Final: Detroit 6, Mariners 4.
Some of what manager Eric Wedge had to say afterward:
“It was a heck of a ball game. Our guys didn’t lay down. They battled their tails off. When you’re down early like that against one of the better pitchers in the league, our guys didn’t give in at all. I’m really pleased with the way they battled through at bats, and made their guy work, and got themselves back in the ball game.”
On Millwood, who went five innings, giving up five runs on eight hits and getting the loss: “Millwood struggled early and then kept us in the ball game, got us to the middle innings, and we’re back in it. We weren’t going to be able to go to the bullpen early after (the Monday game). We didn’t have enough arms down there. … We really needed Kevin to step up and stay in there. Not only did he stay in there, he was able to shut them down for those final three innings. ”
On the ninth-inning rally that fell short: “Our guys, they weren’t giving away at bats. They were battling … all the way to the last out of the ball game.”
Ninth inning: League in and retires the Tigers in order.
Bottom half: Valverde in for Detroit. Carp walks. Saunders walks. Ackley strikes out. Ryan hits into apparent double-play, but Fielder can’t control low throw. Runners on first and third, two out, Ichiro up. Ryan goes to second, so with tying run now in scoring position, Tigers walk Ichiro. That brings up Montero with bases loaded. He flies out to right.
Eighth inning: Lucas Luetge takes over for Seattle, and he sails through, allowing only a single to Austin Jackson.
Bottom half, Joaquin Benoit in for Detroit (while League warms in Seattle bullpen and Valverde in the Tigers’ pen). Seager strikes out looking, and clearly neither team is happy with umpire Brian Knight’s strike zone tonight. Three up, three down. Tigers, 6-4.
Seventh inning: Prince Fielder opens the seventh with a home right to right field. It seemed bound for Jupiter, however the Safeco scoreboard says it traveled just 398 feet. (Luetge warming up in Mariners bullpen.) The next three Tigers are retired and it goes into the stretch inning at Tigers 6, Mariners 3.
Bottom half: Verlander replaced by Phil Coke. Verlander leaves after six innings, allowing three runs, all earned, on seven hits with two walks and six strike outs. Mariners pick up a small-ball run — Saunders walk, Ackley grounder, Ryan single. Detroit, 6-4.
Sixth inning: Kelly in. Millwood went five innings giving up eight hits, five runs, all earned; five walks and three strike outs.
Top of the Tigers’ order goes down 1-2-3.
(Spoiler alert: Hyrdo result coming up:) Yellow wins.
Bottom half: Jaso, Smoak, Carp down in order as Verlander really seemed to find a groove. Detroit, 5-3.
Fifth inning: (Shawn Kelley up in Mariners’ bullpen.) Tigers load bases with two outs… and Millwood gets Laird to ground to short. In the bottom half, Montero managed a two-out walk. But then Seager — representing the tying run — popped out. Detroit, 5-3.
Fourth inning: Tigers retired in order again. Smoak opened the bottom half with a bloop single. A couple of infield outs got him to third, where he was stranded. Tigers, 5-3.
Third inning: Early highlight of the evening as the video board shows some members of the military in a right-center field second, and they get a nice hand from the small crowd.
Top half, Tigers retired in order. Bottom half, the Mariners get on the board with three straight singled by Ackley, Ryan and Ichiro, then a two-out single by Seager. With Jaso up next, Tigers manager Jim Leyland ejected for arguing balls and strikes. (Though Jaso eventually strikes out.) Detroit, 5-3.
Second inning: Tigers add four with singles by Boesch and Laird and a double by Dirks. Walk to Fielder. Double by Young. Fans on Millwood. Pitching coach Carl Willis out for a visit.
The bottom half starts promisingly with double by Seager and single by Jaso. But that’s followed by Smoak strike out, and Carp hits into double play. Detroit, 5-0.
First inning: Two batters in, and Detroit is up, 1-0. An Austin Jackson double to the wall and an Andy Dirks single. Tigers, 1-0. And I guess it has to at least cross the mind that Jason Verlander may already have all the support he needs. The reigning American League Cy Young winner is third among A.L. pitchers with 5.96 hits allowed per nine innings and tied for third with a .184 batting average against. His 2.38 ERA ranks seventh.
Play ball: We’re under way. Millwood vs. Verlander. Smallish crowd. Fifty-seven degrees and breezy. Nasty right into the face of the press box breezy.
Beavan better: The main pregame news from the clubhouse involves Mariners’ pitcher Blake Beavan, who is feeling better after taking ball of his elbow last night. He says he is hopeful but unsure about being ready for his scheduled start on Sunday.
“I’m going to do everything I can to try to get back,” he said. “But I don’t want to come back if I’m not 100 percent, because that wouldn’t be good for the team. It’s something that you don’t want to rush if it’s serious. But if I can go, and I feel 100 percent, I’m going to go.”
If Beavan isn’t ready, manager Eric Wedge said that turn in the rotation could be taken someone currently with the Class-AAA Tacoma Rainiers; or by Hisashi Iwakuma, who replaced Beavan on Monday.
Iwakuma went three innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out five — and impressing his manager.
“I liked the way he came out and just used all of his pitches right away,” Wedge said. “He was aggressive, he pounded the zone and he had good stuff.”
Lineup: The roof is open and the Mariners are taking batting practice in advance of their 7:10 p.m. game tonight against the Tigers.
Here’s the lineup for the Mariners:
They will face the Tigers’ Justin Verlander: 2-1, 2.38.
Wedge was asked how he wants his young players to approach someone like Verlander:
“You just have to remember how good you are,” he said. “That’s as important to me as anything. Regardless of what it says on the back of your bubble gum card, you have to remember how good you are because of how young you are and what you’ve accomplished to get here and what you’re future is going to look like.”