Justin Upton hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning, then a walk-off version served up by Vidal Nuno in the 12th, giving Detroit an 8-7 victory over the fast-fading Mariners Monday night at Comerica Park (box). Coupled with Texas’ 4-3 win over Baltimore, Seattle fell 9½ games behind the Rangers in the AL West and 2½ behind idle Kansas City for the second wild card berth.
Upton’s first homer, off Nick Vincent, produced a 7-6 lead. The Mariners tied it in the eighth on a CF Leonys Martin RBI single that scored SS Ketel Marte. But Upton came back to victimize Nuno, ending a game that lasted four hours, 29 minutes.
The Mariners (36-34), who had a four-run second inning and a two-run fifth, are 3-9 in their past 12 road games and 2-5 on the 10-game road trip. They lost four of the five by one run, including two in extra innings.
The Mariners had three opportunities in extra innings to take the lead but couldn’t get it done. They placed runners on third base in the 10th, 11th and 12th innings, but all threats died when Martin fanned (10th) and 3B Kyle Seager (11th) and Marte (12th) grounded out. The Mariners went 4-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11.
Marte, who batted ninth, had his best game, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored . . . Martin had three hits from the leadoff spot. but also fanned three times . . . 1B Adam Lind had three hits, including his 10th home run in the fifth inning . . . Seager homered (second inning), his 14th. The Mariners have homered 104 times, third in the majors, and in 13 consecutive games, second-longest team streak in the majors this season . . . 2B Robinson Cano had two streaks snapped, a 14-game hit streak against the Tigers and an eight-game hitting streak this season . . . Miguel Cabrera’s first-inning homer traveled an estimated 454 feet and Upton’s seventh-inning shot was marked at 424.
The Tigers knocked around starter Nathan Karns for five earned runs on seven hits over five innings, but he departed with a 6-5 lead after recording six strikeouts and three walks among his 100 pitches. Karns has worked five innings or fewer in all four of his June starts . . . Jonathan Aro made his Seattle debut in the sixth and got two outs with nine pitches before he was lifted in a situational move in favor of Vincent, who allowed two runs on two hits in 1.1 innings . . . Joaquin Benoit worked two scoreless innings and Nuno (0-1, 1.95) took the loss.
“That was a tough one there, kind of a crazy game, a battle of the bullpens. We just didn’t get some big hits late to push runs across when we had chances. And then Nuno made the mistake to Upton.” — Scott Servais, Mariners manager
The Mariners have dropped 16 of their last 24, including three in a row, and are 21-16 on the road . . . Seattle is 6-8 vs. the AL Central and 12-8-3 in overall series, including 7-3-2 on the road . . . The Mariners sent RHP Taijuan Walker back to Seattle, where he will undergo an MRI on his right foot. Walker had to be lifted after five innings in Boston Sunday after experiencing what was described as tendinitis in his arch. Servais said it is “up in the air” as to whether Walker can make his next scheduled start Friday at Safeco Field against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The second of the series’ four games starts at 4:10 p.m. PT Tuesday. LHP James Paxton (1-2, 2.86) will throw for Seattle opposite RHP Justin Verlander (7-5, 3.87).