Tigers 2, Mariners 1 (14)

Scott Johnson, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- Contact was hard to come by for the Seattle Mariners and Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night, and not just because starting pitchers Felix Hernandez and Max Scherzer were both in fine form.
After both starters turned in eight-inning, one-run, 12-strikeout performances, the offenses continued to flail well into the night -- at a near-historical rate.
The teams combined for 40 strikeouts, three shy of the all-time record, before the Tigers finally scratched out a run in the top of the 14th inning to win the four-hour, 27-minute marathon 2-1.
Detroit catcher Brayan Pena drove in the game-winner with a bases-loaded groundout in the top of the 14th, then made a game-saving tag at home for the final out in the bottom of the inning. Pena withstood a collision from baserunner Justin Smoak, who was trying to score from first base on Dustin Ackley's extra-base hit, to close out the win.
Joaquin Benoit -- the eighth pitcher used by the Tigers -- earned his first save of the season.
Hernandez and Scherzer kept the bats quiet through the eighth inning before 12 relievers went the rest of the way in the longest game for both teams this season.
With 12 strikeouts apiece, Hernandez and Scherzer became the first two pitchers in Safeco Field history to hit double-digit totals in the same game.
The bullpens added 16 strikeouts over the final five innings. The major-league record for combined strikeouts in a game is 43, set by the Oakland A's and California Angels on July 9, 1971.
Seattle pitchers matched a team record by striking out 21 batters.
Detroit's Prince Fielder had five strikeouts on his own, giving him a two-game total of nine in this series. Fielder had inning-ending strikeouts in the first, fourth, sixth and 13th innings. He had strikeouts in each of his first four at-bats, giving him a string of seven consecutive strikeouts over two games, before he flew out in the 11th inning.
Detroit's Austin Jackson and Seattle's Franklin Gutierrez each struck out four times, while two other players had three strikeouts.
Hernandez, who was making his third attempt at career win No. 100, was good enough to get it Wednesday but not lucky enough to succeed. He allowed just four hits and an unearned run over eight innings, finally leaving after 106 pitches.
The only run Detroit scored off him came on a fifth-inning groundout, which scored Victor Martinez from third base after Martinez had reached on an error.
Scherzer mowed down Seattle's lineup the first time through, retiring nine consecutive batters with five strikeouts before Gutierrez singled to lead off the fourth. Seattle didn't score a run until the seventh, when Michael Morse doubled and scored on Raul Ibanez's single to right, tying the score 1-1.
Hernandez and Scherzer became the first two pitchers in Safeco Field history to each strike out 10 or more batters in the same game. But both starters gave way to relievers in the ninth.
Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen retired all three batters he faced in the top of that inning before the Mariners threatened with back-to-back baserunners to start the bottom half. After Kendrys Morales greeted Detroit reliever Octavio Dotel with a leadoff single and Morse walked, the Tigers turned to left-hander Phil Coke to close the door. Coke got a double-play grounder and strikeout to send the game into extra innings.
Neither team could get much going until Detroit's Martinez led off the 14th with a single. Pinch hitter Matt Tuiasosopo drew a walk, and then the Tigers loaded the bases with no outs on Jhonny Peralta's bunt when a throw to third was late. Pena then grounded to shortstop Robert Andino, who looked home before throwing to first as pinch runner Don Kelly came across the plate for what would be the winning run.
Seattle rallied in the bottom of the 14th, with Smoak getting a one-out single and then trying to score on Ackley's double into the right-field corner. Torii Hunter fielded the ball cleanly before Smoak got to third, but he was waved home with what could have been the tying run. Hunter hit Fielder with a relay throw, and the first baseman delivered a strike to Pena, who blocked the plate with Smoak a few steps away.
Smoak ran over Pena, who held onto the ball but stayed down for more than a minute before being helped up.
The Tigers used seven relievers after Scherzer's eight-inning gem, while Seattle followed Hernandez's start with five relief pitchers. The Tigers' Al Albuquerque and the Mariners' Blake Beavan and Charlie Furbush pitched for the second night in a row.
NOTES: Entering Wednesday, the top three hitters in Detroit's lineup had a combined batting average of .388. Only two teams have had a better average from their top three hitters over the first 13 games, according to Elias Sports Bureau: the 1976 Cincinnati Reds (.398) and the 2006 Toronto Blue Jays (.391). ... Location was not a problem for the Hernandez on Wednesday, when he struck out the first batter he faced on three pitches and ended up throwing 13 of his 16 first-inning pitches for strikes.

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