SEATTLE – Brandon Inge scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch from Seattle reliever Josh Lueke in the seventh inning, Jhonny Peralta later added a bases-clearing triple, and Max Scherzer remained unbeaten on the season as the Detroit Tigers rallied late for an 8-3 win over the Mariners on Monday night.
Inge led off the seventh with a single to left, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and moved to third on Ryan Raburn’s single. Lueke (1-1) then dumped a slider in the dirt that catcher Miguel Olivo couldn’t keep from going to the backstop allowing Inge to score. It was just the start of a six-run inning for the Tigers against Seattle’s relievers.
By that point, Scherzer (3-0) was ready to turn things over to the Tigers’ bullpen. Scherzer gave up a two-run homer to Milton Bradley in the third inning, but benefited from Seattle’s continued inability to get any clutch hitting.
Seattle starter Jason Vargas fought his way through six innings, but remained winless since last August.
Lueke’s struggles were finished off by Miguel Cabrera’s single on a 3-0 pitch that scored Raburn for a two-run lead. Chris Ray took over and fared no better. Ray walked Casper Wells and saw pinch-runner Ramon Santiago score on another wild pitch that Olivo couldn’t backhand. After intentionally walking Boesch to load the bases, Peralta cracked a drive to center field that Ryan Langerhans couldn’t catch. The inning finally ended when Ray struck out Alex Avila and got a pop out from Inge.
Lueke and Ray combined to throw 44 pitches in the seventh, tossing just 16 strikes, allowing four hits and three walks. They combined for two wild pitches.
Scherzer nearly matched his previous two outings, going six innings and giving up two or fewer earned runs. Scherzer walked four but also struck out seven.
He gave up a two-run homer to Bradley in the third inning, a 2-1 pitch that Bradley drove to deep right-center field.
Vargas’ only issue was a high pitch-count that knocked him out after six innings, most of them coming in the second inning when he threw 36.
Bradley misplayed Boesch’s double in the sixth inning that allowed Cabrera to score from first with the tying run and make sure Vargas’ winless streak would continue.
He hasn’t won a decision since Aug. 14, 2010.
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