Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:30 pm
Slumping Tigers lose to Mariners 9-1
By LARRY LAGEAP Sports Writer
Felix Hernandez allowed only a run in seven innings, rookie Alex Liddi hit a two-run homer and the Seattle Mariners went on to beat the slumping Tigers 9-1 Wednesday night.
Hernandez (2-1) gave up a solo homer to Brennan Boesch in the third and not much else. The right-hander yielded four hits and three walks, giving all of the free passes in the first.
Adam Wilk (0-3) allowed six runs and eight hits in just two-plus innings. The rookie gave up just two runs in each of his first two starts.
The Tigers, who had two errors that didn't lead to more runs for Seattle, have lost five of six after starting 9-3.
"People are beating up on us - and enjoying it," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. "Sooner or later, we'll get tired of it. None of us are doing enough good things right now."
Hernandez got out of his only jam in the first inning. The ace loaded the bases with walks, then got Alex Avila to ground out to second baseman Dustin Ackley, who bobbled the ball, but scooped it up and threw to first in time to get the slow-footed catcher.
"We had a great chance against him in the first inning and we got nothing," said Detroit's Delmon Young, who drew the third walk off Hernandez. "After that, he had a lead and he didn't have to give us anything to hit."
Hernandez has won nine straight decisions against the Tigers since losing to them in 2006. The Tigers led off the third, fourth and fifth innings with hits, but scored only once on Boesch's third homer of the season.
"He was good when he needed to be," Leyland said. "We had a chance to get him in the first inning, and we didn't take it. You aren't going to get many chances against him."
Seattle matched its season high with 15 hits a day after setting it with 15 against the Tigers - just days after Phil Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw baseball's 21st perfect game against the Mariners.
Detroit's sluggers were shut down. Miguel Cabrera went 0 for 4 with two warning-track flyouts and Prince Fielder avoided a hitless night with a single in the ninth inning.
And, no one on the team that began the season with a highly touted lineup had more than one hit until Ramon Santiago hit a two-out single in the ninth to load the bases, only to have Don Kelly end the game with a popup.
"We've got to figure some things out," Avila said.
NOTES: Wilk was sent to Triple-A Toledo after the game and Brayan Villarreal was called up to take his place on the roster. Leyland said he didn't know who would take Wilk's spot in the rotation Monday against Kansas City. ... Hernandez's nine-game winning streak against the Tigers is the longest by a pitcher against them since Minnesota's Brad Radke won 12 straight from 2000-2004. ... Ex-Tigers RHP Jeremy Bonderman, who hasn't pitched since 2010, had elbow-ligament replacement surgery Tuesday in the hopes of making a comeback next spring. ... Detroit RHP Doug Fister, on the DL with a rib muscle strain, threw on the side and is expected to throw off the mound on Thursday. ... Tigers RHP Luis Marte, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, played long toss before the game.