Mariners Defeat Detroit 9-1 With Another 15 Hit Night
by Brad Wall
DETROIT, Mich. – The Mariners produced 15 hits for a second consecutive night as they defeated the Detroit Tigers 9-1 Wednesday night.
For the second straight night the Mariners got on the board in the opening inning on a hit by Jesus Montero. Dustin Ackley took over the leadoff spot for Chone Figgins, who had the night off, and started the game off with a single. After a Brendan Ryan foul out, Ichiro Suzuki singled up the middle. Justin Smoak then moved Ackley over to third with a fly out to right. Montero then plopped a two-out single in short right field to score Ackley.
Felix Hernandez struggled in the bottom of the first as he gave up a leadoff walk to Austin Jackson, who then moved over to second on a Brennan Boesch ground out. Miguel Cabrera got a hold of a pitch, but it lost its juice and was caught at the warning track by Casper Wells. Jackson moved over to third on a passed ball, and Hernandez found himself in trouble walking two straight batters to load the bases up with two outs. Alex Avila worked into a full count and hit a grounder that was bobbled by Ackley, but he recovered in time to make the throw and get Hernandez out of the jam.
Seattle kept their bats going in the second as they loaded the bases to start the inning on singles by Miguel Olivo and Michael Saunders and a Wells walk. Starter Adam Wilk took a seat early as he was relieved by Thad Weber. Ackley then brought Olivo and Saunders home with a single, advancing Wells to third. Ryan extended the M's lead to four with a sacrifice fly.
The bats continued to stay hot in the third as Alex Liddi hit a home run for a second consecutive night, this one also scoring Montero who had reached on an infield single.
Boesch canceled any implications of a shutout by Hernandez as he led off the bottom of the third with a homer.
In the fifth, Wells hit the ball just out of reach of Miguel Cabrera, ricocheting off his glove and rolling into the foul area allowing him to coast into second. Ackley followed that up with a deep ball to left, this one out of reach of outfielder Don Kelly. Wells scored to put the Mariners up 7-1.
Ichiro led the sixth off with a double, his third hit of the night. After a Smoak walk, Montero brought Ichiro in with a single, that also his third hit. Liddi singled through the shortstop gap to load the bases with nobody out, making Detroit change pitchers. Olivo flew out to right, but Smoak held up at third as the ball wasn't deep enough. Saunders walked to bring in Smoak but that was all for that inning as Wells popped out to second and Ackley flew out to center to end the inning and the Mariners were ahead 9-1.
The Mariners offense was not only productive; it was also consistent as they scored runs in five different innings. Six of the nine leadoff batters for the M's in each inning managed to get on base. Ackley, Ichiro, and Montero each had three hit nights. Every batter in the lineup got on base at some point in the game as well.
Aside from the solo home run by Boesch, King Felix was stellar on the night pitching seven innings and giving up four hits and allowing that one run with two strikeouts.
Detroit Starter Wilk was only able to record six outs as he allowed six runs on eight hits before they brought in Weber.
After coming into the series on a four-game losing streak, the Mariners will now look to complete a sweep of the Tigers tomorrow at 10:05 a.m. PDT.