Detroit Tigers Drop 11-9 Seesaw Battle to Seattle Mariners

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Jul 21, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) takes the ball to relieve starting pitcher Shane Greene (61) in the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers lost a seesaw battle to the Seattle Mariners in the second game of their four game series. Shane Greene got the start for the Tigers and was once again unable to retire left-handed batters. Greene was bailed out by the Tigers’ offense as they continued to fight, but the bullpen once again broke down and surrendered another lead.

The Mariners opened the scoring in the top of the first. Kyle Seager hit a single to left field with one out. That was followed by an 0-2 hit by pitch to Nelson Cruz to put runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Robinson Cano then singled on a ground ball up the middle to give the Mariners the 1-0 lead. Seth Smith then doubled home a run to put the Mariners up 2-0. Dustin Ackley hit a sacrifice fly to score Cano from 3rd and Brad Miller singled home Smith to give the Mariners the 4-0 lead after the top of the first.

The Tigers cut into the lead in the bottom of the second. J.D. Martinez reached on an error by the third basemen, Seager. Nick Castellanos singled to left field to put Martinez on second. Alex Avila then singled up the middle to center field to score Martinez and cut the lead to 4-1.

The Mariners then padded their lead in the top of the third. Nelson Crus hit a 455-foot home run into the second row of shrubbery to lead off the inning on a 1-2 pitch to put the lead at 5-1 Mariners.

J.D. Martinez saw Nelson Cruz’s home run, and decided to one-up him. Victor Martinez reached after he was hit by a pitch, then J.D. hit a bomb onto the roof of the camera well in center field to cut the Mariners’ lead to 5-3. It was measured at 467 feet and 113 miles per hour off of the bat.

Greene was given the opportunity to pitch through the 5th, but was pulled after Cano hit a double. He finished the night with a line of 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Even when he was retiring batters, Greene was still getting hit hard, especially by lefties.

The Tigers took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth and knocked Walker out of the game in the process. Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a single, followed by a two run home run from Yoenis Cespedes. J.D. Martinez singled with one out to end Walker’s night as David Rollins entered the game. Nick Castellanos singled to center field and Alex Avila walked to load the bases and end Rollins’s night.

Tom Wilhelmsen entered the game and continued to struggle holding inherited runners. Andrew Romine hit a ball about 85 feet down the first base line for an infield single to bring home a run which officially capped off Walker’s final line of 4.1 IP, 6 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Anthony Gose then walked to force home a run and give the Tigers the 7-5 lead.

The Mariners tightened the gap in the 6th. Logan Morrison hit a one out single to center field followed by a Mike Zunino double up the gap to put runners at 2nd and 3rd. Austin Jackson then hit a jam job into right field to plate Morrison and cut the lead to 7-6.

The Tigers then pushed across another run in the bottom of the 7th as Castellanos hit an opposite field home run on a 95 mph fastball to push the lead to 8-6.

Neftali Feliz was given the 8th inning and did not survive it. Austin Jackson hit an infield single followed by a Kyle Seager single to right field and a Cano single to center field to load the bases. A wild pitch scored Seager from 3rd followed by an intentional walk to Seth Smith to re-load the bases. Franklin Gutierrez then hit a pinch hit grand slam to give the Mariners the 11-8 lead.

The Tigers cut into the lead and threatened in the bottom of the 8th, but could not tie the game. Ian Kinsler reached on a ground ball double down the left field line. He moved up to 3rd and scored on two wild pitches from former Tigers’ reliever Fernando Rodney. Victor Martinez hit a single to left field to end Rodney’s night, but Carson Smith retired J.D Martinez to end the threat.

These two teams will face off once again Wednesday night at 7:08. Anibal Sanchez will take his 9-7 record and 4.55 ERA to the mound against Mike Montgomery and his 4-3 record and 2.51 ERA.