Tigers 7, Mariners 1
DETROIT (AP)—Jason Grilli has had a fairly memorable September.
After winning the clinching game in the Toledo Mud Hens’ International League championship, Grilli was called up to the Detroit Tigers.
Grilli’s Detroit debut came on Sept. 19, 30 years to the day after his father Steve’s major league debut, also with the Tigers.
With his dad in the crowd Saturday night, he had another highlight, beating the Seattle Mariners 7-1 in his first start for the Tigers.
“You couldn’t script anything better than this,” he said. “To win this game, wearing my dad’s number with him watching from the stands, that’s just extra special. He doesn’t know it yet, but he’s getting the game ball.”
The Tigers snapped an eight-game losing streak, improving to 5-19 in September.
“It’s been a tough, difficult month,” Tigers manager Alan Trammell said. “But we won tonight, so I feel great.”
The Mariners fell to 3-7 on their season-high 11-game road trip.
Grilli (1-0) won for the first time since Sept. 11, 2004, for the Chicago White Sox, allowing one run and two hits. He walked four and struck out four.
“Jason did an outstanding job for us,” Trammell said. “I’m sure he’s happy, and I couldn’t be happier for him.”
Grilli gets a chance to make his month even more successful when he faces his former team on Thursday.
“You always love pitching against your old team, and now I can try to play spoiler against the White Sox,” he said. “That would be a great way to finish the year.”
Jamie Moyer (12-7) took the loss, allowing three runs—all on solo homers— on five hits in 7 1-3 innings. The three homers matched a season high for Moyer, who gave up a club-record 44 last season.
“I thought I kept us in the game,” Moyer said. “Three solo homers, and it is only 3-1, so you’ve still got a chance. What else can you do?”
After Chris Shelton hit his 17th homer in the first, Seattle tied the game in the second. With one out, Adrian Beltre walked, took third on Greg Dobbs’ single and scored on Jose Lopez’s single to left.
Grilli, though, did not allow another hit.
“Today was a day when I was going to relax and it ended up working out for me,” Monroe said. “I got a chance to swing the bat and get some more confidence. That’s a good day off.”
Moyer retired the leadoff batter in the eighth, but was immediately replaced by Scott Atchison. Atchison allowed hits to all three batters he faced, and Matt Thornton gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Pena later in a four-run inning.
“Jamie got the first guy, but he had thrown 97 pitches and the next three batters had all homered off him,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “We didn’t want him to go over 100 pitches facing those guys, but the wheels just came off.”
Ivan Rodriguez walked in the seventh, his fourth in two weeks after walking only seven times in the first five months of the season. … Grilli’s only career complete game came at Comerica Park for the White Sox last Sept. 27. … Detroit needs four wins in its final eight games to match last year’s 72-90 record. … Ordonez was scratched with soreness related to the sports hernia that caused him to miss the first three months of the season.
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