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Kyle Seager leads Seattle Mariners rally in 10th to tame Tigers

Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager, center, is mobbed by teammates, including Taylor Motter, left, Ben Gamel and Carlos Ruiz, center, after hitting a walkoff single in the 10th inning on June 20, 2017, in Seattle. The Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on an RBI single by Kyle Seager. (Lindsey Wasson / Associated Press)
Seattle Mariners' Kyle Seager, center, is mobbed by teammates, including Taylor Motter, left, Ben Gamel and Carlos Ruiz, center, after hitting a walkoff single in the 10th inning on June 20, 2017, in Seattle. The Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 on an RBI single by Kyle Seager. (Lindsey Wasson / Associated Press)
By Bob Dutton Tacoma News Tribune

SEATTLE – It ended well. Kyle Seager’s line-drive double into the right-field corner Tuesday night enabled the Mariners to walk off with a 5-4 victory over the Detroit Tigers in 10 innings.

Seager turned on a 3-1 cutter from Tigers lefty Justin Wilson for a drive well beyond the reach of right fielder J.D. Martinez. Pinch-runner Tyler Smith scored easily from second base.

And the Mariners had their third straight victory.

“Big hit by Seags,” manager Scott Servais said. “He got in a good count against a really good left-handed pitcher. That was the pitch he needed to get on. And he didn’t miss it.

It was also an escape.

The Mariners squandered a two-run lead in the eighth inning when reliever Dan Altavilla lost focus and, subsequently, grooved a fastball to a Martinez, a fastball hitter, who whacked a game-tying home run.

And the Mariners let scoring opportunities slip away in the eighth and ninth innings before breaking through in the 10th inning.

“We have a pretty resilient bunch here,” Seager said. “Our offense has been swinging the bat pretty good.”

Seager’s game-winning double came on a day when his brother Corey hit three homers and drove in six runs for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 12-0 romp over the New York Mets.

“That’s a tough day to match,” Seager admitted. “I think I’m going to give him the edge today.”

Nelson Cruz started the winning rally by drawing a walk. Smith entered the game as a pinch-runner and moved to second when Wilson (3-3) bounced a wild pitch past catcher Alex Avila.

Seager’s game-winner came on the next pitch.

Let’s reset.

Detroit starter Jordan Zimmermann gave up Cruz’s two-run double in the first inning and Taylor Motter’s two-out homer in the second but nothing more in 6 2/3 innings.

Manager Brad Ausmus replaced Zimmermann with Daniel Stumpf to get a left-on-left matchup against Ben Gamel, who had two singles in previous three at-bats.

“(Zimmermann) mentioned to me that we was starting to get a little tired,” Ausmus said. “I didn’t want to use Stumpf too long because he had pitched the last couple of days, but I figured we’d get to use him for the lefty.”

The lefty, Gamel, fouled off five pitches in working the count to 2-2 before driving a 93-mph fastball over the center-field wall.

The Mariners led 4-2, which is the margin that Altavilla inherited from starter Ariel Miranda to start the eighth. Altavilla began the inning with a four-pitch walk to Ian Kinsler, who stole second when ignored.

Altavilla struck out the next two hitters but again ignored Kinsler, who took off for third — and scored when Altavilla bounced a pitch past catcher Mike Zunino.

Martinez then tied the game by turning around a 98-mph fastball.

“The mistake that Altavilla made to J.D. Martinez,” Servais said, “was probably the only bad pitch he threw the whole inning. It was up in the zone. Everything else was down.”

The Mariners missed chances to regain the lead in the eighth and win the game in the ninth when, each time, they left two runners on base.

They won anyway.

Steve Cishek (1-1) got the victory after pitching around Kinsler’s one-out single in the 10th.

The game started with a bang. Kinsler crushed Miranda’s third pitch, a 92-mph fastball, for a 382-foot homer to left field.

The Mariners answered with two runs late in the inning.

Gamel led off with a double before Mitch Haniger walked. Gamel went to third on Robinson Cano’s fly to center before Cruz lined a two-run double into the left-center gap.

The lead didn’t last four pitches into the Detroit second. Justin Upton drove a 1-2 slider over the center-field wall for a game-tying homer.

Motter’s two-out homer later in the inning, which just cleared the left-field wall at 352 feet, put the Mariners back on top 3-2.

PLAY OF THE GAME: Ex-Mariner John Hicks appeared to put down a perfect leadoff bunt to the left side in the fourth inning, but Miranda pounced on before turning and firing to first in one motion for the out.

PLUS: Gamel went 3 for 5 and raised his average to .351, but he remains 10 plate appearances shy of qualifying for the league leaders…Miranda limited an all right-handed lineup to two runs and four hits in seven innings…Cruz had two hits and two walks in five plate appearances…Edwin Diaz and Cishek each pitched scoreless innings with the score tied…Motter had a single and a homer in four at-bats.

MINUS: Altavilla had a second straight rough outing. He gave up five runs in one inning Saturday at Texas after the Mariners had closed to within one run…Cano was 0-for-4 and left six runners on base. Danny Valencia and Jarrod Dyson were also hitless in four at-bats.

STAT PACK: Gamel’s leadoff double in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He has hits in 22 of his last 23 games.

QUOTABLE: Seager on Gamel: “He’s got a really nice swing. He’s in the zone a long time, and he’s on plane. Even if he gets beat a little late or is out in front, he still on plane where he can dump the ball to left or get the ball down the line.”

SHORT HOPS: Second-round pick Sam Carlson, a right-handed pitcher from Burnsville (Minnesota) High School, is expected to spend today at Safeco Field in negotiations on a signing bonus…the Mariners have four walk-off victories…Hicks was 0-for-15 with eight strikeouts in 2014 at Safeco Field as a Mariner. He lined a single to left in his first at-bat and went 2-for-4 overall…the Mariners have won seven of their last eight against Detroit…Kinsler had a leadoff homer in the first inning for the 44th time in his career, which is tied with Brady Anderson for the fifth-most in MLB history.

ON DECK: The Mariners and Tigers continue their four-game series at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at Safeco Field. Left-hander James Paxton (5-2 with a 3.23 ERA) will oppose Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander (4-4, 4.50).

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