By Jason Beck and Kyle Beery
MLB.com |@beckjason |
DETROIT -- One night after Justin Upton hit a walk-off homer, Mike Aviles hit a go-ahead eighth-inning single that traveled maybe 60 feet down the first-base line, scoring pinch-runner Andrew Romine from third base to send the Tigers to a 4-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Comerica Park.
Detroit starter Justin Verlander gave up two runs over seven innings and received a no-decision, while Seattle starter James Paxton gave up four runs over 7 2/3 and took the loss. Kyle Seager's two-run home run in the sixth earned Seattle the lead before Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler hit two-out RBI singles in the sixth and seventh to tie it at 2.
Castellanos came up big again in the eighth, doubling to the fence in right-center off Paxton (1-3) following Victor Martinez's one-out single. Martinez didn't have the speed to round third, but Romine came in to run for a sacrifice-fly opportunity. Instead, he dashed home on Aviles' dribbler to make it 3-2, leaving first baseman Adam Lind with no play as Aviles ran by. James McCann added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly.
"This time our offense found a way to scrape out a couple runs to tie it," manager Brad Ausmus said, "and then scrape out a couple runs to take the lead."
Bruce Rondon (1-0) pitched a hitless eighth, his third such inning in two appearances, to earn the win. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 20th save of the season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Seager comes up big in sixth: Seager hit a two-run homer off Verlander to open the scoring. He followed that up by laying out for a run-saving diving stop at third base in the sixth. He popped back up, threw to Robinson Cano at second base, who fired over to double up Martinez. Cameron Maybin eventually came around to score off the bat of Castellanos, but Seager's play helped to minimize the damage.
Seager said it felt good to be able to keep the team in a good position after his big fly and diving stop, especially to back up Paxton, who he said threw "an amazing game."
"That's a really good team over there, with a great lineup, and I thought Paxton did a phenomenal job keeping us in it tonight," Seager said. "In the sixth inning, you go through the middle of that order, and with the good hitters they have, you have to just try and make plays behind them." More >
Verlander pitches through trouble: Verlander allowed leadoff doubles in the third and fourth innings, but stranded both. He left Ketel Marte on third base with one out thanks to strikeouts of Leonys Martin and Seth Smith, who was caught watching a curveball drop over the plate for the third strike.
"He threw some really good curveballs today," Ausmus said. "As a matter of fact, his curveball might have been better than his slider today."
Paxton stumbles in eighth: It was the longest outing of the season for Paxton, but he got himself in trouble late in the game. Paxton made it through five scoreless innings of four-hit ball before surrendering single runs in the sixth and seventh, but was still in good shape. Then in the eighth, he gave up two runs on three hits, an intentional walk, and a sacrifice fly.
Manager Scott Servais said he has been looking for Paxton to step up.
"That was really the best outing he's had," Servais said. "We tried to ride him as long as we could. [The Tigers] got some big hits, and got the runs in from third, that was the difference in the game tonight." More >
Tape-measure go-ahead hit: Aviles started over Steven Moya in right field to give the Tigers a right-handed bat, not necessarily a power one, against the left-handed Paxton. The Mariners were willing to take their chances with Paxton against Aviles in the eighth, walking Upton to set up the matchup and provide a potential out at every base. Aviles' squibber, however, was hit slow enough to let him run by Lind while Romine bolted for home.
"Paxton, even with 110 pitches, was still throwing 100 mph," Ausmus said. "But Aviles had an excellent at-bat. It doesn't always have to be pretty, but we say it a lot in baseball: You have to find a way to get it done. And he did." More >
"Confidence I think is just an attitude. And all of these hitters in here know that one run, two runs, three runs can't hold us, because if we get a hold of some balls, we can change a game really quick. Everybody has confidence in here, and everybody has the right attitude at bat. Sometimes you just have to wait them out." -- Castellanos, on Tigers' confidence at plate
"I feel like I threw the ball really well. Tough lineup. They found some holes there and I made a couple mistakes late that they capitalized on. It was unfortunate we didn't get the win today, but it was good. I was able to go deep, and give the bullpen guys some rest today." -- Paxton, on his longest start of the season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Even with the loss, the Mariners are 20-9 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They're 16-26 on the other four days.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 4.18) has won five of his past six starts and will be seeking his third straight win when he and the Mariners take on the Tigers on Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. PT. His last time out, Iwakuma allowed four runs over seven innings in a win over the Red Sox.
Tigers:Michael Fulmer's scoreless streak and winning streak are over, but he hopes to continue his stellar rookie season when he faces the Mariners on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. ET. Fulmer (7-2, 2.43) tossed 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball last Friday at Kansas City, but suffered his first loss since May 5.