Mariners Game Recap: Mike Zunino Shines in Loss

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4. 62. 5. 63. Final

The Detroit Tigers (46-46) rallied late to take the opener of the 4-game set against the Seattle Mariners (42-51) 5-4 on Monday night in Motown. Detroit rallied late to take the opener of the 4-game series by a final score of 5-4. Al Alburquerque (1-0, 3.29 ERA) picked up the win for the Tigers, and Mark Lowe (0-1, 1.20 ERA) was credited with the loss for Seattle. Joakim Soria shut the door in the 9th to earn his 21st save of the season.

J.A. Happ allowed 3 runs on 4 hits across 7 innings pitched this evening. Happ surrendered a solo home run in the 1st to put him behind the 8 ball early. He struggled to locate his pitches in the 2nd, which led to a pair of walks and 2 runs. However, Happ settled in nicely after the rocky start. The 32-year-old southpaw did not have his best stuff tonight, but he still managed to put forth a quality effort.

Mark Lowe was called on to pitch the 8th with Seattle leading by 1. Lowe has been superb all season, but he cost the M’s big time tonight. He allowed a 1-out double, and then was lit up for a go-ahead 2-run shot. The long ball was the first home run Lowe has allowed in 2015, and it ended up costing the Mariners a win. This was undoubtably the low point of the season thus far for Lowe.

Alfredo Simon did not fare well tonight for Detroit. The big right-hander coughed up 4 runs on 6 hits across 5.2 innings of work. Simon was ineffective and inefficient, walking 4 and striking out 3. He hurled 101 pitches in less than 6 innings, and just 61 of those pitches found the strike zone. The Tigers’ starter may not have done his job, but the bullpen picked him up big time. All told, the Detroit relievers pitched 3.1 shutout frames to keep them in the game. Joakim Soria breezed through the M’s in the 9th to notch his 21st save of the season.

Robinson Cano was slotted into the cleanup spot tonight, and he made Lloyd McClendon look smart. Cano went 2 for 4 on the night, with 1 home run, 1 RBI and 1 run scored. Austin Jackson turned in a solid performance against his former club, going 2 for 4 with 1 run scored and a stolen base. Robby and AJ had nice games offensively, but Mike Zunino was the unlikely hero for the M’s.

Amidst rumors the Mariners are actively pursuing a new catcher, Mike Z delivered the best game of his season this evening. The 24-year-old went 2 for 3 with a double, 3 RBI’s and a walk. He delivered a 2-run double in the 2nd with the bases loaded that missed being a grand slam by a matter of inches. Zunino is only hitting .163 on the season, but hopefully he can build off tonight’s stellar showing moving forward.

Ian Kinsler was the MVP for the Tigers tonight, as he finished 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI’s. The 33-year-old got the scoring started for Detroit in the home half of the first inning by belting a solo home run to left field. Kinsler delivered the go-ahead 2-run dinger in the 8th to propel the Tigers to victory. James McCann also had a nice night, going 2 for 2 with a double and 2 RBI’s.

Monday’s loss means Seattle has gone 1-3 in the 4 games since the All-Star break. Adding insult to injury, all 3 of the M’s losses have been of the 1-run variety. The Mariners currently reside in the American League West cellar, 10 games back of the surging Los Angeles Angels. This season as been a disaster since day 1, and any hopes of a miracle comeback are fading fast.

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The Seattle Mariners (42-51) will have an opportunity to even the series with the Detroit Tigers (46-46) on Tuesday night in the Motor City. First pitch is scheduled for 4:08 pm from Comerica Park. Taijuan Walker (7-7, 4.84 ERA) will be tasked with taming the Tigers’ bats. Shane Greene (4-7, 6.32 ERA) will be on the bump for the home side. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.

Next: Mariners Minor League Report: Who's Hot & Who's Not

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