Drew VerHagen was called up for a starting assignment, and was solid the first time through the order before things fell apart in the third. The flood gates opened as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Tigers by a score of 10-2 at T-Mobile Park on Thursday evening.
The Tigers actually held a lead in the game when John Hicks homered to open the scoring in the top of the third inning, but the lead would prove to be short-lived. An error by Niko Goodrum in the bottom of the third inning allowed the tying run to score, and left the bases loaded for a Tim Beckham grand slam. That put the Mariners up by a 5-1 score, and the Tigers’ lineup couldn’t muster more than another run the rest of the way while Seattle piled on five more runs. The Tigers’ loss was their 21st in 22 games against American League Western division teams this season.
The Mariners deployed an “opener” as Erik Swanson worked the first two innings before they brought in Wade LeBlanc, who worked through the end of the eight inning. Sam Tuivailala came in to finish the Tigers off in the ninth.
VerHagen worked a total of four innings, giving up six earned runs while striking out four hitters, to run his ERA up to 14.40 for the season. He and Swanson both powered through the opening frames looking good, but while the Mariners turned things over to a spot starter, the Tigers were sticking with VerHagen; cue that third inning in which he was shelled for five runs. The defense was sloppy, but he didn’t help himself with a walk, and then hung a breaking ball for a grand slam off the bat of Tim Beckham.
Blaine Hardy relieved VerHagen in the fifth inning, giving up a solo home run to Kyle Seager, but he then kept Seattle off the board for two innings. Buck Farmer pitched a scoreless inning and Trevor Rosenthal gave up his first two runs as a Tiger, on one hit and two walks.
Detroit’s best scoring chance came in the top of the fifth inning when Goodrum led off with a single, then moved to second on a walk to Hicks. Jordy Mercer grounded into a fielder’s choice with an error by second baseman Lopes, allowing runners to reach second and third. Jacoby Jones then hit into a fielders’ choice with Goodrum being thrown out at the plate. The Tigers managed just five hits in the game.
Jeimer Candelario hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Hicks, who scored both Tigers’ runs for the night, and then Miguel Cabrera bounced into a double play to end the threat.
The loss leaves the Tigers with a record of 30-68 for the season, six games behind the fourth place Kansas City Royals in the AL Central, and holding the worst record in the major leagues.