Chone Figgins snapped a 4-4 tie in the top of the seventh inning with a go-ahead RBI double over the head of Brennan Boesch in right, and then four Seattle relievers collaborated to shut down Detroit, giving the Mariners a 5-4 win over the Tigers and a sweep of the three-game series. It’s Seattle’s first road sweep in a year.
The Mariners, who arrived in Detroit having lost four in a row, improved to 10-10 after getting effective, but shaky, performances from relievers Steve Delabar, Lucas Luetge, Tom Wilhelmsen and Brandon League.
Delabar allowed an infield single Jhonny Peralta, whom Ryan Raburn sacrificed to second. Seattle Manager Eric Wedge summoned Luetge, who walked catcher Alex Avila, quickly putting runners on the corners. But Luetge worked out of the jam without further incident.
After Wilhelmsen delivered a perfect eighth, League came on in search of his seventh save in eight chances, but immediately gave up a single to Don Kelly, whom Peralta sacrificed into scoring position. League then gave up an infield single, but induced Avila to ground into a game-ending double play.
In sweeping three, the Mariners scored 21 runs and produced 37 hits, nine for extra bases. Key to that production: The Mariners went 9-for-18 with a walk and five runs scored in the first innings of the three wins.
The Mariners jumped on Detroit starter Rick Porcello immediately, Figgins and Dustin Ackley banging base hits and Justin Smoak unloading a three-run bomb to right for a 3-0 lead. That marked Seattle’s first three-run homer of the season and snapped an 0-for-16 dive by Smoak.
In the fourth, catcher Miguel Olivo hit a solo shot off of Porcello, Olivo’s first of the season, giving the Mariners a 4-0 lead.
For four innings, Seattle starter Hector Noesi looked like he would breeze to his second win of the season, if not throw a no-hitter. Noesi allowed only one baserunner through four (Delmon Young) and didn’t give up his first hit until one out in the fifth when Don Kelly singled to center and scored on Raburn single, making it 4-1.
In the sixth, Andy Dirks greeted Noesi with a triple, Boesch singled and Miguel Cabrera unloaded a home run to left, chasing Noesi, who received a no-decision. Charlie Furbush, who replaced him, collected the win after working one inning.
Having closed out the Tigers, the Mariners open a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays Friday at the Rogers Center. Blake Beavan (1-2, 3.26) will work for Seattle opposite Ricky Romero (3-0, 2.29).
Following that three-game series, the Mariners travel to Tampa for four games against the Rays. Seattle next plays at home Friday, May 4 vs. Minnesota.