SEATTLE (AP) — Casey Kotchman snapped a tie with an RBI double in the seventh off the glove of leaping Detroit right fielder Ryan Raburn, and the Seattle Mariners won their fourth straight with a 4-2 win over the Tigers on Saturday night.
Ichiro Suzuki finished a home run short of the cycle and scored twice for Seattle, which got another strong outing from its starting pitching, this time lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith. Suzuki doubled and scored in the first, tripled and scored in the third and singled in the fifth. He walked in the eighth in his final at-bat. Suzuki has never hit for the cycle.
Milton Bradley started the seventh with a walk on a 3-2 pitch from Detroit starter Justin Verlander (0-1). Kotchman then lined Verlander's off-speed pitch to deep right field. The drive hit Raburn's glove but he was unable to secure it crashing into the wall, allowing Bradley to score the go-ahead run.
Seattle's bullpen did the rest. Brandon League (2-0) took over for Rowland-Smith and got out of trouble in the seventh. Mark Lowe put two runners on in the eighth, but escaped trouble with a nifty 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. David Aardsma picked up his fifth save in five chances pitching the ninth.
Kotchman was 2 of 12 on the Mariners current homestand when he came through with his third double of the season. Waiting to tag up, Bradley got a late start, but scored easily to make it 3-2 after the relay throw went wide.
Franklin Gutierrez added his second RBI single in the eighth to score Chone Figgins.
Seattle's other runs were produced by Suzuki. He led off the bottom of the first lining Verlander's first pitch down the right-field line for a double and scored on Gutierrez's hit. Suzuki tripled to deep right-center in the third and came home on Figgins' sacrifice fly.
Other than Suzuki and Kotchman, Verlander (0-1) was stellar, looking like the Tigers' ace after two sub-par outings to start the season. Verlander threw seven innings — the first Detroit starter to work more than six this season — giving up seven hits and three runs. He struck out six and walked one. Following Suzuki's triple leading off the third, Verlander set down 12 of the next 13 before Kotchman came through in the seventh.
Before Saturday's game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland again lamented about his starters not working deep enough into games.
Rowland-Smith was Verlander's equal for much of the night. He kept the Tigers hitless into the fourth when Ordonez led off with a homer to deep left. In the fifth, Rowland-Smith left two on base with a strikeout of Austin Jackson and pop up by Raburn.
Rowland-Smith was pulled after Scott Sizemore led off the seventh with a slicing double to right-center on a 3-2 pitch. Sizemore later scored on a single by pinch-hitter Johnny Damon to pull even at 2-2.
NOTES: Seattle DH Ken Griffey Jr. wore special camouflage cleats as part of an Armed Forces Night celebration. ... Detroit C Gerald Laird played despite a sore back that caused him to leave Friday's game in the seventh inning. "If you see my catcher come out of the game you know something isn't right," Leyland said. ... Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said RHP Ian Snell was fighting the flu, but still expected him to start on Sunday.