DETROIT (AP) — Riley Greene had three hits, Javier Báez drove in two runs and the Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.
“It’s a big win before an off day, salvage a game in a series where we had a hard time getting runs across,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “And the way that we did it, getting ahead, then falling behind and then controlling the strike zone as an offense, I thought our at-bats were pretty good today against some really good pitching.”
With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Mariners reliever Matt Brash hit Nick Maton on the foot with a pitch to force in the go-ahead run. Brash then walked Andy Ibáñez, making it 5-3.
“Matt Brash has gotten out of so many of those jams for us this year and he’ll continue to do it,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Today just wasn’t his day.”
Akil Baddoo knocked in the tying run for Detroit with an RBI double in the sixth.
“It was big. They have a really good bullpen,” Baddoo said. “We were prepared. Our hitting coaches prepare us every day. We put some good ABs in.”
Jason Foley (1-1) pitched a scoreless seventh for the win and Alex Lange struck out two in a hitless ninth for his seventh save. He worked around two walks, whiffing Teoscar Hernández with two on to end it.
“They’ve been nails,” catcher Jake Rogers said of Detroit’s bullpen. “I can’t really throw many complaints out there. When that’s happening, it’s pretty easy to win ballgames.”
Seattle walked five batters, ending a streak of six games with two or fewer walks — the longest in the majors this season.
The Mariners got three runs in the third on a balk by Joey Wentz, an RBI single from Julio Rodríguez and a sacrifice fly from Hernández, his 400th career RBI.
Wentz lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out three.
“Great job from the bullpen today, going scoreless,” Wentz said. “Also, the offense grinded their pitchers all day and fortunately we won. I didn’t contribute to the win but nonetheless, great job by the guys.”
Báez had an RBI groundout in the first and an RBI single in the third.
Mariners starter Logan Gilbert gave up three runs on six hits while walking one and striking out four in 5 2/3 innings. Gabe Speier (1-1) took the loss.
It was the first time Gilbert has struck out fewer than six in eight starts this season.
“I didn’t feel like I had bad stuff, it was just a couple pitches over the middle of the plate that they took advantage of but had enough to try to fight through it. And those are the ones, especially with runners on base, when you need to make a pitch that helps you out, but I didn’t always do that,” Gilbert said.
DAY OFF FOR JK
Mariners OF Jarred Kelenic got a rare rest. In 37 games, Kelenic was batting .289 with eight home runs and 20 RBIs.
“He understands and is totally cool with it,” Servais said. “I said if the game’s close, he’ll probably end up in there later in the game. But I do think it’s important to just give him a day. He’s had a really good run early in the season, can’t ask for him to do much more than he has.”
Sam Haggerty started in left field. Kelenic pinch-hit in the eighth and struck out.
Kelenic has been so productive that his teammates have been celebrating his accomplishments.
“I think it might have started in Chicago when he hit the home runs there,” Servais said. “He was very happy. Everybody recognized it, so it becomes the postgame celebration if Jarred happens to do anything at all. They all chant ‘Happy Jarred’ at the same time. It’s good, it’s what brings teams together.”
Tigers RHP Spencer Turnbull, on the 15-day injured list with neck discomfort retroactive to May 7, will not be doing his rehabilitation in Lakeland, Florida. Instead, he is expected to return to Detroit by Tuesday and will rehab there.
Mariners: RHP George Kirby (4-2, 2.62 ERA) starts at Boston on Monday.
Tigers: RHP Michael Lorenzen (1-2, 4.18) starts Tuesday at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
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