Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - David Price tossed eight one-run innings and outdueled fellow former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez to lead the Detroit Tigers to a 4-2 decision over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.
Price (12-8) made his first start in Detroit since coming over in a deadline deal from Tampa Bay and did not disappoint. The lefty struck out seven and surrendered just six baserunners.
"I'm a little bit nervous before every start, it doesn't matter how many are in the stands or what level of baseball it is," said Price. "I love this game, and I feel like if you're not a little bit nervous before you probably don't have a pulse. It was a great atmosphere. It was fun and I enjoyed it."
The win was Price's first decision in three starts with the Tigers. He had given up three and four runs, respectively, in no-decisions against the Yankees and Blue Jays.
Nick Castellanos homered and drove in a pair for Detroit, which moved back ahead of Seattle by one-half game for the second American League wild card spot.
Hernandez (13-4) had gone 16 straight starts with at least seven innings and two or fewer runs allowed -- a major league record -- before faltering in this one. Hernandez pitched just five innings, yielding a pair of runs on seven hits.
"I was throwing a lot of pitches," said Hernandez. "From the beginning of the game. That was the key right there."
It was Hernandez's first start of fewer than six innings since May 2 against Houston.
Both teams manufactured an early run against the former Cy Young winners.
J.D. Martinez led off the bottom of the second inning with an infield single and stole second before Alex Avila singled to right to put runners on the corners with one out. Eugenio Suarez plated Martinez for the game's first run, grounding sharply into a fielder's choice but beating out the relay throw to first.
Austin Jackson gashed his former team in the top of the fourth, doubling and moving to third on a Dustin Ackley fly ball and scoring when Robinson Cano grounded to first. Miguel Cabrera made a diving stop at first base to rob Cano of extra bases, but Jackson trotted home without a throw.
Detroit regained the lead a half inning later, when Castellanos lined the first pitch of the frame over the wall in left.
With two outs in the seventh inning, the Tigers added a pair of insurance runs for Price to work with. J.D. Martinez singled in Cabrera and Castellanos worked the count full before singling up the middle to bring Victor Martinez in.
The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the eighth against Price. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus came out and spoke briefly with his starter, but Price stayed in the game. He proceeded to strike out Jackson and get Ackley to ground into a fielder's choice to hold the 4-1 advantage.
Endy Chavez hit a pinch-hit bloop single against Joe Nathan in the ninth to plate Cano and make it 4-2, but a double-play grounder by Kyle Seager ended the game and gave Nathan his 25th save.
Detroit outhit Seattle, 12-5 ... Price has now gone at least seven innings in 20 of 26 starts this season ... Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon was ejected in the second inning for arguing balls and strikes with homeplate umpire Tony Randazzo ... Hernandez tossed a season-high 69 pitches through three innings. This was Hernandez's first loss to Detroit in 12 starts since 2007 ... The Mariners had won nine of 10 ... Seattle first baseman Logan Morrison has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 games.