Wilhelmsen gets three tough outs in the ninth to preserve Carter Capps’ first career win. Endy Chavez made a great diving catch on Prince Fielder’s soft fly, after Seager made a nice backhand stop of a smash by Cabrera. Mariners salvaged one game in the series after their starters put up a 1.42 ERA in the three games with 20 Ks and one walk.
MARINERS SEVENTH: The inning started out as more of the same as Verlander fanned Shoppach and Ackley. But then: A singled by Andino, his second of the game. Kyle Seager batted for Ryan,and on the first pitch he saw from Verlander, Seager lashed the ball into the left-field corner. Third-base coach Jeff Datz didnt hesitate in waving Andino home, and unlike Justin Smoak, he made it easily. Endy Chavez then singled sharply to left, and Datz took a big chance, waving in Seager, who barely slid around the tag. Will these two runs stand up? Verlander is over 120 pitches, so he’s probably done. 2-0 Mariners
(Iwakuma is out, replaced by Capps to start seventh. I have to think Iwakuma’s blister issues have come into play again).
MARINERS SIXTH: Verlander puts the Mariners down in order, striking out Morse and Smoak to give him nine strikeouts. I feel like I’ve seen this game a few dozen times. 0-0
MARINERS FIFTH: After Robert Andino led off with a single — just his third hit of the year — Brendan Ryan couldn’t get a bunt down and then grounded into a double play. Chavez walked but Jason Bay struck out. That’s seven strikeouts for Verlander. 0-0
MARINERS FOURTH: Two-out singles by Smoak and Shoppach, but Ackley strikes out. Six Ks for Verlander. The Mariners haven’t scored since the seventh inning last night. 0-0
TIGERS FOURTH: Iwakuma is through four scoreless, surviving a one-out single by Cabrera when Prince Fielder — having a brutal series so far — grounded into a double play. Iwakuma got his first strikeout — Dirks looking. 0-0
TIGERS THIRD: Iwakuma is pitching a very different game than Felix last night, but he’s through three scoreless innings on just 31 pitches. He hasn’t struck out any yet, but the Tigers have just two hits, one erased by a double play. 0-0.
MARINERS SECOND:Dustin Ackley, perhaps finally shaking his season-long slump, lined a two-out single to center, but Robert Andino grounded into a force and is now 2-for-24 this season.
MARINERS FIRST: Kendrys Morales gets a two-out double, but Morse grounded out. 0-0.
TIGERS FIRST: A seven-pitch first inning for Iwakuma, capped by a nice running catch at the wall from Endy Chavez to rob Miguel Cabrera.
This game features the two best starting pitchers in the American League, statistically, since the All-Star break last season. Hisashi Iwakuma is 10-4 with a 2.44 ERA, while Justin Verlander is 10-4 with a 2.61 ERA.
“It’s not like we played bad baseball,” manager Eric Wedge said. “Both teams played pretty good baseball. It’s just there wasn’t a lot of hitting going on. That happens from time to time, particularly early in the year. The missed opportunities – of course, they had some, too, but when you’re the home team, that’s the difference between winning and losing right there.”
One note: By striking out 37 Tigers the last two nights, the Mariners tied a major league record (the Astros did it in 2003). But it didn’t keep the Mariners from losing both games.
Kyle Seager sits today, but he’s not hurt, Wedge said.