BY SPNW Staff 08:54PM 07/20/2015

Game recap: Tigers 5, Mariners 4

The Seattle Mariners have the worst record in the American League.

In a season full of disappointment, RHP Mark Lowe served up the deflating blow Monday, an eighth-inning, two-run homer from Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler — his second blast of the game — that sent the Mariners to a 5-4 loss (box score) at Comerica Park in the series opener.

The defeat dropped the Mariners, a hip choice to make the playoffs before the season, to 42-51. For the second day in a row, and the third time in the past four games, a Seattle reliever allowed a deciding homer late.

Essential moment 

Oft-criticized reliever Fernando Rodney wasn’t used Monday after he allowed the go-ahead homer Sunday to Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira.

Lowe (0-1), who entered with a 0.62 ERA and allowed two runs in 29 appearances, was the goat instead. Facing Kinsler with two outs, he jumped ahead 1-2, then piped a 96-mile-per-hour fastball that Kinsler crushed well beyond the left-field wall for his fifth homer.

It was Lowe’s first run allowed since June 14.


C Mike Zunino went 2-for-3 with a walk, raising his batting average to .163. Not exactly Hall of Fame numbers, but the oft-criticized former No. 3 overall pick from the 2012 draft at least looked the part of a big-league hitter during his at-bat in the second inning.

With the bases loaded, Zunino worked an eight-pitch at-bat against Tigers starter Alfredo Simon, driving in two when he lined a double off Comerica Park’s center-field wall, 420 feet from home plate.

In the top of the sixth, Zunino lined a two-out RBI single off Simon for a 4-3 lead. It ended the right-hander’s day and represented the type of high-leverage hit the Mariners have so often failed to deliver.

2B Robinson Cano, meanwhile, continued his recent hot streak, hitting an opposite-field solo homer in the fifth inning. Cano finished 2-for-4 and lifted his average to .255.


LHP J.A. Happ was recalled from Class A Bakersfield earlier in the day while former top prospect Jesus Montero went back to Triple-A Tacoma.

In his first start since July 8, Happ was solid. He allowed three runs on four hits and two walks over seven innings while striking out two. He was at 87 pitches when Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon lifted him after seven.


“It was a combination of things,” McClendon said of replacing Happ. “We had those tough righties coming up. There were not a lot of easy at-bats tonight for him. They were grinding some at-bats. And we had Lowe up. His ERA was (0.62). We had the guy in there we wanted. It just didn’t work out.”


The Mariners trail the fourth-place Oakland Athletics (43-51) by a half-game in the American League West . . . They are 1-3 on their seven-game road trip. Every loss has been by one run . . . The Mariners have lost 15 times this season in the opponents’ final at-bat, most in the AL . . . 3B Kyle Seager went 0-for-5, ending his nine-game hitting streak . . . Cano has nine homers . . . The Mariners are 7-9 in July.


The Mariners continue their four-game series Tuesday at 4:08 p.m. PT. RHP Taijuan Walker (7-7, 4.84 ERA) is up against against Detroit RHP Shane Greene (4-7, 6.32 ERA).


  • Rj Smith

    So the M’s lose AGAIN?! Big surprise. So let’s look at what’s happened recently….. the bullpen has been a complete joke. These clowns have allowed game winning home runs in THREE straight losses? Are you kidding me?! What a joke, this team is a disgrace from top to bottom. It’s hilarious because it’s totally predictable, especially how the outcome was reached. They really should be ashamed of their individual performances, these are veteran major league players who not only don’t get the job done, but they fail in miserably epic fashion. I had predicted these goofs would have the worst record in the AL by August 1st, guess I was wrong, the M’s wanted to get there sooner. So when is Trader Jack Z going to acquire another bum to go with the collection he has already assembled? Ryan Howard is available, surprised clueless Z hasn’t dealt Walker or Paxton away for him yet.

    • Effzee

      It’ll happen. Oh, it’ll happen. In this season of desperation and throwing everything Lincoln has said for the past 13 years to the wind, we will almost certainly pull off our most bone-headed trade yet. I know, I know. That’s a big statement, with this franchise. But then, how improbable is it that we break our own records for meekness in offensive prowess every single year? The only thing about this franchise that would be surprising is if we suddenly started to win.

  • MacPhisto92

    “….but the oft-criticized former No. 3 overall pick from the 2012 draft at least looked the part of a big-league hitter during his at-bat in the second inning.”

    This is what is has come to people…THIS is how low the franchise has fallen to….it’s now a success if a player on this team at least “looks the part” of a big-league hitter. I cannot even begin to describe how much I have come to despise this entire franchise. I’ve never been more disgusted, and never been more proud to say I haven’t gone to a single game at Safeco for the past 3 seasons, and don’t see myself going again anytime soon.

    All you others who complain about this team need to look in the mirror and ask yourself why you continue to spend your money at Safeco when this same $&#% has been going on for over a decade. As long as brain dead ‘fans’ keep going to Safeco to drink beer, watch animated Hydro’s, Snap selfies, and collect their trains and Bobblehead’s…..NOTHING will ever change, EVER. Nothing changes, because despite this horrid front office, this team still turns a profit every season because the fans don’t hold them accountable by STAYING HOME!!!!!! DO NOT GO TO SAFECO PEOPLE!!!!…..WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?!?

    • Rj Smith

      Actually, the M’s probably come close to turning a profit before they sell any tickets. They have a huge TV deal plus other revenue. But what these dopes don’t understand is, if the team is successful on the field, they will make more money! It’s simple. But we ARE talking about baseball brain-dead goofs like Mr. Lincoln & Trader Jack Z. Idiots.

  • Kevin Lynch

    Key point passed: last year the surprising M’s won 87 games. Who knew? But with their current record they will find that very hard to do this year. For sake of perspective, let’s say the M’s win two out of three for all remaining three game series and split the four game series they have left. That means they will need to take two of the next three against the studly Tigres since they lost last night. There are 18 series of three games each. Win all 18 series two games-to-one and you finish at 86 games, short of 87, which did not get you in to the playoffs last year. Better start sweeping.

    • Rj Smith

      Not only will these clowns NOT win more series than they lose from here on out, they will not sniff 81 wins. This team is beyond awful. They are SO bad at nearly every single position, it’s maddening. It started last year when Trader Jack Z acquired the wrong guy in the deal with Det/Tampa. Tell me why again the M’s settled on the washed up, should be LF/#7 hitter Austin Jackson instead of a REAL ACE like David Price? Another brilliant Z blunder. Let me guess…… he needed the prospects he saved in that potential deal so he could bring in the .205 hitting, striking out every other AB Mark BUMbo. If Price was here last year, it could have been the M’s in the World Series, not KC. Second worst organization in MLB. Sigh.