Mariners fall to Martinez, Tigers 5-4
Seattle manager Eric Wedge intentionally walked Victor Martinez
twice – and still watched his team lose on an extra-base hit by the
Martinez’s double scored Prince Fielder from first in the
seventh inning, sending the Tigers to a 5-4 victory over the
Mariners on Thursday. It was the second double of the game for
Martinez, who is hitting .367 since the All-Star break.
”I’ve known him a long time, and I know all the ways he can
beat you,” Wedge said. ”The last time, there wasn’t anywhere to
put him because Prince was on first, and he did what he’s done for
years. He’s just a great hitter.”
Detroit trailed 4-3 after Seattle’s Dustin Ackley hit a
three-run homer in the fifth, but Fielder’s RBI single in the
seventh tied it. Then he scored from first when Martinez doubled
off Charlie Furbush (2-6).
The Mariners argued what was a close call at the plate.
”It was a bang-bang play,” Wedge said. ”(Catcher Mike Zunino)
did a great job of getting the throw and making it close.”
Torii Hunter homered for the Tigers. Doug Fister (13-9) struck
out 10 in 7 2-3 innings. Drew Smyly got one out, and Joaquin Benoit
pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 22 chances.
Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias left after being hit on the left
hand by a pitch in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative.
Seattle scored a run in the first on an RBI single by Raul
Ibanez. Hunter tied it in the bottom half with a solo shot, and
Martinez added an RBI double later in the inning.
Seattle intentionally walked Martinez in the third with men on
second and third, but starter James Paxton walked Omar Infante on
four pitches to force in a run and make it 3-1.
”That’s just a case of him trying to be too perfect with his
pitches,” Wedge said. ”He’s just got to trust his stuff in that
situation, but that will come.”
Fister allowed four runs and nine hits with one walk. His only
major mistake was a pitch to Ackley in the fifth that the Seattle
outfielder hit over the wall in right for his fourth homer of the
”I had a 2-0 count, and that’s not going to happen very often
with Doug. He’s always right on the plate, and once he gets a
couple strikes on you, he’s got a bunch of pitches that he can make
you chase,” Ackley said. ”So when I got ahead, I was trying to be
aggressive, and he left a changeup in the middle of the plate. It
was nice to see him do that for once.”
Fister was traded from Seattle to Detroit in 2011. Furbush went
to the Mariners in the deal.
Paxton had won his first two major league starts earlier this
month. He allowed three runs and five hits in five innings against
”He didn’t have the same stuff he’s had in the last two starts,
and that probably made this one more impressive,” Wedge said.
”It’s tough to pitch against that team without your best stuff,
and he gave us a chance to win the game.”
Fielder added some levity in the top of the fifth. After
unsuccessfully chasing after a foul ball that dropped near the
stands, he took what looked like a nacho from one of the fans near
the front and ate it, while receiving a pat on the back from
”Thought about dipping in the cheese, but he might double
dip,” Fielder joked. ”I don’t think he even noticed it.”
NOTES: Martinez, usually Detroit’s DH, started at catcher for
the third time this season. … Tigers pitchers have 1,323
strikeouts, five more than the previous team record set last year.
… Detroit hosts the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Tigers RHP
Max Scherzer (19-3) faces RHP Andre Rienzo (2-2). Seattle RHP
Erasmo Ramirez (5-2) faces Los Angeles Angels RHP Jered Weaver