video thumbnail

Figgins goes 3-for-4 with game-winning RBI

DETROIT -- The Mariners were rattled, but didn't allow the wheels to come off Thursday against the Tigers as they surrendered a four-run lead, but ultimately completed the three-game sweep.

Behind a go-ahead RBI double from Chone Figgins in the seventh inning and a bullpen that combined to throw four scoreless innings, Seattle won, 5-4, and pushed its record to 9-2 against Detroit in the last 11 matchups.

"It's big, and for our young kids in particular," manager Eric Wedge said. "It should be a confidence booster for them. We played some good baseball here and we won in different types of games. These guys should take a lot from this."

The Mariners came to Detroit on a four-game losing streak that included a perfect game thrown against them. They left with a season-high three straight wins.

They did so by scoring early and often. Seattle outscored Detroit, 9-2, in the first three innings during the series, and they got three runs in the first inning on Thursday.

Chone Figgins led things off with a single, and two batters later, Justin Smoak broke out of an 0-for-16 slump with a three-run home run to right.

"It's just one of those things where you put runs up early and it puts pressure on the other team," Smoak said. "It makes you as a team, and the pitcher, feel more relaxed."

Miguel Olivo tacked on another run with a solo shot in the top of the fourth to give Hector Noesi a four-run cushion. However, after firing 4 1/3 innings without allowing a hit, things took an abrupt turn.

The 25-year-old right-hander entered the contest with three games under his belt this season. Two of those games Noesi had combined for 4 1/3 innings and 13 earned runs. In between was an eight-inning, five-hit start in which he allowed no runs.

At first, it seemed like Thursday's performance would be similar to the latter. But with one out in the fifth, Don Kelly came up with the first Tigers hit of the game.

Kelly came around to score and in the sixth, with the score 4-1, the Tigers put together a three-run rally -- capped by a two-run home run by Miguel Cabrera -- to tie the game.

"It was a better day for him today," said Wedge about his starter, who went five innings and gave up four runs on five hits. "He has a lot to draw from today. That's more in the realm of where he needs to be. ... But he's got to find a way to get through that."

Noesi couldn't get through it as he was pulled after the Cabrera home run. However, Charlie Furbush, Steve Delabar, Lucas Luetge, Tom Wilhelmsen and Brandon League combined to pitch four innings, allowing three hits and one walk

Figgins doubled in the top of the seventh off Tigers starter Rick Porcello, who's day was finished after that hit with 6 2/3 innings, and it's all the bullpen needed to secure the sweep.

"I got a couple more pitches to hit today earlier in the count and I was a little more aggressive on them," said Figgins, who finished 3-for-4 with a stolen base.

The Mariners finished the series batting .322 (37-for-115) with 10 extra-base hits -- six doubles and four home runs. They got the leadoff hitter on in 14 of 27 innings and brought the runner around to score nine of those 14 times. They see improvement, and it's promising heading into Toronto for another three-game series.

"We knew we were close to starting to get some consistency going and this series proved that," Figgins said. "We just need to keep getting pitches to hit and keep playing good defense and try to stay consistent with it." Comments