Moya homers power Tigers
DETROIT (AP) – Steven Moya is finally showing off a bit of his power at the major league level.
Moya homered twice, and the Detroit Tigers withstood a shaky fifth inning from right-hander Michael Fulmer to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-1 on Wednesday night. After slugging his way through the minors, the 6-foot-6 Moya was without a home run in his first 31 games for the Tigers – but he hit one Sunday and then added a couple more Wednesday.
“You have that first one and you know like, ‘OK man, I can hit home runs here,'” Moya said. “It feels good, and you just try to repeat it over and over.”
Miguel Cabrera also went deep for Detroit, and reliever Kyle Ryan (2-2) helped the Tigers stay comfortably ahead after Fulmer went through some control problems in the fifth. Ryan came on with one out in that inning and the bases loaded, with Detroit up 4-1. He retired all five hitters he faced, striking out three.
Hisashi Iwakuma (6-6) allowed five runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. The Mariners have lost five straight.
“You want to play well, which we did for an extended time,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Unfortunately, it’s flipped on us for a number of different reasons.”
The 24-year-old Moya hit a solo shot to right in the fourth and another to left the following inning. It remains to be seen whether the young outfielder can be consistently productive in the big leagues, but with J.D. Martinez recovering from an elbow injury, Moya should have an extended opportunity. Moya hit 35 home runs at Double-A in 2014 and 20 at Triple-A last year.
Fulmer allowed a run and three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He’s now yielded only three runs in 44 1/3 innings over his last seven starts, but he didn’t last long enough for the win Wednesday.
With Detroit up 4-0, Fulmer allowed a walk and a one-out single in the fifth. He then hit two consecutive batters to force in Seattle’s only run of the night.
Ryan came in and struck out pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez before retiring Robinson Cano on a groundout.
“Kyle Ryan was definitely the key,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. “Coming in with the bases loaded, get those two guys, one of them being Robinson Cano, that was an outstanding job. And then his second inning was real sharp as well.”
Cabrera gave Detroit a 1-0 lead in the first with his 16th homer of the season, and Jose Iglesias hit a two-run double in the second.
Iwakuma failed to make it through the fifth inning for the first time since Aug. 24, when he also pitched 4 2/3 in a loss to Oakland.
Fulmer retired 10 in a row before the fifth inning, and after he was taken out, the Detroit bullpen retired all 14 hitters it faced.
A BIT OFF
Fulmer said he wasn’t feeling well – he complained afterward of lightheadedness and dizziness.
“I just kind of woke up this morning not feeling the best. I should’ve done a better job of executing my pitches, get some quick innings in, but I tried to ease up a little bit, not overexert myself,” Fulmer said. “Just a little shortness of breath, trying to catch my breath.”
Seattle was held without a home run for the first time in 15 games.
“I don’t want to say we’re trying too hard,” said Cano, whose liner to left with a man on in the first was caught. “We hit a lot of balls, just right at them. First at-bat, hit right at them. If I’m able to drive it, you don’t know what could happen in that inning.”
Mariners: Servais said RHP Taijuan Walker (right foot) will probably be able to pitch during the next homestand. … Star RHP Felix Hernandez (right calf strain) is making progress in his recovery. “I think he threw (Tuesday) out to 75 feet for about 7 or 8 minutes,” Servais said. “He’s picking up pace on his progression.”
Mariners: Seattle tries to avoid a four-game sweep Thursday when Adrian Sampson (0-1) takes the mound against Detroit.
Tigers: Daniel Norris (0-0) makes his first start of the season. The Tigers acquired him when they traded David Price to Toronto last year. Detroit optioned RHP Dustin Molleken to Triple-A Toledo after Wednesday’s game to make room for Norris.