Any momentum the Mariners thought they developed from the come-from-behind 11-9 win over Detroit Tuesday evaporated in a hurry Wednesday when the Tigers splurged for eight runs in the third against Mike Montgomery en route to a 9-4 romp at Comerica Park (box score). The Mariners (43-52), increasingly likely sellers by the July 31 trade deadline (if they have anybody to sell), have not won back-to-back games since June 30-July 1.
Detroit 3B Nick Castellanos blasted a 2-0, one-out pitch off Montgomery in the third for a grand slam that staked the Tigers to a 5-0 lead. The salami followed walks to Rajai Davis, Yoenis Cespedes and J.D. Martinez and provided Detroit with an advantage the Mariners could not overcome despite Nelson Cruz’s individual heroics.
Cruz’s two-run blast in the fourth, a crushed fastball off Anibel Sanchez, was his 23rd of the season and hiked his RBI total to 56. Cruz also had solo homer in the sixth and a double. He is batting .305. Cruz has four multi-home run games this season and 17 in his career. Cruz had a chance to inflict more damage to the Tigers in the seventh when he came up with two outs and runners on first and third. But he struck out. Eighteen of Cruz’s 24 homers have come on the road.
Austin Jackson (2-for-4), Kyle Seager (2-for-5) and Seth Smith (2-for-3) delivered multi-hit games.The Mariners went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position and had 11 hits.Detroit produced 13. Detroit’s Ian Kinsler was 4-for-5.
Montgomery lasted only 2.2 innings, allowing eight runs, six earned, with two strikeouts and five walks, four of them in the third inning. The six earned runs marked a season high for Montgomery, whose ERA jumped from 2.51 to 3.25. Montgomery. He permitted 12 Detroit batters to come to the plate in the third. He allowed five earned runs July 10 against the Angels.
David Rollins had a nice effort, allowing two hits with two strikeouts in 2.1 innings of scoreless relief.
“It happened in a hurry and it started with a two-out walk. That was a tough day for him. He just didn’t make quality pitches. He left a lot of pitches up in the zone. But we had opportunities. My guys battled and we were still in the ball game down 8-0” — Manager Lloyd McClendon, on Montgomery.
“That was wild. hopefully tomorrow we can score more runs and come back with a win” — Cruz, on Detroit’s eight-run third inning.
The Mariners are 4-7 in their last 11, 8-10 in July and 9-15-6 in series played . . . The Mariners are 2-4 on the road trip through New York and Detroit . . . The eight runs allowed by the Mariners in the third inning matched the most they have allowed in a single frame in 2015. They also yielded eight in the first inning June 12 at Houston . . . Seager, a 2014 Gold Glove winner, committed two errors at third . . . Hisashi Iwakuma, who gets the start Thursday in the series finale, is 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA in his past two starts with wins over the Angels and Yankees.
The series closes out with a 10:08 a.m. first pitch. Iwakuma (2-1, 4.89) throws opposite LHP David Price (9-3, 2.32). The Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays. Saturday’s game with the Blue Jays has been moved to 1:10 p.m. to accommodate Seafair’s Torchlight Parade.