The Mariners won with an incredible comeback on Friday night by a score of 5-4 as they evened up their 4-game series with Detroit. They scored all five runs in the seventh inning.
Felix Hernandez took the mound for the Mariners on James Paxton’s no-hitter celebration night. Although Paxton was scheduled to pitch tonight’s game, he was moved to Saturday after last weekend’s doubleheader jumbled the pitching rotation for the week.
Tonight was also Dee Gordon’s first game at second base this season after Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games for violating the MLB’s substance abuse policy. Guillermo Heredia took over for Gordon in Center Field.
Felix struggled early on in the game. After sitting down the first two batters, he allowed a single to Nick Castellanos. A walk put a second man on base, and a double by John Hicks directly after scored both runners.
After a Niko Goodrum double scored Hicks, Felix walked back to the dugout after one inning with three earned runs and 32 pitches.
Michael Fulmer was Detroit’s starter Friday night and dominated the offense early. The Mariners took five innings to earn just their second hit of the ballgame, and their bats were silent until late.
The Tigers tacked on another run in the fifth inning after a fielding error by Ryon Healy allowed former Mariner Leonys Martin to reach base. Martin scored on a Victor Martinez double, but the run was unearned for Felix. After five innings, the Tigers led 4-0.
Felix was merely average in tonight’s outing. He pitched six innings with three earned runs, despite his early struggles.
After Dan Altavilla relieved Felix in the seventh and sat down the Detroit offense in order, the Mariners began their incredible comeback.
Ben Gamel singled up the middle to score both Cruz and Seager, and Detroit’s lead was suddenly cut in half. After Seattle scored two more, Fulmer’s night was over with just one out in the seventh inning.
Daniel Stumpf was the third Detroit pitcher to appear in the seventh inning, having the tough task of facing Gordon with the bases juiced. Dee lined out to the right fielder, but it was deep enough to bring in Gamel on a sacrifice fly. At this point, the Mariners trailed by one.
The Tigers looked to exit the seventh with the lead but failed miserably as Warwick Saupold came in as a reliever and gave up back-to-back hits. Jean Segura singled in Zunino to tie the game, and Haniger doubled to bring in Heredia.
In the span of three outs, the Mariners turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 lead.
Cruz ended the seventh on a groundout, but a strong outing by Juan Nicasio put the Mariners in a strong position going into the 9th despite his recent struggles. Nicasio sat the Tigers down in order, though two of the outs were fly-outs to the warning track.
The Mariners went cold offensively in the eighth, but Edwin Diaz came into the 9th inning looking to earn his 15th save of the season.
Diaz allowed a leadoff single to James McCann, but Pete Kozma was caught stealing as his pinch runner to give Seattle their second out of the inning. Diaz struck out the last batter in style to give the Mariners an incredible 5-4 win.
The win for Seattle evens up their four-game stint with Detroit, 1-1. Paxton will make his first start at Safeco Field since pitching his no-hitter in Toronto last week on Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 PT.