SEATTLE, Wash. - A sudden power surge propelled the Detroit Tigers (31-20) over the Seattle Mariners (26-28) by a score of 6-3 on Friday night after the offense had struggled for the better part of two weeks.
Detroit buried starter Hisashi Iwakuma after six innings, tagging the right-hander with eight hits and five earned runs on two blasts from the heart of the order. The first punch was thrown by Miguel Cabrera, who smacked a 422-foot two-run shot over the left-center field wall to open the scoring. Former Tigers' hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who now manages the Mariners, chose to intentionally walk Cabrera his next time up with Ian Kinsler on second base. Victor Martinez made Seattle pay for that decision, hitting a three-run shot to right field after fouling off five two-strike pitches to put the Tigers ahead 5-2.
On Saturday the Tigers will see veteran Chris Young, who makes his 10th start of the season for the Mariners. Young beat the Los Angeles Angels on Monday to bounce back from two straight losses in which he allowed nine combined runs. The righty has only faced five players on the Tiger roster and they hit a combined .167 (3/18) against him.
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, ROOT (Seattle)
The Tigers will send out Drew Smyly, hoping the 24-year-old can bounce back from a shelling at the hands of the Oakland Athletics on Monday. Smyly lasted just five innings and allowed four home runs in Detroit's 10-0 loss. Brad Ausmus is exercising extreme caution with his talented young starter, as Smyly has pitched more than six innings just once this season. The tough start on Monday increased his ERA from 2.97 to 3.86 and dropped his record to 2-3.
Seattle hitters own a lifetime .105 (2/19) average against Smyly, who has faced them primarily in a relief role. Though he wasn't in the lineup Friday due to a lingering injury, Robinson Cano may return on Saturday looking for his first career hit off of Smyly (Career: 0-6, two strikeouts).
The Tigers will finish up this West Coast trip on Sunday afternoon in Seattle before heading back to Detroit for a six-game home stand.
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