A star-studded pitching matchup lived up to its billing in the Pacific Northwest on Wednesday, as Justin Verlander and Felix Hernandez turned in brilliant seven-inning performances opposite one another. Hernandez’s bullpen won the ensuing battle, and the Seattle Mariners capped off a three-game sweep over the Detroit Tigers with a hard-fought 3-1 win.
The Mariners jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead thanks to an opposite field home run from Robinson Cano. Nelson Cruz followed with a double to deep right-center field, but Verlander was able to work out of trouble after pitching around Kyle Seager with two outs.
The Tigers tied the score in the fourth on an RBI single from J.D. Martinez. Ian Kinsler led off the inning with a nine-pitch walk, then stole second after a lengthy review overturned an incorrect out call. Tyler Collins moved Kinsler to third base with a soft groundout, and Kinsler later scored on Martinez’s single to left. Justin Upton stranded two runners on base with a weak grounder to short.
For the next few innings, fans of both teams were treated to the very best that Verlander and Hernandez had to offer. Both offenses threatened to score, but the aces prevailed, dueling to a draw through seven innings. Hernandez struck out eight and allowed just three hits, and Verlander tallied six strikeouts while scattering seven hits. Both reached season-highs in pitches thrown.
Unfortunately, the Tigers were not able to pull out a win. Justin Wilson allowed a solo home run to Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the eighth, and another run after two more hits and a walk.
Justin Verlander: Another game, another dominant outing from Verlander. The Tigers’ ace went seven strong in this game, and his only blemish was a Robinson Cano home run that just barely cleared the left field wall.
Victor Martinez: He was the Tigers’ only real offensive threat in this game, reaching base four times, including two of their four hits. His seven-pitch walk in the sixth helped drive up Hernandez’s pitch count and get the Tigers into the Mariners bullpen.
Justin Wilson: He might just want to forget the last two days happened.
Justin Upton: The bottom half of the Tigers’ lineup struggled, but Upton’s weak groundout with two runners on in the fourth was a real killer. He went 0-for-4.
STATS AND INFO:
- The loss dropped the Tigers to 0-5,748 all-time at Safeco Field (give or take a win or two).
WIN PROBABILITY GRAPH: