The Seattle Mariners played the rubber match of their three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night. When the smoke cleared, the M's had managed a 2-1 victory to take the series and improve their 2012 record against the Tigers to 5-1.
The Mariners scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Kyle Seager hit his 10th double of the year to drive in Ichiro Suzuki. The RBI came with two outs, making it the 13th two-out RBI of the season for Seager.
Austin Jackson tied things up 1-1 in the top of the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly, but the deciding run came in the bottom of the eighth. Michael Saunders led off the Mariners' half of the eighth with a double and was sacrificed to third base by Chone Figgins. John Jaso then hit a single to drive in Saunders with the go-ahead run, although he was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.
Brandon League came in to close things out and although he issued a leadoff walk, a double-play grounder allowed him to face just three batters for his eighth save of the season.
Both starting pitchers were superb. Drew Smyly held the Mariners to just two hits and two walks over six innings, while Jason Vargas picked up his fourth win by going eight strong. Vargas allowed five hits and walked none, while striking out six.
The Seattle Mariners put up their best fight against the Detroit Tigers at Safeco Field on Tuesday night, but a big second inning for the visitors proved to be the M's undoing as their last-gasp rally fell short and they lost by a final score of 6-4.
The Mariners were facing an uphill battle right away as they went up against Detroit ace Justin Verlander. The Tigers got on the board in the top of the first inning as starter Kevin Millwood have up a leadoff double to Austin Jackson, who was promptly singled home by Andy Dirks.
In the top of the second inning, the Tigers plated four more runs on two-RBI doubles by Dirks and Delmon Young. The Mariners cut the Detroit lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the third as they touched Verlander with an RBI single by Ichiro Suzuki and a two-RBI single by Kyle Seager.
Prince Fielder homered to lead off the top of the seventh inning for an important insurance run, but the M's kept pace in the bottom of the frame with a Brendan Ryan RBI single.
The score remained 6-4 into the bottom of the ninth inning as closer Jose Valverde came in for the Tigers. Valverde walked Mike Carp and Michael Saunders to lead off the inning, then struck out Dustin Ackley swinging. Ryan grounded into what should have been a game-ending double play, but Fielder missed the catch at first to keep Seattle's hopes alive. Valverde intentionally walked Suzuki to load the bases and opted to pitch to Jesus Montero.
Montero battled, but hit a fly ball in foul territory along the right-field line. Don Kelly made a spectacular catch, tumbling into the front row of seats but holding onto the ball to end the game. The win was the Tigers' first against the Mariners this season in five games.
On Monday night, the Seattle Mariners hosted the Detroit Tigers in the opening game of a three-game series. The Mariners and Tigers have played one another four times this season and after a 3-2 come-from-behind victory on Monday, the M's are now 4-0 against Detroit.
Prince Fielder doubled home Andy Dirks in the top of the first inning to put Detroit on the board first. The Tigers added another run in the top of the fourth on a Brennan Boesch two-out RBI single that plated Fielder.
That's where the score stood until the bottom of the ninth. Octavio Dotel walked Brendan Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki to lead off the inning. A wild pitch and passed ball from Dotal allowed Ryan to score and Suzuki to advance to third. Jesus Montero then doubled home Suzuki to tie the score at 2-2. Munenori Kawasaki came in to pinch-run for Montero and was bunted to third by Kyle Seager. John Jaso lofted a sacrifice fly to right field to score the run and give the M's the walk-off win; their third straight victory.
The Mariners had only five hits and two walks in the game, with both of those walks coming in the ninth inning.