MLB

more stats

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
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
Final
PHI 4
DET 4
Final
WAS 11
MIA 7
Final
BAL 5
MIN 6
Final
STL 2
NYM 3
Final
HOU 0
NYY 7
Final
ATL 2
PIT 4
Final
BOS 3
TAM 2
Final
TOR 2
BAL 4
Final
ANA 6
CIN 8
Final
KAN 0
CHC 7
Final
CLE 1
CWS 4
Final
SFG 11
LOS 9
Final
OAK 7
MIL 0
Final
SDP 8
SEA 5
Final
LOS 10
TEX 5
Final
COL 2
ARI 1
Final
ARI 10
COL 11
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
STL
WAS
 
1:10pm Today
NYM
MIA
 
4:05pm Today
CWS
CLE
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
COL
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
KAN
 
4:05pm Today
SEA
ANA
 
4:05pm Today
CIN
SDP
 
4:05pm Today
CHC
SFG
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
LOS
 
6:05pm Tonight
HOU
TOR
 
7:05pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
Final
WAS 91
HOU 99
Final
BRK 107
LAL 99
Final
NOP 110
MIN 88
Final
CLE 87
PHI 86
Final
MIA 109
DET 102
Final
BOS 106
LAC 119
Final
IND 104
DAL 99
Final
SAN 103
MEM 89
Final
PHO 97
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
LAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
MIL
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
SAC
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
UTA
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
PHO
 
Final
LOU 70
MSU 76
Final
DUKE 66
GONZ 52
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
LAMON
 
Final
NYR 2
WAS 5
Final
CAR 1
BOS 2
Final
NAS 2
CAL 5
Final
NYI 5
DET 4
Final
OTT 2
FLA 4
Final
NJD 1
ANA 2
Final
WIN 3
CHI 4
Final
PIT 3
SJS 2
7:30pm Tonight
MON
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
STL
VAN
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
CAL
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
LOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
EDM
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARI
BUF