With the bases loaded and one out, James Paxton got Mike Aviles to hit a slow roller toward first base.
Too slow, as it turned out.
“That’s just baseball. I made the pitch I wanted, and normally that’s a great result, but it turns into a terrible outcome for us,” Paxton said. “We know there is going to be a point where the breaks go our way, but this is really frustrating.”
Aviles drove in the tiebreaking run with an infield single in the eighth inning, and the Detroit Tigers went on to beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Tuesday night. Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in the sixth to give Seattle a 2-0 lead, but Detroit chipped away late.
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Verlander and Paxton matched scoreless innings until the sixth, when Seager connected for his 15th home run of the season. Nick Castellanos answered with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, and the Tigers scratched out another run to tie the game in the seventh. With two outs, Jose Iglesias singled, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Ian Kinsler’s single.
The decisive rally in the eighth began with a one-out single by Victor Martinez. He went to third on a double by Castellanos, and after an intentional walk to Justin Upton, the roller by Aviles was enough to bring pinch-runner Andrew Romine home from third.
James McCann added a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2, and Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 22 chances.
Bruce Rondon pitched a scoreless eighth for the win.
Paxton (1-3) allowed four runs and 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Verlander allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings. He struck out five and walked one.
“It was kind of a shame I battled so hard and then with two outs give up a two-run homer and kind of put us behind the 8-ball,” Verlander said. “Our guys really battled. Obviously their guy was cruising pretty good, and we put some tough at-bats on him late in the game and were able to scratch and claw our way back.”
Seattle’s Ketel Marte, who had four hits in the series opener Monday, added three more Tuesday.
The Mariners have homered in 14 straight games, but Seattle is 5-9 during that span. The Mariners went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position Tuesday.
“It is another game that came down to getting runners home from third,” manager Scott Servais said. “We just haven’t been able to do that when it matters lately. Guys know that we’re going through a tough time and they end up trying to fix things with one swing. We probably just need one good day to break out of this.”