DETROIT -- Alfredo Simon did his best to keep the Detroit Tigers out of the game. But Ian Kinsler rewrote the ending with two home runs and some help from James McCann. Joakim Soria then slammed the door to hand the Tigers a 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Simon was his usual self. Which is to say that he wasn't good at all. After just three innings Simon's pitch count was at 53, the Tigers had trailed 2-1 at one point, and Simon had struck out just one batter. But, per the usual, Simon remained in the game and the Tigers paid for it.
He walked back-to-back batters in the fourth, then gave up a homer in the fifth, and finally capped it off in the sixth by giving up the go-ahead run with some help from Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. Simon wasn't pulled at 99 pitches and two outs, Ausmus let him face Mike Zunino, owner of a .111 batting average in July but two RBI in the game, and thus went the go-ahead run.
And as the Mariners got eight hits off Tigers pitching, the Tigers offense got just four hits, two that drove in runs. Ian Kinsler smacked a wind-aided solo shot in the first, then James McCann clubbed a two-run double in the second. McCann got another hit in the fifth and J.D Martinez singled in the fourth -- and also walked -- and that was it through seven innings.
That was, until the eighth. Jose Iglesias drilled a one-out double to left, advancing to third on Rajai Davis' groundout. But he wouldn't need to run home as Kinsler, who had already homered to start the game, destroyed a baseball on a 1-2 pitch for the go-ahead two-run home run.
Ian Kinsler: Homered in the first to put the Tigers up 1-0 at the time. But that paled in comparison to the two-run bomb he smoked in the eighth inning for the go-ahead run.
James McCann: Smoked a two-run double in the second inning, giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead at the time. He also singled in the fifth inning.
Jose Iglesias: Had one of only two extra-base non-homer hits of the night, a double to left field in the eighth. He then scored when Kinsler destroyed a baseball.
The bullpen: Didn't give up a run. Al Alburquerque got the win, also striking out a pair of batters. Joakim Soria closed it out in convincing fashion, earned his 21st save this season, and struck out Nelson Cruz on just his 13th pitch of the ninth.
Alfredo Simon: Gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings of work, striking out just three batters. He walked four, allowed a stolen base, and had two wild pitches. Once again, not good.
Tigers offense: They were facing Happ, owner of a 4.14 ERA who had lasted just four innings and given up four runs on seven hits in his last start against the team. Yet, the Tigers found a way to do just about nothing. They had just four hits through seven innings and three runs.
STREAKS AND STATS:
- Ian Kinsler's home run in the first inning marked his fourth of the season, his last coming on July 9 at Minnesota against the Twins. Since the start of July, Kinsler is batting .339 with three home runs, 11 RBI, and four doubles. He has hit leadoff in all but four games, including Monday night. The two home runs on Monday marked Kinsler's 13th multi-homer game of his career. His last was on Sept. 7, 2011, at Tampa against the Rays.
- Monday marked the sixth straight start that Alfredo Simon has given up four or more runs in a game and not finished the seventh. He's made it into the seventh just once during that time, walked 12 in six games, allowed 33 runs, and struck out just 22 batters for a hefty 9.93 ERA.
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: