September 17, 2013 at 4:02 PM
Game thread: Tigers 6, Mariners 2, FINAL
The first two Tigers reached on singles off Charlie Furbush in the eighth and then Carter Capps came on and poured gasoline all over this game. Capps gave up a single to Omar Infante on his second pitch, then walked Alex Avila to load the bases before striking out Andy Dirks. But then Capps centered a 1-2 pitch to Austin Jackson and it was drilled up the middle for two more runs to give Detroit a 6-2 lead.
Abraham Almonte had a shot at nabbing trail runner Infante, but made another poor throw home.
7:08 p.m.: Alex Avila hit a leadoff triple and wound up scoring on a sacrifice fly to center by Torii Hunter to give Detroit a 3-2 lead in the seventh. The ball wasn’t hit all that deep, but Abraham Almonte made a very poor, offline throw that had to be cut off. The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Mike Zunino — after hanging tough in an 11-pitch at-bat — grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
6:35 p.m.: Kendrys Morales delivered a game-tying, pinch-hit double to left center on the 125th and final pitch of the night by Anibal Sanchez in the seventh inning. The Mariners then left runners at second and third with one out against reliever Al Alburquerque, so we’re tied 2-2. Michael Saunders had led the inning off with a triple to the right field corner. After a Nick Franklin strikeout, Morales worked the count to 2-2, took a very close pitch that was called a ball, then doubled on the full-count offering.
5:56 p.m.: Miguel Cabrera put the Tigers right back in front 2-1 with a leadoff homer off Brandon Maurer in the bottom of the sixth. It was Cabrera’s first homer in three weeks, dating back to Aug. 26. That’s the longest drought of his career.
5:49 p.m.: Raul Ibanez hit his 28th homer of the season in the top of the sixth off Anibal Sanchez, tying the game 1-1 and taking Brandon Maurer momentarily off the hook. Ibanez ties Barry Bonds for the most home runs ever hit by a player age 41 or older. One more and he ties Ted Williams for the all-time mark.
This has been Maurer’s best start in a long, long time. He’s through five innings, having struck out six batters already and has kept his pitch count at 76.
5:20 p.m.: Don Kelly hit a towering homer to right field with two outs in the fourth inning to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. Brandon Maurer had actually been pitching very well to that point. The Mariners have struck out seven times the first four innings against Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez.
Brandon Maurer takes the mound for the Mariners tonight in one of those matchups that simply does not look good on paper. Maurer is running an OPS against of .938 and lasted only three innings his last time out against the Astros at Safeco Field.
Maurer is trying to adjust to starting once again and that loss to Houston was his first big league start in several months. So, we’ll see whether his pacing and pitch selection has gotten any better between outings.
The Tigers, meanwhile, have had some struggles against left-handers, but do like to pulverize righties. They are hitting .293 off them with an OPS of .798.
Abraham Almonte takes over the leadoff spot tonight. Mariners manager Eric Wedge likes the way Almonte handles the bat, gets bunts down and supplies the odd power shot. Gets up the line real quick, too.