The low-on-fumes Mariners continued their march to another 90-loss season Monday, losing to the Detroit Tigers in a blah 4-2 tilt at Comerica Park. Seattle won nine of its previous 11 at Comerica, but couldn’t generate enough offense to overcome the AL Central leaders, who put the contest out of Seattle’s reach with two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh.
Seattle fell to 66-84 and needs to finish 7-5 over the final 12 to avoid 90 losses. The Mariners, who have three left in this series, have lost seven of their last eight and 11 of 15 in September. The Mariners also lost three of the four games on this 10-game road trip, scoring nine runs in four games.
The killer stat Monday: They went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight stranded.
The Tigers led 1-0, gave up Abraham Almonte’s second homer of the season in the third, added two in the sixth and held on behind Jose Veras and Joaquin Benoit for their 87th victory.
“The league won’t have a chance to make adjustments to him this year because there isn’t time, but he’s been impressive in the short amount of time he’s been here,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of Almonte, who went 2-for-4.
The Tigers took that 1-0 when Torii Hunter, who singled, came around to score on Joe Saunders’ wild pitch. The Mariners tied it in the third on Almonte’s blast, but Detroit tallied two in the sixth on back-to-back RBI singles by Victor Martinez and Omar Infante.
Hunter’s RBI single in the seventh gave Detroit a 4-1 margin, which Seattle cut to 4-2 in the eighth on an RBI single by Justin Smoak that scored Raul Ibanez.
ARMS: Starter Joe Saunders allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings with three strikeouts and a walk. He took the loss, falling to 11-15 (5.16) . . . Seattle used two relievers, Tom Wilhelmsen allowing Detroit’s final run.
BATS: The Mariners, who struck out 10 times against Detroit starter Rick Porcello, produced seven hits, including two by Almonte and a pair each by Smoak and Raul Ibanez . . . Almonte has hits in 12 of 13 games since his MLB debut and has reached base in all 13 . . . Catcher Mike Zunino had a sour night, going 0-for-3 for three strikeouts. He’s batting .216 . . . Nick Franklin got the start at second, went 0-for-3 and is hitting .214.
QUOTES: “I felt like we put up some good at-bats, but we didn’t put up a big hit to take advantage of it. Hitting with runners in scoring position, we just weren’t able to do that. It was a good game, we had our opportunities” — Wedge
NOTES: After Felix Hernandez threw a bullpen session Monday, the Mariners determined that their ace won’t pitch at least until the weekend in Anaheim when Seattle faces the Angels. The Mariners said Hernandez needs to throw another bullpen session Thursday. Hernandez suffered a strained oblique muscle in his left side Sept. 2 . . . Shortstop Brad Miller sat out his second straight game Monday nursing a sore hamstring . . . Raul Ibanez Monday was named Seattle’s nominee for the annual Roberto Clemente award, which goes to a player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
NEXT: The series continues Tuesday with a 4:15 p.m., PT first pitch. RHP Brandon Maurer (4-8, 7.18) will pitch for Seattle opposite RHP Anibal Sanchez (14-7, 2.50), the AL ERA leader. Following the Detroit series, the Mariners move to Anaheim for three against the Angels that will close out the road schedule. Seattle next plays at Safeco Field Sept. 23 against Kansas City.