SEATTLE – Victor Martinez and Miguel Cabrera hit two-out homers off Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma, Detroit’s Justin Verlander made just one mistake on the mound in 7 2/3 strong innings, and the Tigers beat the Mariners 6-3 on Friday night.
Cabrera hit a two-run homer in the third off Iwakuma (3-2) to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. Martinez followed two innings later with a three-run shot on the 10th pitch of the at-bat and after Seattle intentionally walked Cabrera. It was the 13th homer of the season for Martinez, who had two hits to raise his A.L.-leading average to .347.
Verlander (6-4) had lost three of his previous four starts and gave up 11 hits in each of his last two outings. He allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked one.
Verlander was on the cusp of getting through the eighth for just the second time this season, but James Jones’ two-out single forced a change. Verlander threw a season-high 120 pitches.
Joba Chamberlain pitched the ninth for his second save.
Iwakuma lasted six innings in his shortest start of the season. He gave up nine hits and four runs in his last outing against Houston in picking up his first loss, but his problem on Friday was the long ball. Cabrera’s homer came on the first pitch of the at-bat, but it was the mistake to Martinez that Iwakuma will want back.
Iwakuma left a slider chest-high and in the middle of the plate. Martinez didn’t miss, clearing the wall in right for his ninth home run in May.
Rajai Davis added a solo shot on the first pitch from reliever Charlie Furbush in the seventh, his fourth homer of the season.
Seattle played without second baseman Robinson Cano for the second straight night, sitting out with a minor contusion on his hand. Cano was a late scratch from Thursday’s lineup, but said before Friday’s game that he was feeling better. He has played at least 159 games in each of the past seven seasons.
Verlander’s only troubles came with Seattle’s Kyle Seager, who doubled in his first at-bat and hit a two-run homer in the fourth to pull the Mariners even. Seager was thrown out at home trying to score on an infield groundball in the second, but made up for it with his eighth homer of the season in the fourth.
The Mariners had a chance in the fifth after Endy Chavez’s two-out double, but second baseman Ian Kinsler swallowed Jones’ hard one-hopper and threw him out to save a run.
It was the first time for M’s manager Lloyd McClendon facing the Tigers. He was on Jim Leyland’s coaching staff in Detroit from 2006-13. … Cabrera’s HR snapped Iwakuma’s streak of scoreless innings against A.L. Central teams at 50 1/3.