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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 18th (All times eastern)

Detroit Tigers (9-5) at Seattle Mariners (6-10), 3:40 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Justin Verlander (2-1, 1.96) Seattle - Hisashi Iwakuma (2-0, 2.18)

(Sports Network) - Justin Verlander eyes his third win of the season on Thursday when the Detroit Tigers try to complete a three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

Verlander followed up his lone loss of the year with a terrific outing on Saturday against the Oakland Athletics, as he held them to a run and three hits over six innings to run his record to 2-1, while lowering his ERA to 1.96.

"Obviously I would have liked to go longer than six (innings)," Verlander said. "Not executing on some pitches caused me to throw more than I had to."

Verlander has faced the Mariners 15 times and is 9-6 against them with a 3.41 ERA.

Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who has been the Mariners' best pitcher thus far, going 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA. Iwakuma celebrated his 32nd birthday in style on Friday, as he beat the Texas Rangers, limiting them to just a run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings.

"He's outstanding. He's amazing," Seattle closer Tom Wilhelmsen said. "To do it against a team like that, on his birthday, I couldn't be happier for him."

This will be his first-ever start against Detroit.

On Wednesday, Bryan Pena pushed the go-ahead run across and Prince Fielder kept the lead in tact by gunning out Justin Smoak at the plate, as Detroit eked out a 2-1 victory in marathon 14-inning pitchers duel.

In a game highlighted by incredible pitching performances, which resulted in a combined 40 strikeouts, the Tigers took advantage after Charlie Furbush (0-1) put two runners on to start the 14th inning.

Blake Beavan took the mound for Seattle and the runners advanced on Jhonny Peralta's sac bunt. Pena then got Victor Martinez to cross the plate with a groundout to short.

"I was trying to redeem myself because I struck out with a man on second the last at bat before," Pena said. "I was just trying to put the baseball in play and get a good swing. I was just trying to hit the baseball through the middle, not trying to do too much."

Drew Smyly (1-0) picked up the win after Joaquin Benoit was able to preserve the save in the bottom half of the final frame. Benoit gave up a single to Smoak and two batters later, surrendered a double to Dustin Ackley.

With Smoak chugging around third, Torii Hunter fielded the ball cleanly and got it to Fielder, who rifled the ball to Pena at home plate. Smoak, dead to rights, plowed into Pena at the plate.

"I knew off the bat I was trying to score. They had to make a perfect relay throw to get me. He was up the line, I didn't really know where to go, so I had to do what I had to do," Smoak said.

Pena, though, absorbed the hit and managed to hold on to the ball to end the game.

"I just need to hold the ball and take the hit. My main goal was to hold on to the baseball. It doesn't matter where you're body's going to go, just hold on to the baseball," Pena said. "These guys really deserved this win. They battled the entire day, it was just a team victory for us."

Seattle's Felix Hernandez and Detroit's Max Scherzer set the tone with dominant starts, each striking out 12 batters over eight innings. Hernandez allowed four hits and an unearned run, while Scherzer gave up six hits and one earned run.

Seattle was 5-1 against the Tigers last season.

04/18 10:20:30 ET

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
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MIA 94
CHA 93
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UWGB
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7:00pm Tonight
CHA
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MIA 94
CHA 93
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MEM 107
LAC 91
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BOS 88
POR 94
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OKC 86
GSW 91
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LAL 94
DEN 101
 
7:00pm Tonight
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LAC
 
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CLE
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POR
 
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GMAS 60
COC 61
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FSU 69
UMASS 75
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SHSU 53
WOFF 64
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UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
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CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
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MORE 46
AMER 51
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CORN 59
DREX 61
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CCST 60
COOK 65
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CSNO 88
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LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
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USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
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NMU 51
TEXAM 64
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TAMCC 62
 
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SD 72
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LONG 48
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PROV 75
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RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
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DEN 80
COPST 54
 
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UAB 58
JST 50
 
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WICHS 105
NWM 57
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OKLA 90
NWST 68
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KSU 59
YALE 66
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CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
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NCSU 68
SFLA 65
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UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
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PSU 63
USC 61
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HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
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BC 53
DAY 65
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MON 75
TOWS 79
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HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
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CIN 54
EILL 49
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UGA 74
FATL 61
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NCAT 50
 
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LATU 76
PBY 48
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RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
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SAMF 64
UMKC 55
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BING 68
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SHU 85
GWEBB 67
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IONA 78
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KENT 86
MNTST 28
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FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
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UCF 76
USCU 69
 
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SCAR 63
AKR 68
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WVU 78
UCONN 68
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CALST 70
DEL 52
 
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HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
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OSU 106
SHU 48
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VANDY 78
TENST 46
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NE 65
MAN 51
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COLST 75
MERC 62
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MISS 80
NARZ 74
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WASH 76
PAC 69
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LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
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CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
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GAELS 72
UCI 69
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ILLST 64
ODU 45
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UCLA 77
LBSU 63
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SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
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MDES
 
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GRAM
 
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MSU
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Final
WIN 2
STL 4
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NYR 5
MON 0
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ANA 2
ARI 1
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VAN 4
CHI 1
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NYI
PHI
 
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PIT
 
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MIN
 
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OTT
 
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HOU 13
CIN 22
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ATL 24
CLE 26
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NEP 34
DET 9
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MIN 21
GBP 24
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IND 23
JAC 3
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CHI 21
TAM 13
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PHI 43
TEN 24
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SEA 19
ARI 3
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SDC 27
STL 24
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DEN 39
MIA 36
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SFX 17
WAS 13
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NYG 28
DAL 31
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NYJ
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