Steven Moya hit two of three Tigers solo homers off Hisashi Iwakuma, andJose Iglesias hit a two-run double, sending Detroit to its third straight win with a 5-1 victory over Seattle on Wednesday night at Comerica Park.
On a night when neither Iwakuma nor Tigers rookie sensation Michael Fulmer got through the fifth inning, the Tigers churned out enough runs early and withstood the Mariners' best threat. Miguel Cabrera turned on a hanging curveball and lofted it out to left for his 424th career homer in the opening inning, then Iglesias completed a two-out rally in the second with a drive off the left-field fence to score Moya and Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Iwakuma gave up 11 hits over 4 2/3 innings, seven of them from the bottom third of the Tigers' lineup. Fulmer retired 10 straight at one point but left after loading the bases and bringing in a run on back-to-back hit-by-pitches in the fifth. Kyle Ryan escaped the jam as the bullpen combined for 4 2/3 perfect innings.
"That's why I love this team. Everybody contributes," Fulmer said. "They picked me up tonight."
Iwakuma felt fine throughout the night, he said, but struggled a little with his command. He left a curveball up in the zone on the Cabrera homer. A fastball came inside on Iglesias that he pulled for a double over the head of left fielder Norichika Aoki.
"Those were the two mistakes early on, and they kind of took advantage from there on," Iwakuma said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Moya mash: After waiting 71 at-bats for his first Major League home run, Moya now has three in four days, including one to each corner of Comerica Park on Wednesday. He jumped on a mistake pitch from Iwakuma and golfed it over the pull-friendly right-field fence leading off the fourth inning, then went opposite field on a tough pitch on the outside corner an inning later. More >
"It feels amazing," Moya said. "You get two home runs in the big leagues, that's great."
Leaving them loaded: After Fulmer hit two straight batters in the fifth inning, the Mariners had the bases loaded with one out. Ryan, a lefty, came in to get Fulmer off the hook.Franklin Gutierrez struck out pinch-hitting for Seth Smith in the No. 2 hole, and Robinson Cano grounded out to Cabrera at first base. The Mariners left five batters on the bases Wednesday.
Ryan to the rescue: For the second time in three nights, Ryan retired the second and third hitters in the Mariners' order to escape a middle-inning jam. After escaping the bases-loaded threat in the fifth, the lefty reliever sent down the middle of the lineup in order in the sixth, giving him 3 2/3 scoreless innings on one hit so far this series. More >
"Kyle Ryan was definitely the key, coming in with the bases loaded, retiring those two guys," manager Brad Ausmus said. "That was an outstanding job. And then his second inning was real sharp as well."
Heart of lineup struggles: Seattle's 3-6 hitters were a combined 1-for-15 with a walk. Manager Scott Servais has been disappointed with his team's recent performance, now 2-7 on this road trip. He thought the Mariners were in fine position, especially during the fifth-inning rally, but they were unable to deliver a big hit. More >
"Our bats were competitive early," Servais said. "We didn't get a lot of hits, but we ran the pitch count up, and I thought we had a shot there, and we were starting to get back into the game a little bit. But we needed a few big hits, and it just didn't happen."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Victor Martinez struck out three times against Iwakuma on Wednesday. It was just the 10th three-strikeout game of Martinez's 1,648-game career.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners:Adrian Sampson makes his second career start as the Mariners wrap up a four-game set with Detroit, as well as their 10-game road trip, on Thursday. First pitch is set for 10:10 a.m. PT. Sampson was called up to replace the injured Wade Miley (shoulder). He allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings last Saturday in his Major League debut at Fenway Park.
Tigers:Daniel Norris rejoins the Tigers for his first start of the season in the series finale against the Mariners on Thursday at 1:10 p.m. ET. Norris went 4-6 with a 4.68 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Toledo.