Detroit, MI (Sports Network) – Chone Figgins brought in two runs on a triple during the Mariners’ four-run fifth inning, as Seattle beat the red-hot Detroit Tigers, 7-3, in the opener of a three-game series at Comerica Park.
Justin Smoak had a two-run homer in his return from a week on the bereavement list for the Mariners, who halted a two-game losing streak. Miguel Olivo hit his first home run of the season in the win.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (3-2) looked good in a six- inning outing where he have up three runs—two earned—on four hits and struck out four to get the win for Seattle.
“I didn’t have a good feel on my breaking ball today,” Hernandez said. “I was throwing a good sinker, though. I did throw good pitches and gave up just three runs. That’s a good start.”
Brandon Inge drove in two runs for the Tigers, who came into the game with a four-game win streak. Phil Coke (1-4) was roughed up for seven runs on eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings to get the loss for the home team.
It was a back-and-forth game throughout the first four innings, but the Mariners took control with a four-run fifth.
There were runners on second and third to set up Ichiro Suzuki’s RBI single, then Figgins hit a two-run triple to deep center field to keep the one- out rally going. Coke hit the next batter, Milton Bradley, with a diving curveball into his foot to end the pitcher’s outing.
“I didn’t do my job at all,” Coke said. “It really irritates me. I didn’t perform as I’m expected to. It’s not the pressure or anything, I’m just disappointed in myself.”
Brayan Villarreal was brought in and gave up a run following an error on a pickoff attempt to send Figgins scurrying home for a 6-3 game. Bradley then scored on a fielder’s choice to cap the frame.
The score stayed that way for the rest of the game as David Pauley and Brandon League combined for three shutout innings of one-hit ball.
Detroit looked like it was going to get a big first inning with the bases loaded and just one out. But Hernandez only surrendered one run when Brennan Boesch’s fielder’s choice plated Will Rhymes for a 1-0 lead.
Seattle got the run right back thanks to Olivo’s rope shot to left field where Ryan Raburn went to the warning track and tried to make a leaping catch. However, the ball bounced off his glove over the fence for a solo home run and a 1-1 game.
Seattle took the lead in the fourth on Smoak’s two-run homer into the left field seats.
However, Detroit came storming right back during the home half. Boesch doubled to start it, and after a Raburn strikeout, Jhonny Peralta drew a walk to put two men on. Two batters later, Inge hit a sharp liner down the line in left to bring both Boesch and Peralta home to knot the game again, 3-3.
Detroit won two of three games in Seattle earlier this season…Villarreal worked 2 2/3 innings of relief, allowing just one hit and struck out four…Seattle went 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position.