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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

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big East: Seaton Hall at Georgetown

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Tomorrow at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tonight at 8:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State vs. Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • ACC Women: Duke vs. Notre Dame

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • ACC: Duke at UNC

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

Scoreboard
Local
1st
CAR 0
MIN 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
Final
STL 5
HOU 2
 
Final
BOS 3
MIA 5
 
Final
TAM 2
MIN 1
 
Final
PHI 1
NYY 4
 
Final
ATL 8
WAS 9
 
Final
TOR 5
BAL 4
 
Final
NYM 5
DET 4
Final
SDP 5
CWS 0
 
Final
CHC 2
CIN 5
 
Final
CLE 9
KAN 11
 
Final
MIL 1
LOS 10
 
Final
TEX 3
SFG 12
 
Final
LOS 7
SEA 4
 
Final
ANA 3
COL 0
 
Final
ARI 2
OAK 7
 
1st
NYY 0
PIT 0
 
1st
IND 0
CHI 0
 
1st
WAS 0
MIA 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
SAC
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
TOR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
UTA
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
BOS
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
DET
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAL
8:00pm Tonight
BRK
PHO
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
DAL
Final
MVSU 75
ARKPB 94
 
Final
CSOU 60
LONG 68
 
Final
WICHS 56
SILL 45
Final
RAD 66
WINT 67
 
Final
ILLST 71
EVAN 67
 
2nd
HIGH 41
GWEBB 43
 
2nd
UNCG 45
SAMF 38
 
2nd
ELON 39
TOWS 39
 
1st
KSU 10
AKR 9
 
1st
BUF 3
BGU 2
 
1st
DART 0
BRO 7
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMICH
CMICH
 
1st
PENN 0
CLMB 0
 
1st
PRIN 7
CORN 6
 
1st
OU 10
ILLCH 3
 
1st
OHIO 0
UMO 0
 
1st
BST 3
NILL 0
 
1st
EMICH 5
TOL 0
 
1st
NIOWA 0
BRAD 1
 
7:30pm Tonight
MURST
MORE
8:00pm Tonight
CCAR
UNCA
 
8:00pm Tonight
HARV
YALE
 
8:30pm Tonight
DREX
COC
8:30pm Tonight
CITA
FUR
9:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
9:00pm Tonight
BAY
TTU
9:30pm Tonight
EKENT
BEL
9:30pm Tonight
CLST
DET
9:35pm Tonight
INDST
LOYC
11:30pm Tonight
SCU
LMU
1st
NJD 0
CLB 0
 
1st
CAR 0
MIN 0
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
BUF
7:30pm Tonight
DET
CAL
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
EDM
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
PIT