DETROIT (AP)Detroit Tigers rookie catcher Eric Haase has seemingly come out of nowhere, hitting six home runs already this month.
Matthew Boyd, though, insisted he saw it coming after pitching to Haase during the offseason.
Haase extended his power surgery by hitting a hit a two-run homer in the first inning to help Detroit beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 Tuesday night.
”I think everyone around our team knew what Eric could do,” Boyd said. ”Once he got the opportunity, he made the most of it. He’s a great catcher and he can really hit the ball.”
Boyd (3-6) allowed an unearned run, six hits and a walk over six innings. Daniel Norris inherited the bases loaded with no outs in the eighth and limited Seattle to two runs. Jose Cisnero pitched the ninth, striking out two and walking one for his second save in three chances.
Marco Gonzales (1-4) gave up four runs and five hits over four innings in his second start since coming back from a strained left forearm.
”Marco was not quite as sharp as he was the last time out and that’s going to happen,” manager Scott Servais said. ”He got going better in the third and fourth inning.”
Before Gonzales settled in, the Tigers took advantage of him by scoring four runs in two innings.
Robbie Grossman led off the game with a double and scored on Miguel Cabrera’s single.
Seattle got a break in the second when Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop failed to field a bouncing ball hit to his backhand, allowing Donovan Walton to score. Derek Hill’s single – his first career RBI – gave Detroit a three-run lead in the second.
After the game, Hill had a chance to share a few words with his dad in the stands.
”It was a good moment,” he said.
The Tigers made some sound plays defensively, including turning three double plays, to keep their lead. Schoop made up for his miscue in the field with an RBI single in the fifth to put them ahead 5-1.
The Mariners gave themselves a chance to come back in the eighth, loading the bases without Joe Jimenez getting an out in an 11-pitch outing.
Norris entered and got Shed Long Jr. to hit into a double play, which allowed a run to score. Taylor Trammell followed with an RBI double to cut Seattle’s deficit to 5-3 and Norris struck out Jack Mayfield to get out of the inning.
”We have this version of us in us and it’s great when it all comes together,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Detroit is 4-0 against the Mariners and 20-35 against other teams this season.
”The Tigers have had our numbers so far this year,” Servais said. ”We haven’t swung the bat well against them.”
Spencer Turnbull threw a no-hitter, with Haase catching, last month at Seattle.
Mariners: RHP Kendall Graveman, who is on the COVID-19 injured list, might join the Mariners during their road trip. … The team is hopeful LHP Yusei Kikuchi will make his next start after being hit by a comebacker on Saturday. ”I saw him walking across the street and he wasn’t limping,” Servais said.
Tigers: Turnbull (strained right forearm) is taking a few days off from throwing. …RHP Michael Fulmer, on the 10-day injured list with a strained shoulder, is not expected to be out for long. ”We’re optimistic it’s going to be a short stint,” Hinch said.
Seattle recalled outfielder Dillon Thomas from Triple-A Tacoma and designated catcher Jacob Nottingham for assignment.
The Mariners previously sent Jarred Kelenic back to the minors, hoping the 21-year-old highly touted outfielder can unplug after an 0-for-39 slump.
”A lot of young players, they do need to take a step back,” Servais said. ”I think he’ll be better for it in the long run.”
The Tigers recalled highly touted infielder Isaac Paredes from Triple-A Toledo to take Jeimer Candelario roster spot. Candelario was placed on the bereavement list to attend to a family matter in the Dominican Republic.
Seattle is scheduled to start RHP Chris Flexen (5-3, 4.70) and Detroit plans to put RHP Casey Mize (3-4, 3.34) on the mound Wednesday night in the second game of the three-game series.
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