a slow grounder to third and took second on Magglio Ordonez's one-out single that deflected off Lee. Miguel Cabrera then hit a grounder up the middle for an RBI single.

Seattle had runners on the corners with one out in the second, but Bonderman struck out Josh Wilson and Rob Johnson to end the inning.

Branyan hit his three-run homer in the next inning, and the Mariners took control in the fifth on Franklin Gutierrez's two-out RBI single and Kotchman's three-run homer.

"[Bonderman] made a bad pitch to Branyan, and then he felt like he got squeezed and he gave in," Leyland said. "He didn't pitch well. It is as simple as that."

Jose Lopez finished the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth.


  • Laird also argued with Bucknor after being called out on strikes to end the fourth.
  • LHP Daniel Schlereth, acquired in the three-team trade with Arizona and the Yankees that also included Austin Jackson, Edwin Jackson, Max Scherzer and Curtis Granderson, made his Tigers debut in the eighth inning.
  • Both teams had two players named to the American League All-Star Game on Sunday. Lee will be joined by Ichiro Suzuki, while Cabrera and Tigers closer Jose Valverde will represent Detroit.
  • Bucknor picked an object off the ground just before ejecting Laird, but crew chief Dana Demuth said it hadn't been thrown from the Tigers dugout or the crowd. "I'm not sure what it was -- someone just dropped something," Demuth said.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Cliff Lee falls an inning short of becoming the first pitcher in two years with four straight complete games.  (AP)
Cliff Lee falls an inning short of becoming the first pitcher in two years with four straight complete games. (AP)

Players of the Game

C. Kotchman
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 1

C. Lee
IP 8.0
H 9
ER 1
BB 1
K 11

Related Video

Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5110013 .328
    Ryan Langerhans, RF0000000 .200
Chone Figgins, 2B4230101 .239
Russell Branyan, DH5223004 .267
Jose Lopez, 3B5021002 .242
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5121004 .277
Casey Kotchman, 1B3133200 .206
Josh Wilson, SS5000026 .264
Rob Johnson, C5110024 .200
Michael Saunders, LF4010112 .210
2B - Jose Lopez (14, Bonine)
HR - Russell Branyan (12, Bonderman), Casey Kotchman (4, Bonderman)
RBI - Russell Branyan 3 (31), Jose Lopez (31), Franklin Gutierrez (36), Casey Kotchman 3 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (12), Franklin Gutierrez (11), Casey Kotchman 3 (13)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (22, 2nd base off Bonderman/Laird), Franklin Gutierrez (10, 3rd base off Bonderman/Laird)
Team LOB - 10
Seattle Mariners
Cliff Lee (W,8-3) 89111110 2.34
Brandon League 1100100 2.93
WP - Brandon League (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Cliff Lee 111-83, Brandon League 13-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Cliff Lee 3-10, Brandon League 3-0
Batters Faced - Cliff Lee 34, Brandon League 5
Detroit Tigers
Austin Jackson, CF4110132 .305
Johnny Damon, DH5000005 .264
Magglio Ordonez, RF3010000 .312
    Ramon Santiago, 2B2010002 .274
Miguel Cabrera, 1B2011100 .339
    Don Kelly, 1B1010000 .221
Brennan Boesch, LF4020004 .345
Ryan Raburn, 2B-RF4000027 .214
Brandon Inge, 3B4010034 .259
Gerald Laird, C2000012 .188
    Alex Avila, C2010000 .228
Danny Worth, SS4010022 .246
2B - Brennan Boesch (16, Lee), Danny Worth (4, League)
RBI - Miguel Cabrera (69)
Team LOB - 11
DP - Raburn-Worth-Cabrera
E - Gerald Laird (3, Throwing)
Detroit Tigers
Jeremy Bonderman (L,4-6) 5977242 4.81
Brad Thomas 1.1100010 4.29
Eddie Bonine 0.2211100 2.70
Daniel Schlereth 1200100 0.00
Enrique Gonzalez 1100010 1.59
IBB - Kotchman by Eddie Bonine
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Bonderman 87-54, Brad Thomas 19-10, Eddie Bonine 11-6, Daniel Schlereth 24-17, Enrique Gonzalez 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Bonderman 5-5, Brad Thomas 2-1, Eddie Bonine 2-0
Batters Faced - Jeremy Bonderman 25, Brad Thomas 5, Eddie Bonine 5, Daniel Schlereth 6, Enrique Gonzalez 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24899
Game Time - 2:49
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Doug Eddings, Second Base - Dana DeMuth, Third Base - Kerwin Danley