The Detroit Tigers snapped a five-game losing streak to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, but it wasn’t easy. For the second straight game, there was drama in the ninth inning. The Mariners rallied with three runs in the ninth to beat Detroit in the series opener, and they were on the verge of a second straight comeback win before Tigers right fielder Don Kelly made a game-ending catch in the stands with the bases loaded.
Tigers leadoff hitter Austin Jackson is 4-for-8 in the series, and he’s hit safely in nine of his last 11 games. He’s batting .442 (19-for-43) with four doubles, a home run and six RBIs during that stretch, and he’s eighth in the American League with a .324 batting average. While Jackson has been on a tear, Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak has been dropped to seventh in the batting order after going just 3-for-27 in the past eight games. He’s batting .178 after going 1-for-4 on Tuesday.
Tigers Mariners Betting
When: 10:10 PM ET, Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Where: Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, FSD (Detroit), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Tigers LH Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.61 ERA) vs. Mariners LH Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.09 ERA)
Smyly ranks second behind Jared Weaver in the American League with a 1.61 ERA, and he has a 29/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio through his first 28 innings. He held the White Sox to two runs on seven hits in six innings last Friday.
Vargas has had four quality starts in seven outings, including last Friday when he gave up one run on four hits over 6 1/3 innings against the Twins. Brennan Boesch is 7-for-12 (.583) with two doubles against Vargas, who has allowed more than two runs only twice this season.
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1. Tigers catcher Alex Avila is listed as day-to-day with a sore patella tendon in his left knee. He’s not expected to start in Wednesday’s series finale.
2. Seattle’s Blake Beavan, who was hit on the elbow by a line drive from the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera on Monday, remains hopeful that he’ll be able to make his next start on Sunday against the Yankees.
3. Detroit manager Jim Leyland was ejected for the first time this season on Tuesday after arguing balls and strikes in the third inning.