In emphatic fashion.
Facing the so-called “King” Felix, Detroit drove the Mariners pitcher off the mound by making him throw more pitches in the first three innings (68/69) than he’d thrown all season.
As David Price recorded outs, the Tigers struck first by scoring in the second inning. Eugenio Suarez beat out a grounder to secure a J.D. Martinez run. It was uncanny how many pitches we made Hernandez throw. He started to whither with each 20+ pitch inning, and the M’s manager, ex-Tigers hitting coach Lloyd, found himself ejected from the frustration. Right after he left the game we scored.
Our ex-center fielder tied the game for Seattle in the fourth, but not for long. Nick Castellanos led off the bottom of the inning to an exhausted “King” with a blast out of the ballpark, putting us ahead 2-1. Five innings was all Felix could deliver, exiting the game after Ian Kinsler drilled him with a line drive to end the inning. It was his shortest start since May 2nd.
After we chased him, Detroit broke the bullpen open for two more runs. J.D. drove in Miguel Cabrera, who’d doubled with one out. Then, intentionally-walked Victor Martinez scored on another base hit by Castellanos for a 4-1 edge.
Price finished with eight gutsy innings. In his final frame, he walked two batters to load the bases with one out. Next, he struck out Austin Jackson swinging on a slightly outside pitch. Lastly, Suarez flipped the final out to Kinsler for the force.
Joe Nathan ratcheted our nerves in the ninth by allowing a run to score with one out. Thankfully, the infield turned a double play to rid us of the damage. Final score: 4-2 Tigers.
It was remarkably quick for Detroit to respond to the walk. I’m really impressed with just about everyone’s performance working the opposing pitchers. Batting second is too high, however, for Ezequial Carrerra, the only Tiger not to reach base. He’s fast, but he looks lost right now, flying out or popping up in each of his five at-bats. No first pitch swings unless you mean it! (Torii Hunter – started great, finished weak. Hang in there, veteran.)