SEATTLE, Wash. – The Mariners were unable to complete another ninth inning rally, coming up short Tuesday night against the Tigers 6-4.
The Tigers got to Starter Kevin Millwood right off the bat as Austin Jackson doubled to lead off the game and then scored on an Andy Dirks single. After inducing a double play on Miguel Cabrera, Millwood gave up a single to Prince Fielder and walked the next two batters to load the bases. Jhonny Peralta then flew out allowing Millwood to escape the inning with a single run allowed.
Detroit continued to hit the ball in the second with consecutive singles by Brennan Boesch and Gerald Laird. Austin Jackson sacrificed the two runners over with a groundout bunt to third base. Dirks struck a double into the right field corner to bring the two runners in. After a Cabrera fly-out and Fielder walk, Delmon Young ripped a deep double to left center to bring around Dirks and Fielder for a 5-0 lead.
It looked like the Mariners were looking to get some runs back as Kyle Seager led off the bottom of the second with a double to right field that John Jaso followed up with a single to move Seager to third. However, Justin Smoak struck out and Mike Carp grounded into a double play to keep Seattle scoreless.
With one out in the third, Dustin Ackley singled to left and Brendan Ryan singled to shallow right moving Ackley to third. Ichiro Suzuki got the M's on the board with a single to right bringing home Ackley. Ichiro moved over to second on a Jesus Montero groundout, putting runners on second and third. Seager roped the ball up the middle to bring Ryan and Ichiro in and put the Mariners within two. Seager, who got his 1919th RBI of the year on the play, also stole second base. Detroit Manager Jim Leyland argued a pitch during Jaso's at-bat and was ejected by the home plate umpire. Jaso worked into a full count but struck out to end the inning with the score 5-3.
Millwood found himself in another jam as the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs after walking Boesch, but Gaird grounded out to end the fifth.
Fielder ripped a shot off Shawn Kelley that cleared the right field wall in a heartbeat putting the Tigers up 6-3 in the seventh.
Michael Saunders walked in the bottom of the seventh and moved over to third on a wild pitch and ground out by Ackley. Ryan singled up the middle to score Saunders and put the Mariners back within two.
Down two in the ninth for the second straight night, the M's eyed another rally as Jose Valverde walked leadoff batter Carp. Saunders worked the count full and also walked. Chone Figgins pinch ran for Carp at second. Ackley found himself down in the count 0-2 after fouling off two sacrifice bunt attempts and struck out on the next pitch. Ryan hit what looked to be a double play grounder to end the game but Fielder couldn't glove the ball at first, extending the game. After Ryan stole second base, the Tigers decided to intentionally walk Ichiro, leaving the game in Montero's hands with the bases loaded. Montero hit a pop-up that trailed into foul territory just in enough reach for Don Kelly, who tracked down the ball right before colliding into the wall to record the final out.
Justin Verlander got the win, throwing for six innings allowing three runs on seven hits and striking out six. Valverde held on in the ninth for the save.
Millwood recovered from the shaky first two innings and pitched well for his final three, but still ended up with the loss. He gave up five runs on eight hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
Having split the series thus far, the Mariners and Tigers will face off tomorrow in a rubber match to see who takes the series. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.