The Detroit Tigers’ offensive effort on their current road trip has not helped them climb closer to the top of the AL Central.
The Tigers look to avoid a third straight defeat and their first road series loss to the Seattle Mariners in three years Sunday afternoon.
This seven-game road swing started well for Detroit (43-44), winning 5-4 over Minnesota on Monday to sit five games back of first-place Chicago in the AL Central. Since that game, the Tigers have been limited to 15 runs in losing four of five while falling seven games back of the White Sox.
After winning 8-4 in Thursday’s series opener at Seattle (35-52), Detroit has scored three total runs over the last two games, including a 3-2 defeat Saturday.
“We didn’t swing the bats worth (anything),” manager Jim Leyland said of the Tigers, who haven’t lost a series at Seattle since dropping two of three from July 25-27, 2005.
Though his team has struggled at the plate of late, Cabrera has homered in two straight games and is 5-for-13 in this series since missing Wednesday’s game at Minnesota with a hip injury. He is batting .348 (16-for-46) in 12 career games versus Seattle.
Nate Robertson (6-7, 5.56 ERA) looks to bounce back from his worst outing of the season when he takes the mound for the Tigers on Sunday. He allowed a season-high six runs and 11 hits in four innings of a 6-4 loss at Minnesota on Tuesday for his first defeat in five starts.
The left-hander is 5-3 with a 3.92 ERA in nine starts versus the Mariners, and allowed four runs in 5 2-3 innings to earn the victory in a 7-4 win at Seattle on May 30.
On Saturday, Clement, Ichiro Suzuki and Jose Lopez each had two hits for the surging Mariners (35-52), who have won nine of 12 and are 10-5 since Jim Riggleman replaced the fired John McLaren as manager on June 20.
Clement doubled his season home run total Saturday since being recalled from the minors on June 17.
“It’s just good to have some plays that were good for the club,” said Clement, who is batting .185 in 28 games.
Lopez, meanwhile, is 6-for-13 with three doubles and three RBIs in this series, while Suzuki is batting .476 (10-for-21) in his last five contests.
Primarily used as a middle reliever, Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1, 3.05) makes his second career start since replacing the injured Felix Hernandez in the rotation. The first came Tuesday, when he allowed three runs and four hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 7-6 home win over Toronto.
“I felt good the first three innings, feeling comfortable,” said the native Australian, who has allowed three runs in 5 1-3 innings of relief in four career appearances versus Detroit.