Their first walk off win of the season came in their 31st game, and while the Detroit Tigers teed the ninth-inning rally up, the Seattle Mariners still had to finish it.
Finish it they did.
Two inning-opening walks, then a pair of Octavio Dotel wild pitches, turned a 2-0 Detroit lead into a 2-1 edge with a man on third base – and Jesus Montero doubled off he center field wall to tie the score.
Kyle Seager sacrificed pinch runner Munenori Kawasaki to third, John Jaso’s fly ball scored him and the Mariners won, 3-2, getting all their runs in the ninth.
In victory, the Mariners survived a superb start by former teammate Doug Fister, just off the disabled list. Seven shutout innings, 73 pitches. And as he’d seen happen before in Seattle, the game got away after he departed.
Blake Beavan started and was literally knocked out of the game in the third inning, when Miguel Cabrera’s line drive hit his right elbow.
“It was like a 200-mph fastball back at me, and all I could do was slightly turn my body,” Beavan said. “It hit me right on the elbow. I was numb for 20-25 minutes.”
X-rays showed no break, but pain and swelling may cost Beavan his next start. If he can’t make it, Hisashi Iwakuma – who made his third appearance of the season tonight – likely would.
Mixing his fastball with an assortment of breaking pitches, Iwakuma worked three innings, struck out five and allowed one run.
How stunning was Seattle’s comeback? Consider this – the team had scored eight runs in the ninth inning in its first 30 games, then got three against the Tigers. Tonight, they had all of five hits, just one in the ninth inning.
On Tuesday, the Mariners face Cy Young Award winner and American League MVP Justin Verlander.