Mariners, Tigers to play doubleheader

Ichiro Suzuki returns to the Seattle Mariners‘ bench on Saturday.

Suzuki just moved to the Mariners’ front office as the team’s special assistant to the chairman. He was removed from the playing roster, essentially ending his storied career.

He’ll serve as Manny Acta’s bench coach during a traditional doubleheader in Detroit on Saturday. Acta is filling in for manager Scott Servais, who is attending his daughter’s graduation ceremony as she receives a master’s degree at Ole Miss.

“I communicate with him all the time,” Acta told the Seattle Times about Ichiro. “That’s not going to be an issue. During the game, he’s going to be watching the game and managing the game just like I do. And anything that pops up, any idea, I will ask him and go from there. And probably at the end of the day, I will go with my idea.”

It will be a long day at the ballpark, thanks to Friday’s postponement because of inclement weather.

Marco Gonzales (3-2, 5.19 ERA) and Felix Hernandez (4-3, 5.28 ERA) will be Seattle’s starters.

Gonzales wound up with a no-decision in his last start Saturday, when he allowed four runs and nine hits to the Los Angeles Angels. The Mariners (21-15) won 9-8 in 11 innings. He has never previously faced the Tigers.

Hernandez lost his last start on Sunday, giving up five runs and seven hits in 5 2/3 innings to the Los Angeles Angels. He won his previous two starts against Oakland and the Chicago White Sox. Hernandez has made 16 career starts against the Tigers, posting a 9-4 record and a 2.79 ERA.

Matthew Boyd (1-3, 3.00) and Michael Fulmer (1-2, 3.51) will get the nod for Detroit (15-21).

Boyd lost his last outing on Sunday, giving up four runs and six hits in seven innings against Kansas City. Boyd pitched an inning of relief in his lone career appearance against Seattle.

Fulmer was staked to a four-run lead but couldn’t hold it against Texas in his last outing on Monday. He wound up with a no-decision after giving up five runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings. He is 0-1 with a 2.38 ERA in two career outings against the Mariners.

The Tigers are dealing with numerous injuries, leaving manager Ron Gardenhire scrambling to patch together a lineup and redefine pitching roles.

The wounded Tigers have lost five of their last seven games. First baseman Miguel Cabrera and center fielder Leonys Martin landed on the 10-day disabled list with hamstring injuries. Pitchers Jordan Zimmermann (shoulder), Alex Wilson (foot) and Daniel Norris (groin) are also on the DL.

Right fielder Nicholas Castellanos sat out Wednesday’s 5-4, 10-inning loss to Texas with a sore knee. He was in the lineup on Friday before the postponement.

“We write up lineups and we expect these guys to go about the game the same way,” Gardenhire told the Detroit Free Press. “No one is going to feel bad for you or feel sad for you.”

The Tigers and Mariners will play their entire seven-game series during the next two weekends. They will play four games in Seattle on May 17-20.