Coming off a 7-2 homestand and having won ten of their last 12 games overall, the Detroit Tigers kicked off a six-game road trip on Monday with the first of three games in Seattle against the Mariners.
Game 1 featured two completely different pitchers – rookie sensation Michael Fulmer (9-2, 2.42 ERA) opposed crafty veteran Hisashi Iwakuma (12-7, 3.99 ERA), both of whom have been very solid for their respective teams as of late.
INNINGS 1 – 3
Detroit had runners on first and second with one out in the 1st after Ian Kinsler led off the game with a base on balls, followed by a base hit from Miguel Cabrera two batters later. Nothing came of it, however. Fulmer in the bottom half put the M’s down in order, notching his first strikeout of the game.
The Tigers in the 2nd got a one-out single from the newest Tiger Casey McGehee, but Iwakuma was able to work around it. Seattle got to Fulmer in the home half for the first runs of the game. Tiger killer Nelson Cruz led off the frame with a double followed by a base hit from Kyle Seager to give Seattle the early 1-0 lead.
After issuing a walk to Leonys Martín two batters later, Fulmer gave up a single to Seattle catcher Mike Zunino, allowing Seager to score and make it 2-0 Mariners.
In the 3rd, Kinsler reached base for the second time with a base hit to left. Unfortunately, that was wiped out two batters later when Cabrera hit into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Fulmer was able to bounce back in the bottom half, turning in his second 1-2-3 frame on the night.
(THRU 3: SEA LEADS 2-0)
INNINGS 4 – 6
Detroit in the 4th got their fourth hit in as many innings when Victor Martínez led off with a single. However, Iwakuma went on to strike out the side, all on a swing of strike three. And like the Seattle starter, Fulmer worked around a lead-off single in the bottom half, with the aid of a ground ball double play.
The Tigers went 1-2-3 in the 5th against Iwakuma, two fly outs and one ground out. Seattle center fielder Martín led of the bottom half with a beautifully-placed bunt single down the third base line, but the M’s were unable to capitalize.
Detroit again went down in order in the 6th. Iwakuma recorded one more strikeout in the inning, giving him six on the night and had set down nine hitters in a row at this point. Fulmer, now in a groove of his own, turned in his own 1-2-3 inning, notching his fifth K of the game.
(THRU 6: SEA LEADS 2-0)
INNINGS 7 – 9
Iwakuma continued to stifle Tigers batters in the 7th inning. His streak of ten batters set down was snapped when Justin Upton singled with one out, but nothing came of it. Fulmer came out for the 7th inning at 92 pitches and got another 1-2-3, finishing his night having set down nine straight Mariners.
The seven innings was also the cap for Iwakuma tonight after allowing just five hits and one walk, so in came reliever Arquimedes Caminero. He continued the trend of quiet offense in this game, putting the Tigers down in order. In the 8th for the Tigers came Mark Lowe and after striking out the first two batters, he allowed a double to Nori Aoki followed by a bloop single from Guillermo Heredia to score Aoki and make it 3-0 Seattle.
That signaled the end for Lowe and in came lefty Kyle Ryan, who got the final out on a ground ball.
Seattle brought in young flamethrower Edwin Diaz to pitch the 9th and close the door for the M’s. He needed just eight pitches to turn away the Tigers No. 3-5 hitters and preserve a 3-0 shutout for Seattle, taking game one in this three game series.
ADDITIONAL GAME NOTES
- For Michael Fulmer, his outing on Monday (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) was marked the 12th time in his last 14 starts that he has allowed two ER or fewer (1.57 ERA during that stretch).
- Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma posted his third scoreless start in five outings since the All-Star break. He’s registered a 2.08 ERA so far in the second half for the Mariners.
- Shortstop Jose Iglesias went 0-for-3 on Monday against Seattle, he is now hitting just .125 (3×24) in the month of August after getting his BA back up to the .260 watermark towards the end of July.
- Even with the run allowed in the 8th inning, reliever Mark Lowe has been doing solid work as of late, allowing just two ER over his last 9.1 IP. Considering he had an ERA north of 10.00 back on July 10, it’s significant improvement.
- The Tigers in the 9th became the latest victim of the young Puerto Rican phenom Edwin Diaz. Coming into Monday night’s game, the 22-year-old Seattle reliever had recorded 56 strikeouts in just 29.0 IP.
#Tigers lose 3-0, shut out for the eighth time this season, and first time in a month.
— Matthew B. Mowery (@matthewbmowery) August 9, 2016
The same two teams will get together on Tuesday for another 10:10 p.m. ET first pitch, it will be Daniel Norris (1-0, 4.85 ERA) for the Tigers against Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc (1-0, 4.31 ERA).
Norris is being recalled from Triple-A with Tigers starter Jordan Zimmermann going on the disabled list. He was brilliant his last time out for the Mud Hens on August 4, allowing just one ER or 7 IP. LeBlanc against Boston on August 2 allowed three ER over 6 innings of work, striking out five.