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AL Central-leading Tigers edge Mariners 5-4

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 20, 2013 at 12:14 am •  Published: September 20, 2013
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Martinez, who had already been intentionally walked twice, followed with his second double of the game — to the corner in left field. Fielder scored, although the Mariners argued the call.

"It was a bang-bang play at the plate," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "(Catcher Mike Zunino) did a great job of getting the throw and making it close."

Martinez is hitting .367 since the All-Star break.

"I've known him a long time, and I know all the ways he can beat you, "Wedge said. "The last time, there wasn't anywhere to put him because Prince was on first, and he did what he's done for years. He's just a great hitter."

Seattle scored a run in the first on an RBI single by Raul Ibanez. Hunter tied it in the bottom half with a solo shot, and Martinez added an RBI double later in the inning.

Seattle intentionally walked Martinez in the third with men on second and third, but starter James Paxton walked Omar Infante on four pitches to force in a run and make it 3-1.

Fister allowed four runs and nine hits with one walk. His only major mistake was a pitch to Ackley in the fifth that the Seattle outfielder hit over the wall in right for his fourth homer of the year.

Paxton allowed three runs and five hits in five innings.

Detroit has three games left on this homestand, and the Tigers could clinch a third straight AL Central title as early as Saturday if enough results fall into place.

"We definitely want to clinch over here. We definitely want to get it done in front of our great fans. They've been up here with us all year long," Martinez said. "They really deserve seeing the celebration here."

NOTES: Martinez, normally Detroit's DH, started at catcher for the third time this season. ... Tigers pitchers have 1,323 strikeouts, five more than the previous team record set last year. ... Detroit hosts the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Tigers RHP Max Scherzer (19-3) faces RHP Andre Rienzo (2-2). Seattle RHP Erasmo Ramirez (5-2) faces Los Angeles Angels RHP Jered Weaver (10-8).