Seattle snapped a seven-game road slide on Sunday, as Brendan Ryan's two-run single in the seventh inning proved to be the difference in the Mariners' 3-2 victory over Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.
Brandon League came on to protect a two-run lead in the ninth, and gave up a one-out single to Kila Ka'aihue, who advanced to second base on a groundout. Wilson Betemit then lined a single to center field to trim theRoyals' deficit to one. Pinch-runner Mike Aviles stole second, but League retired Brayan Pena on a ground ball to notch his third save of the season.
Justin Smoak had two hits and Milton Bradley knocked in the other run for Seattle, which won for the first time in five tries overall and for only the third time in its last 14 games.
"It's not fun coming in and, not hanging our heads, but not having anything to be proud of," Ryan said of the team's struggles.
Michael Pineda (2-1) surrendered one run on three hits and walked four in six innings to get the win. The rookie right-hander finished with five strikeouts and became just the second pitcher in club history to record a quality start in each of his first three career outings -- joining Bob Stoddard in 1981.
"I can't say enough about this guy," Ryan said of Pineda. "I've said from the end of Spring Training this guy has a legitimate shot to be Rookie of the Year. When you make guys look the way they do with all three pitches. ... he's outstanding and he's only going to get better."
Getting the call for the Mariners tonight will be left-hander Jason Vargas, who is 0-1 with a 4.86 ERA. Vargas did not get a decision on Wednesday against Toronto, despite allowing just a run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Vargas is 0-1 in two starts versus the Tigers with a 7.71 ERA.
Detroit, meanwhile, will counter with right-hander Max Scherzer, who is 2-0 with a 4.76 ERA. Scherzer, though, did not factor in the decision of his last start against Texas, but pitched well, surrendering two runs and seven hits in six innings.
Scherzer has won both of his starts against the Mariners, pitching to a 1.93 ERA in the process.
The Tigers enter tonight's opener after dropping the final two games of their four-game set with the Oakland Athletics, losing Sunday's finale 5-1. Casper Wells accounted for the only offense with a homer for the Tigers, who had won four straight before losing the final two of that set.
Brad Penny (0-2) suffered the loss after yielding five runs on four hits, with four walks in five-plus innings of work. The veteran right-hander struck out five.
Seattle took five of its eight meetings with the Tigers last season, including wins in four of the five matchups in the Emerald City.