Seattle, WA – Doug Fister returned from the disabled list Monday and tossed a gem against the team he commenced his career with.
But the Seattle Mariners spoiled his masterpiece by rallying for three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning as they topped the Detroit Tigers, 3-2, in the opener of a three-game set.
Fister, who broke in with the Mariners in 2009 before being sent to the Tigers as part of a six-player deal near last year's trade deadline, allowed just four hits over seven strong innings.
His spectacular effort, though, was blown by Octavio Dotel (1-1) in the ninth.
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom half of the frame, Brendan Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki worked back-to-back walks to start it. With Jesus Montero batting, a wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third before Ryan scored on a passed ball later in the at-bat.
Montero then drilled a double off the center-field wall to plate Suzuki. Munenori Kawasaki came on to pinch-run for Montero, while Duane Below replaced Dotel on the mound.
"In that at-bat I was trying to get the right pitch, but he was throwing ball, ball, ball. You got to look for the right pitch to hit and I thank God I found that right pitch," said Montero.
Kyle Seager moved Kawasaki to third with a sacrifice bunt and he came home on John Jaso's sacrifice fly to right field, ending the game.
"I just couldn't throw a strike, I was trying to hit my spot, but it doesn't work today, so hopefully, tomorrow's another day," Dotel mused.
Earlier, the Tigers struck first with a run in the first. Andy Dirks smoked a one-out double to left-center field and after Miguel Cabrera flew out, Prince Fielder brought Dirks home with a double into left.
In the third, Seattle starter Blake Beaven suffered an elbow injury after being struck by a line drive off the bat of Miguel Cabrera. In the fourth, Beaven was replaced by Hisashi Iwakuma, off whom Detroit tallied another run.
Prince Fielder singled to center to start the inning and after Delmon Young and Alex Avila struck out, Jhonny Peralta singled to right field to put runners on the corners. Brennan Boesch stepped up next and singled into right- center field to bring home Fielder, making it 2-0 in favor of Detroit.
Fister went 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) down the stretch for the Tigers. He closed the year strong, posting a 7-0 mark, while allowing one run or less in his last eight outings.