Mariners 13, Tigers 3
Doug Fister got more run support from his offense in one inning
than he had in three previous starts this season.
He didn’t waste it, either.
Fister struck out a career-high seven in 6 1-3 innings, and the
light-hitting Seattle Mariners capitalized on 11 walks allowed by
Detroit, routing the Tigers 13-3 on Tuesday night.
Getting some run support probably felt quite foreign to Fister.
Before this start, Seattle had scored three runs for the
right-hander this season, only two while he was in the game.
But the Mariners scored four times in the first against the
Tigers, and staked Fister to a 6-1 lead by the fifth inning. They
finished with a season-high 15 hits.
”He’s thrown the ball well all year,” Seattle manager Eric
Wedge said. ”It was good we could jump out early and he did a
great job of keeping the same mindset you have to have when you go
out there and you are a starting pitcher in that type of
Seattle backed Fister with some rare clutch hitting and the top
of its batting order – Ichiro Suzuki and Chone Figgins – combined
to go 7 for 9 and five RBIs.
The Mariners entered as the worst hitting team in the American
League with runners in scoring position. That quickly changed
thanks to the opening outburst kept alive by an error from Detroit
starter Phil Coke (1-3), and a two-out, two-strike single from
Chris Gimenez that made it 4-0.
In its first 17 games, Seattle scored only one run in the first
Coke started his night with five-pitch and four-pitch walks to
Suzuki and Figgins, and the parade of free passes was just
starting. Jack Wilson earned his first three walks of the season.
Gimenez and Jack Cust both walked twice.
Figgins got his first hit all season with a runner in scoring
position, driving in Suzuki in the fourth. Seattle added five runs
in the seventh off Detroit’s bullpen, only after reliever Jamey
Wright got a key double play to end the top of the seventh and keep
the Mariners ahead 6-2.
The Mariners’ big seventh included four consecutive hits,
highlighted by RBI singles by Suzuki and Bradley, and a two-run
single by Figgins.
Seattle went 7 for 22 with runners in scoring position.
”That felt good. Regardless of what you do (individually) it’s
good to put up some crooked numbers,” Seattle shortstop Brendan
Ryan said. ”It’s nice to play with a lead for a change.”
Fister (1-3) had retired eight straight and 14 of 15 – the only
runner reaching on third baseman Figgins’ error in the fourth –
entering the seventh. Miguel Cabrera, Brennan Boesch and Ryan
Raburn reached on three straight singles and, after a popout by
Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila walked on a close 3-2 pitch to force in
a run and end Fister’s night.
Wright took over and got Brandon Inge to ground into a double
play on his first pitch.
Fister, who threw a career-high 110 pitches, lasted at least six
innings for the third straight start. He started the game with
consecutive strikeouts of Austin Jackson and Will Rhymes, both
looking, then was the first to greet Wright at the dugout steps
after his one-pitch double play to end the seventh.
”It fired me up. That was the pitch I was looking for and I
didn’t make that, but coming in and having him come in right behind
me, I have the utmost confidence in Jamey,” Fister said. ”He’s a
tremendous pitcher and we were all fired up when he made that one
Coke lasted just 3 2-3 innings, after throwing seven shutout
innings in his last start against Oakland. He gave up six runs, two
earned, and walked four, matching his career high.
”He didn’t have any command of his fastball. He didn’t have
command of the strike zone,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. ”We
didn’t all night.”
Enrique Gonzalez, Al Alburquerque and Brad Thomas followed with
more of the same, combining to give up seven runs, nine hits and
walk another seven batters.
NOTES: Seattle placed 1B Justin Smoak on the bereavement list
early Tuesday, and the team announced later that his father, Keith,
had passed away at age 54. … Detroit placed C Victor Martinez on
the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin, aggravated in
the second inning on Monday night. The Tigers purchased the
contract of C Omir Santos from Triple-A Toledo to take Martinez’s
spot. … Figgins committed an error on Cabrera’s grounder in the
fourth inning, the 100th error of his career.