DETROIT A Tigers Mariners series that began with two one sided affairs ended with Detroit and Seattle putting on a pitching duel. Ben Gamel’s ninth inning RBI single off Francisco Rodriguez scored Kyle Seager to put the Mariners on top for a 2 1 win, taking a series that began with Seattle giving up 19 runs in the opener.
“We got outscored, but we ended up winning the series,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, whose team is now 4 10 on the road after winning the last two. “We’ll take it. That’s getting back to playing our style of ball. We had a rough night that first night in. They scored some runs, we didn’t pitch very well, but our guys washed it off and got back after it. We won the series, and we’ve got to continue to build some momentum here on the road.”
Starters Justin Verlander and Hisashi Iwakuma dueled to no decisions, both saddled with an unearned run in the sixth, rendering the game to a battle of bullpens. Tyler Collins collided with Jim Adduci in right center field on a Nelson Cruz fly ball for a two base error on Collins, setting up a Seager RBI single. But Collins’ double leading off the bottom of the inning allowed the Tigers to even the score when Victor Martinez’s grounder up the middle skipped off Robinson Cano for an error. Edwin Diaz sent down the Tigers in the bottom of the inning for his third save. We scored one run,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “You’re not going to win many games when you score one run.”
With velo back, K Rod searching for command
Seager rocks Detroit: While Collins’ collision with Adduci put Cruz on base, the Mariners took advantage thanks to Seager, who delivered an RBI single up the middle after missing Seattle’s previous four starts with a sore hip. Seager improved to 7 for 17 with eight RBIs for his career against Verlander.
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Cruz, [Verlander] got in there pretty good,” Seager said. “I kind of just got rewarded. He did the work and fortunate for me it got over there. That was really big at bat by Cruz. Anytime you pop a ball up like that, it’s really easy to put your head down and just jog. So it was heads up baserunning. Cano left his feet to try a sliding stop up the middle on Martinez’s grounder, but booted the ball well to his right, allowing Collins to round third and tie the game. This is every kid’s dream come true. I’m just happy to be part of it, to be part of this team. It’s a great team and clubhouse of guys. I’m looking forward to it.” Gamel, on getting the game winning hit in his second game after being called up to replace the injured Mitch Haniger
“It was right in the middle. We were both being aggressive on it, and that’s what you want. Should’ve caught it. I did catch it, but I should’ve held onto it.” Adduci, on his collision with Collins
Verlander threw 70 fastballs out of 119 pitches in his start, his highest fastball total in a game since last September. His average fastball velocity of 95.6 mph was also his highest in an April outing since April 22, 2011, according to data from Statcast and Brooks Baseball.
The Mariners unsuccessfully challenged an out call at second base when Guillermo Heredia tried to stretch a leadoff single to center in the sixth inning. Collins’ throw beat him to the bag, but shortstop Jose Iglesias’ tag was up near Heredia’s chest and the Mariners appealed. The call stood after a 2 minute, 26 second review.