Upton's blast enables Tigers to topple Mariners
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[June 21, 2016]
DETROIT -- It's been a long
season for Justin Upton, one he hopes has begun to shorten up.
Upton signed a six-year contract with the Detroit Tigers totaling
$132.75 million, a deal containing an opt-out clause after the
Maybe feeling the pressure of having to live up to that deal, Upton
got off to a slow start that quickly turned into a nightmare. He
struck out early, struck out late and struck out in between.
The moment that suggested things might have turned for the Tigers
left fielder could have come Monday night when he hit two home runs,
the second a walk-off homer leading off the 12th inning to give
Detroit an 8-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
"I don't think he'd admit it," Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said,
"but I think he was pressing a little bit. I think the home run to
center released a little bit. I think the walk-off, he should feel
very good about himself."
Detroit snapped a three-game losing streak with the win while
Seattle lost its eighth in its last 11 and 16th out of 24.
"It was a crazy game," Seattle skipper Scott Servais said. "It was
kind of the battle of the bullpens.
"We had a couple big hits. We scored seven, and we had opportunities
but we couldn't add on. We had our chances. We had plenty of men on
The Mariners stranded 12, getting a runner to third with one out in
the 12th but leaving him there as Anibal Sanchez (4-7) got a
groundout to drawn-in shortstop Jose Iglesias and a lineout to
Upton entered the game hitting .234 and had two strikeouts plus a
walk before cranking his seventh home run of the season over the
420-foot marker in dead center. His game-winning eighth homer went
to left-center. He hit a 2-2 offering from Vidal Nuno (0-1), who was
coming out for his third inning of work.
"Nuno has been really good about taking the ball and going out
there," Servais said. "He's a grinder."
"It's a big relief," Upton said. "We went 13 innings (Sunday) and
almost that (Monday).
"It was great to win a ball game for this team. There's been a lot
where I could have won the game but I didn't. My teammates have been
picking me up all year."
Upton's two-run home run to dead center field with one out in the
seventh inning gave Detroit a 7-6 lead, but Seattle tied it in the
eighth on a two-out double by Ketel Marte followed by an RBI single
by Leonys Martin.
Mike Pelfrey came into the game having allowed 90 hits and 30 walks
in 71 1/3 innings, and he gave up 12 hits plus a walk in his five
innings of work Monday. Nine hits were singles, two home runs.
[to top of second column]
Tigers left fielder Justin Upton (8) celebrates as he runs the bases
after he hits a game winning home run in the 12th inning against the
Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Detroit won 8-7 in twelve
innings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Nathan Karns also pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and
striking out six while walking three.
A 2-0 Detroit lead in the first achieved on a mammoth home run to
center by Miguel Cabrera was wiped out by four Seattle runs in the
Kyle Seager led off with his 14th home run, Marte had an RBI single
and Seth Smith lined a two-run single to right.
Cameron Maybin walked with one out in the first against Karns and
Cabrera hit his 15th home run, which was logged at 454 feet. It
landed atop the concrete catwalk adjacent to the center-field
background and skipped into the street beyond.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the second on a single, double and
hit batter with nobody out but only managed one run, when Maybin
grounded into a double play to cut their deficit to 4-3.
Maybin's two-run triple in the fourth gave Detroit back the lead
5-4, but Adam Lind hit a two-run home run in the fifth, his 10th, to
put Seattle back on top 6-5.
NOTES: Journeyman RHP Dustin Molleken, 31, has been brought up from
Triple-A Toledo by Detroit to help an overworked bullpen. He has
pitched for 11 minor-league teams over 13 seasons without throwing a
pitch in the majors. ... Seattle RHP Taijuan Walker reportedly has
returned to Seattle to have an MRI on the sore tendon in his right
foot. He pitched five shutout innings Sunday but was removed due to
the injury. ... Detroit IF Casey McGehee has been designated for
assignment after making one pinch-hit appearance on Saturday. He had
been called up earlier on that day. ... RHP Zach Lee, acquired by
Seattle on Sunday night for SS Chris Taylor, will be slotted at
Triple-A Tacoma by the Mariners.
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