Cano’s single in 11th gives Seattle 7-6 win over Detroit
SEATTLE (AP) — Robinson Cano waited nearly six years for another game-winning hit.
Good timing, too. The Seattle Mariners need every victory they can get trying to overcome an underperforming first-half of the season.
Cano lined an RBI single into the right-field corner with one out in the 11th inning, giving the Mariners a 7-6 win over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night.
Cano lined a 2-1 pitch from Detroit left-hander Ian Krol (1-2) that one-hopped off the wall and allowed Austin Jackson to jog home from second.
Surprisingly it was the first walk-off hit for Cano since Aug. 28, 2009, with the New York Yankees.
“I been feeling good in my swing the whole year, been hitting a lot of balls hard, but when you start getting hits it’s different. It’s less thinking for you. You don’t have to think what you’re doing wrong or what you have to do to get those hits,” said Cano, who is hitting .400 so far in July. “To be able to come through in that situation where we’ve been having trouble the whole year, especially myself, doing our job with men in scoring position.”
Cano’s dramatics capped a night where he gave Seattle a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning with a solo home run, and the Mariners bullpen came up with important outs in key situations. Charlie Furbush (1-1) pitched the top of the 11th for the victory and combined with Carson Smith for three solid innings.
Seattle’s rally in the 11th started when Jackson reached on a fielder’s choice when Brad Miller was forced out at second base. Franklin Gutierrez then chopped a single through the left side, and for the third straight inning Seattle had the winning run at second base with one out.
Both Jackson and Cano had no question the line drive was going to land. Detroit right fielder J.D. Martinez didn’t even make a break on the ball as it landed on the warning track.
“When he hit it, you knew that was it right there,” Jackson said.
Cano’s homer was the third of the night for Seattle, and included the first career grand slam from Jackson and Gutierrez’s first major league homer since Sept. 27, 2013 as the Mariners erased an early 3-0 deficit.
But the lead was gone in the eighth when Yoenis Cespedes hit his 12th homer of the season on a 0-2 pitch from reliever Fernando Rodney.
Seattle had chances in the ninth and 10th innings but was unable to get runners in from second. In the ninth, Bruce Rondon struck out Gutierrez and then threw pitches of 101, 101 and 100 mph to get a pop up from Cano.
The Tigers had even more missed opportunities. Detroit had the go ahead run at third base in both the 10th and 11th innings. Furbush allowed a leadoff double to Victor Martinez to open the 11th, but struck out Alex Avila, Nick Castellanos and pinch-hitter Rajai Davis with pinch-runner Andrew Romine standing at third.
“We’ve had a little trouble scoring runs in extra innings all year. ... We had some opportunities. We just couldn’t do it,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said.
Seattle starter Taijuan Walker was in line to win his sixth straight start before Rodney’s mistake. Walker tied his season high giving up three home runs and allowed his first walk in 111 batters when he walked Avila in the second inning. Walker’s streak had reached 28 1-3 innings before Avila reached.
Walker gave up homers to Avila, Castellanos and Marc Krauss.
Detroit starter Kyle Ryan failed to make it out of the third after giving up the homers to Jackson and Gutierrez. He was optioned to Triple-A Toledo after the game and will be replaced on the roster by Buck Farmer.
Krauss arrived in Seattle on Tuesday after be claimed off waivers by the Tigers. He had spent time with Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Angels earlier this season, but was quickly grabbed by the Tigers because of his ability to play first base. Krauss was at home with his wife, who is 39 weeks pregnant, when he got the call he was joining the Tigers.
Tigers: Anibal Sanchez (7-7) looks to win his fifth straight decision. Over his last five starts, Sanchez is 4-0 with a 2.61 ERA.
Mariners: Lefty J.A. Happ (4-5) tries for his second straight win. Happ had gone nine straight starts without a victory before beating Oakland last Friday.