Walk-off wild pitch caps Tigers' sweep of Mariners
By Jason Beck and Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- Steve Cishek's 10th-inning wild pitch brought home Cameron Maybin with the winning run, earning the Tigers a four-game series sweep of the Mariners with a 5-4 win Thursday at Comerica Park.
On a day when Seattle lost its starting pitcher in warmups, Cishek was the last available fresh arm when he took the mound. Detroit used its last available position players in the 10th-inning rally, bringing on Maybin to pinch-run for Steven Moya following a one-out walk. Victor Martinez's pinch-hit single moved him to third.
"I just got on top of a two-seamer, down in the count, and let him roll over it, and I guess I got too aggressive," Cishek said of his 93-mph sinker.
As the last available pitcher, Cishek said he was just trying to go as long as he could, but didn't go about his business any differently.
"I'm just trying to get outs, hoping to keep the pitch count down to go a third inning, if need be, and of course, that wasn't the case," he said. "Moya worked a pretty good at-bat and laid off a pretty good slider for the walk. That's just the way it goes, and it's embarrassing to give it away like that. I'd rather him put it in play."
The four-game series sweep was the first for Detroit over Seattle since 1980, finishing up a 2-8 road trip for the Mariners. It marked the Tigers' first four-game sweep against any team since they swept the Royals Sept. 24-27, 2012, at Comerica Park.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED What does he know about Cano: For the third time in the four-game series, Kyle Ryan ended a Mariners threat by retiring Robinson Cano. This time, the lefty fanned Cano on three pitches with a runner on first in the top of the 10th after Kinsler threw out Shawn O'Malley breaking for home on a Seth Smith grounder.
"He created the problem, but he did an outstanding job of getting out of it," manager Brad Ausmus said of Ryan, who picked up the win to improve to 3-2 on the year. "Since he got called back up, he's been outstanding for us." More >
Sampson leaves before first pitch:Adrian Sampson was slotted to make his second Major League start in place of Wade Miley (shoulder), but he experienced discomfort in his right elbow after throwing just two warmup pitches on the mound. The Mariners were forced to use their bullpen for 10 innings, with Vidal Nuno allowing four earned runs in 3 1/3 as the official starting pitcher.
Sampson said he threw 35 pitches out of the bullpen in the morning and felt slightly tired at the end of that, but thought it was just normal fatigue from doing that type of bullpen session.
"I came out to warm up again when I was out there, and just felt a little discomfort in the right side," Sampson said. "There was no pop or anything, I just had a little discomfort, and I felt it would be best to just come out of the game." More >
Upton, up and [not quite] over: The Mariners homered three times against Tigers starter Daniel Norris, but Justin Upton denied them a fourth and (temporarily) kept Detroit in front, reaching in front of the left-field fence to catch Cano's drive on the warning track with two on and two out in the fifth.
"I was just kind of laughing at myself, because I jumped early and the ball wasn't over the fence," Upton said. "All the guys in the bullpen were laughing at me."
Going back-to-back: Following Nelson Cruz's solo shot in the fourth inning, Iannetta and Leonys Martin hit back-to-back homers with one out in the fifth to cut the deficit to one. It was the second time this season the Mariners have hit back-to-back blasts. Cruz followed up with another solo home run in the sixth inning to tie game and push Seattle's homer total to 109 on the season, trailing only the Orioles (111) for the most in the Majors.
"This four-game series is probably as good as we've seen from the bullpen as a group." -- Ausmus
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Mariners reliever Edwin Diaz loaded the bases in the fourth inning before ending the threat with a strikeout of Miguel Cabrera. The strikeout dropped Cabrera to 0-for-8 this season with the bases loaded.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: The Mariners return to Seattle after a 10-game road trip to host the Cardinals in a three-game series. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. PT on Friday, with newcomer Wade LeBlanc expected to make the start. The veteran lefty was acquired in a trade with the Blue Jays and sent to Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners, who have yet to announce their starter, still need to make a roster move to make room for LeBlanc.
Tigers: Detroit's nine-game homestand continues Friday night with a visit from the Indians, who have the Tigers looking for revenge after two series sweeps earlier this season. Jordan Zimmermann (9-3, 3.24 ERA) will start the opener opposite Danny Salazar (8-3, 2.23) in the 7:10 p.m. ET start.