DETROIT – Ian Snell knew he had more to offer the Seattle Mariners.
Wednesday night, he showed it.
Snell had his best start since being acquired from Pittsburgh in late July, allowing one run in 52/3 innings as the Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 3-1 Wednesday night.
“I went out there and thought about strikes,” said Snell, who entered the game with an 8.48 ERA in three starts since the July 29 trade. “I felt comfortable, and I had my sinker working, so I was getting grounders and pop-ups.”
Snell had a decent first outing with the Mariners but had allowed 11 runs in 71/3 innings over the last two.
“It was fun to get a win, but I was afraid my teammates might throw me in a garbage can or something,” he said.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was pleased that Snell came through as the Mariners try to stay in the wild-card race.
“He gave us a shot in the arm that we needed,” Wakamatsu said. “It wasn’t easy on the road with a big crowd in a pressure game, but that was a great start.”
Three Mariners relievers finished, with David Aardsma pitching the ninth for his 28th save in 31 tries.
Justin Verlander (13-7) took the loss, allowing three runs and six hits. He struck out 10 – his sixth double-digit game of the season. Verlander has 204 strikeouts, the most by a Tigers starter since Jack Morris had 208 in 1987.
“I’m sure he cares more about the wins than the strikeouts, but that’s still an exceptional accomplishment,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He’s one of the best pitchers in baseball, and his best years should still be ahead of him.”
The Mariners broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth. With two out, Michael Saunders singled, stole second and scored on Josh Wilson’s single. Ichiro Suzuki hit Verlander’s next pitch for his eighth homer.
“The first run scored on a flare, and all you can do is tip your cap on a play like that,” Leyland said. “Then he was throwing fastballs to Ichiro, and he just got too much of the plate with one pitch. He pitched very, very well with just the one mistake. We just never got anything going on offense.”
Detroit got a run back on Carlos Guillen’s homer in the sixth, but the Tigers left two runners on in the inning, and never threatened again.
“It seems like we are always one big hit away from exploding,” Detroit’s Gerald Laird said.
The Mariners acquired third baseman Bill Hall from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Ruben Flores. Hall, who had been designated for assignment by the Brewers last week after hitting .201 in 76 games, is expected to join the Mariners today in Detroit. … Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis (anxiety disorder) left Wednesday’s rehab start for Triple-A Toledo in the second inning with what was announced as a leg injury.
Mariners 3, Tigers 1
|Griffey Jr. dh||4||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
LOB—Seattle 6, Detroit 7. HR—I.Suzuki (8), off Verlander; C.Guillen (5), off Snell. RBIs—I.Suzuki 2 (36), Jo.Wilson (4), C.Guillen (21). SB—M.Saunders (2). RLSP—Seattle 2 (Branyan, Jo.Wilson); Detroit 3 (A.Huff, Inge 2). GIDP—Inge. DP—Seattle 1.
|Snell W,1-1||5 2/3||4||1||1||3||2||6.63|
|White H,13||1 1/3||1||0||0||0||1||2.98|
IR-S—White 1-0. T—2:35. A—33,194 (41,255).
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