M's Iwakuma shuts down Tigers

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 18, 2013
Hisashi Iwakuma extended his scoreless innings streak on the road to 25 and Justin Smoak homered off Justin Verlander to help Seattle Mariners beat the Detroit Tigers 8-0 on Wednesday night. Iwakuma (13-6) matched his career high going eight innings, giving up just four hits and one unintentional walk. His 25-inning scoreless streak on the road matches a franchise record. Verlander (13-11) allowed three runs, four hits, walked three and struck out six over seven innings. He was hoping to win consecutive starts for the first time in more than three months. The AL Central-leading Tigers had won three straight and six of seven to close in on their third straight division title. Seattle had lost eight of nine. Iwakuma, who became an All-Star this year in his second season, joined Randy Johnson (1994) and Brian Holman (1989) as the Mariners who have thrown 25 straight scoreless innings on the road. Verlander gave up walks to leadoff hitters in the first two innings, and the second time it led to him giving up two runs. Smoak got a free pass in the second and scored on Michael Saunders' double deep into the left-center gap. Nick Franklin followed with an RBI single to give Seattle a 2-0 lead. Verlander seemed to finally find a groove in the fourth inning when he retired the side in order. In the home half, Iwakuma got out of a bases-loaded jam for the second time in the game, getting Hernan Perez to hit into an inning-ending double play. Smoak's solo shot -- his 17th homer -- gave Seattle a 3-0 lead in the sixth. Verlander struck out two in the seventh, ending his 124-pitch outing. The 2011 MVP and Cy Young Award winner earned a victory in his previous start, ending a six-game winless streak. He has won consecutive games only once -- July 31 and Aug. 6 -- since winning four straight starts in late May and early June. Iwakuma, meanwhile, hadn't won any of his previous four starts despite a 2.10 ERA over that stretch. The Japanese right-hander didn't need more run support against Detroit, but the Mariners provided it four runs in the eighth and another in the ninth on Gutierrez's homer. Seattle's Danny Farquhar pitched the ninth and faced Alex Avila, a high school teammate in Florida, and struck him out to end the game. NOTES: The Tigers gave OF Torii Hunter a scheduled day off and rested 2B Omar Infante. ... Tigers RHP Bruce Rondon, who hasn't pitched in a game since Sept. 2 because of an elbow injury, threw from 120 feet on Wednesday and the team hopes he can throw a bullpen session by the end of the week. ... Smoak has six homers over 11 games in Detroit. ... Seattle's Raul Ibanez became the eighth active player with homers at Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium when he cleared the fences Tuesday night. ... The Tigers announced Larry Parrish will be retained to manage the Triple-A Toledo next year. ... Detroit's Doug Fister (12-9) will start against Seattle's James Paxton (2-0) in the series finale Thursday, then the Tigers will open their home series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night when Max Scherzer will make his fifth straight start seeking his 20th win.
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