May 31: Tigers (31-21) 2, Mariners (27-28) 3
The Seattle Mariners tallied three runs in the first four innings and pushed Detroit Tigers’ starter Drew Smyly’s to an early exit as they held on for a 3-2 win at home. Chris Young went six strong frames and the Seattle bullpen held the Tigers scoreless.
The Mariners got on the board first with a pair of runs on RBI ground balls from Cole Gillespie and Willie Bloomquist in the bottom of the second. Gillespie delivered an infield single to second with Stefen Romero on third to take a 1-0 lead. Bloomquist then singled home John Buck with two away in the frame on a ground ball to left.
The Tigers cut the deficit in half on one swing from hitting specialist Miguel Cabrera in the fourth. With nobody on, Cabrera belted his 10th homer of the year to left field. He connected on an 0-2 offering from Young. He took two sliders looking for strikes and didn’t miss Young’s 89-mph fastball with two strikes.
In the bottom of the fourth the Mariners got that run right back. Bloomquist was at it again with another RBI base knock – this time to right.
The Tigers kept clawing back as they got within one once again via a wild pitch. With Austin Jackson on third, reliever Dominic Leone unleashed a wild ball-four slider to Nick Castellanos to allow Jackson to come home to score. With two runners on and two outs, Leone escaped any more damage by getting Ian Kinsler to line out to left to end the inning.
Clinging to a one-run lead in the ninth, closer Fernando Rodney didn’t make things easy on himself. He walked lead-off man Alex Avila and gave up a single to Don Kelly on a soft line drive to left to put two runners on and nobody out. After a coaching visit, Rodney pulled himself together and retired Andrew Romine, Rajai Davis and Kinsler in order to end the game and secure his 14th save of the year.
Smyly went just four innings and gave up all three runs in the loss. He walked one and struck out five batters in his 105 pitches.
On the other side, Young went six frames, giving up just three hits, two runs and fanning six.
Both bullpens did their parts in the game. Detroit’s relievers threw four scoreless frames, while Seattle’s relieving group tossed three scoreless of their own.
Important things to note: Detroit struggled with runners in scoring position, going 0-for-6 in the game … Both teams struck out a total of 10 times in the game.