Rookie Steven Moya, who entered with one career home run, hit two off Hisashi Iwakuma, solo shots in the fourth and fifth innings, to lead the Detroit Tigers over the Mariners 5-1 Wednesday night, handing Seattle (36-36) its fourth consecutive loss (box). The Mariners, whose only run came on a bases-loaded hit batter in the fifth inning, not only fell 10.5 games behind Texas in the AL West, they dropped to third in the division with Houston’s win over the Angels.
The Mariners are an abysmal 2-7 on their current 10-game road trip. The Rangers topped Cincinnati 6-4 Wednesday night while the Astros upended the Angels, 3-2. Houston is 37-36.
After Miguel Cabrera ripped his 16th homer in the first, the Tigers effectively wrapped it up in the second when No. 9 hitter Jose Iglesias doubled to deep left, scoring Moya and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
The Mariners managed three singles, all off starter Fulmer in the first 4.1 innings. Seattle scored in the fifth when, after loading the bases, CF Leoyns Martin was hit by a Michael Fulmer pitch. The Mariners generated nothing offensively after that. Four Detroit relievers collaborated for 4.2 scoreless innings . . . Seattle went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranded five . . . The Mariners failed to homer for the first time in 15 games.
Iwakuma worked 4.2 innings, allowing a career-high 11 hits and five runs, all earned, while striking out five and walking three among his 100 pitches. Iwakuma had gone at least seven innings in four consecutive starts before Wednesday. Iwakuma also failed to make it through the fifth inning for the first time since Aug. 24, 2015, when he pitched 4.2 innings in a loss to Oakland. Iwakuma is 12-2 vs. the AL Central. . . Mike Montgomery worked 3.1 innings of scoreless relief after Iwakuma (6-6) departed.
“Iwakuma gave up a lot of hits, some home runs, and we just didn’t have a good night all the way around. Our at-bats were competitive early, but we needed a couple of big hits. It didn’t happen. We had a good start this year, but unfortunately things have flipped on us. We’ve got to get back on track. There’s a lot of ball left to play. But this is disappointing, the way this road trip has gone. We’ve seen what we can do and we have to go out and do it again.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
The Mariners have dropped four of six and 18 of their past 26 . . . They are 21-18 on the road . . . With three consecutive losses to the Tigers, the Mariners are 12-9-3 in overall series, including 7-3-2 on the road . . . Seattle is 6-9 vs. the AL Central . . . After the Mariners Wednesday re-acquired former closer Tom Wilhelmsen, a free agent let go by Texas June 16, GM Jerry Dipoto said, “He is not very far removed from being a very good major league pitcher.” Wilhelmsen, who has 67 career saves with Seattle, did not pitch Wednesday . . . RHP Taijuan Walker, suffering from tendinitis in the arch of his right foot, is expected to miss his next start, but is not expected to go on the disabled list, according to Servais.
The series concludes starting at 10 a.m. PT Thursday. RHP Adrian Sampson (0-1, 7.71) will make his second career start for Seattle. LHP Daniel Norris (0-0, 0.00) goes for the Tigers. The Mariners return to Safeco Field Friday for a three with the St. Louis Cardinals.