SEATTLE (AP)—The last time Detroit saw Seattle’s pitching staff, the Tigers were an angry bunch, frustrated by their own offensive shortcomings.
They responded with 30 runs in three games. Consider the Tigers’ Friday night performance a carry-over from that recent offensive outburst on the Mariners.
It was a little more than a week ago when the Tigers romped on Seattle pitching for three games in Detroit. They seemed well on their way to another offensive-charged series, knocking out Seattle starter Carlos Silva after he recorded just two outs and allowing all seven runs in the first inning.
“This one I think is a continuation from that (prior series),” Inge said. “It was one of those things where we said collectively as a group, offensively, we said it’s time to get it going. It doesn’t matter who were playing. It’s just the timing happens to be them.”
The Tigers had 12 of their 14 hits in the first five innings, including one by every starter in the lineup. Rookie Jeff Larish was the final Detroit starter to get a hit, with an infield single in the fifth for his first major league hit.
Detroit never really threatened after the first, but starter Nate Robertson didn’t need any more help, keeping the Mariners in check.
Robertson (3-5) allowed just two hits over the first five innings—both solo homers by Adrian Beltre—doing a solid job protecting his big lead, but not giving Seattle’s batters easy pitches to hit. The only two batters that reached base besides Beltre were quickly retired with double plays.
“The one thing you won’t hear from any pitcher is any kind of complaint after getting a seven-spot in the first,” Robertson said. “That’s nice to have. I’ll take that every start out.”
Robertson ran into some trouble in the sixth, and was pulled with two outs in the inning. He allowed four runs and four hits in his 5 2-3 innings, winning his second straight start.
Todd Jones pitched the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
“I don’t think Nate had his best stuff, but he fought through it and gave us a great outing,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.
Silva (3-5) was among the Mariners pitchers to be rocked in Detroit recently, giving up seven runs in four innings on May 20. The Tigers didn’t waste any time reminding Silva of just how potent their offense can be.
Granderson, Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen all singled sharply to open the first, Granderson scoring on Guillen’s hit. After an out, Marcus Thames dumped an RBI double and Miguel Cabrera, dropped to sixth in the batting order for the first time this year, added an RBI single, part of his three-hit night.
“You catch a ball perfect sometimes and you think it’s going to go out. … My initial thought was I hit that one good enough to go. But me being a smaller guy you never count on anything,” Inge said.
Suzuki obviously didn’t learn from Inge’s hit, as Granderson immediately followed with a shot over Suzuki that cleared the fence on a hop. R.A. Dickey, who pitched 5 1-3 strong innings of relief for Seattle, finally ended the 24-minute top of the first with Guillen’s groundout.
“We’re trying to figure it out,” Seattle manager John McLaren said. “They hit balls off the fence, over the fence and everything else.”
After starting 3-0, Silva has now lost a career-high five straight decisions, and for the third time during that stretch failed to make it beyond four innings.
“Nothing was working today. Nothing,” Silva said. “If I make my pitches I am able to take people out, but I didn’t make any pitches.”
Seattle pieced together a pair of runs in the sixth, knocking out Robertson after a two-out walk to Raul Ibanez. Freddy Dolsi entered and got a weak groundball from Beltre to end the inning.
Beltre’s two homers was the 17th multi-homer game of his career and third Seattle player this season to hit two in a game. … OF Clete Thomas, who was recalled by Detroit from Triple-A Toledo, entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning and grounded out in the ninth.