Mariners 3, Tigers 2
Peguero homered and tripled starting in place of Suzuki in right field, and the Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 3-2 on Friday night. The struggling Suzuki, who had played in 255 consecutive games, was given a chance to rest. Peguero, a rookie playing his 26th major league game, helped Seattle overcome a 2-1 deficit.
''I feel more relaxed,'' Peguero said. ''My timing is better right now. I feel like I don't have to swing really, really hard to hit the ball far.''
Peguero tripled in the fifth and scored to tie the game at 2. Then in the seventh, he hit a towering flyball down the right-field line off Brad Penny (5-5) that stayed a few feet fair as it went over the wall.
With two outs and a man on first, pinch-hitter Ramon Santiago lifted a flyball deep to the right-field corner, but it landed foul. He eventually grounded out to end the game.
''Tonight felt like one of those games that you just aren't supposed to win,'' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ''We just didn't do much offensively. We've been swinging well, but sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the other guy.''
Victor Martinez hit a two-run homer for the Tigers, one of only five hits for Detroit. The Tigers remained a game behind first-place Cleveland in the AL Central.
Seattle starter Erik Bedard allowed two runs and three hits in five innings. He struck out six and walked three before giving way to Ray.
Suzuki was left out of the starting lineup amid a lengthy slump. He's hitting .252 this season and only .149 since May 19.
''He's been playing baseball for a long time,'' manager Eric Wedge said before the game. ''He's mentally tough, he's physically tough. He has so many different things that are reasons for the fact that he has been so successful, but ultimately, he's a human being, and everybody needs a break every now and again.''
But the night wasn't that relaxing for Suzuki.
''I was in the cage since the third inning, working out, throwing balls, hitting off the tee, being prepared,'' Suzuki said through a translator. ''From a player's standpoint, you don't want to shut it down. You want to be ready.''
Justin Smoak put Seattle ahead with a solo homer in the top of the first, his 11th of the season. Martinez answered in the fourth with an opposite-field shot that gave Detroit a 2-1 lead.
Peguero led off the fifth with a triple and scored on Chris Gimenez's one-out single.
After homering in the seventh to put Seattle ahead, Peguero came up again in the ninth with a man on second and one out, but the Tigers weren't about to give him another chance to hit. They intentionally walked him.
Ray retired six straight Tigers in the sixth and seventh. Pauley took over in the eighth, and pinch-hitter Don Kelly led off with an infield single off his glove. Kelly made it as far as third base before Brennan Boesch struck out swinging at a pitch in the dirt to end the inning.
The four scoreless innings from the bullpen helped the Mariners win for the 17th time in their last 25 games.
''They've done a really good job,'' Bedard said. ''The reason we're in the position we're in right now is because of them. After the starters get out, if they put zeros up there, it puts less pressure on our offense.''
Penny pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with two strikeouts.
''I made two terrible pitches to Peguero and he killed both of them,'' Penny said. ''I felt fine out there, but I'm never going to be happy when I lose a game.''
Notes: Detroit has at least one extra-base hit in all 63 games this season. ... Seattle's Chone Figgins, who took over Suzuki's leadoff spot, had two hits. ... Detroit's Ryan Raburn struck out three times. ... Pauley lowered his ERA to 0.96.