The Tigers hope to continue their success against the last-place Mariners on Friday when the teams play the second of their four-game series at Safeco Field.
The Tigers (43-42) generated 15 hits to beat Seattle 8-4 on Thursday and improved to 6-1 in the season series. That strong offensive display matched their total from the previous two games at Minnesota, as they were outscored 13-4 in two losses. Those defeats came after Detroit reeled off a season high-tying six-game winning streak in which it hit .375 and scored 34 runs.
The Tigers, who have won 10 of their last 14 games at Seattle, are batting .329 with eight homers and 52 runs against the Mariners (33-52) this season.
“That Detroit ballclub is an aggressive, good-hitting ballclub,” Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said.
Leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson has been a big part of Detroit’s success against Seattle, posting a .431 batting average (28-for-65) with five homers and nine RBIs in 16 career games. The center fielder went 2-for-5 with a triple on Thursday.
Detroit hopes veteran Kenny Rogers (6-5, 4.59 ERA) can win a second straight start.
The 43-year-old left-hander allowed three runs - all in the second inning - in six innings of a 4-3 win over Colorado on Sunday. He’s pitched at least six innings in six of his last seven starts.
Rogers is 0-3 with a 4.82 ERA in his last three starts at Safeco, but he hasn’t faced the Mariners there since July 14 of last season. He beat them at home on May 21, yielding four runs and eight hits, including two homers, in 5 1-3 innings of a 9-4 victory.
The Mariners, owners of the worst record in the AL, will try to provide some help for Erik Bedard (5-4, 3.79), who is coming off his first win in five starts.
The left-hander, who was acquired in a trade from Baltimore for five prospects in February, is 1-1 with a 3.13 ERA in his last five starts, but has received only six total runs of support in that span.
Bedard was solid in winning Sunday, yielding one run and three hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 9-2 victory at San Diego. He appeared to have overcome the back spasms that halted his previous outing after he threw three scoreless innings in a 10-2 win at Atlanta on June 20.
Bedard is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in two starts against the Tigers, but last faced them on April 18, 2005.
Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki has been on a tear of late, going 16-for-31 (.516) in the last seven games. He’s produced three hits in each of the last two games as he became the 30th active player to reach 1,700 for his career.
“I think he’s closing in on 3,000 between Japan and here,” Riggleman said. “If he goes along at this pace he’ll get 1,800 sometime this year, too. It’s unbelievable what he has accomplished since he has been here.”
The center fielder is 15-for-32 (.469) in his last nine games against Detroit, but he’s a .255 career hitter against Rogers.