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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DETROIT (AP) — Prince Fielder and the Detroit Tigers are hungry for another division title.

The slugging first baseman added some levity to Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners when he took a chip from a fan sitting in the first row and ate it after unsuccessfully chasing a foul ball. Then Fielder scored the go-ahead run a couple innings later, sliding home in the seventh on a close play at the plate.

"It was pretty close," Fielder said. "I was just faster, I guess."

Fielder was thrown out at home on a similar play to end a game against Kansas City last weekend.

Detroit trailed 4-3 after Seattle's Dustin Ackley hit a three-run homer in the fifth, but Fielder's RBI single in the seventh tied it. Then he scored from first when Victor Martinez doubled off Charlie Furbush (2-6).

In the top of the fifth, Fielder chased after a foul ball that dropped near the stands. Before returning to his position, he took what looked like a nacho from one of the fans near the front and ate it, while receiving a pat on the back from another fan.

"Thought about dipping in the cheese, but he might double dip," Fielder joked. "I don't think he even noticed it."

Detroit maintained its six-game lead in the AL Central over second-place Cleveland, which beat Houston 2-1 in 11 innings.

Torii Hunter homered for the Tigers. Doug Fister (13-9) struck out 10 in 7 2-3 innings. Drew Smyly got one out, and Joaquin Benoit pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save in 22 chances.

Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias left after being hit on the left hand by a pitch in the sixth inning. X-rays were negative.

"The good thing is it's not broken. It's really painful," Iglesias said. "I got lucky."

Detroit acquired Iglesias from Boston in a trade shortly before shortstop Jhonny Peralta was suspended as part of Major League Baseball's investigation into Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Peralta is eligible to return Sept. 27, but the Tigers plan to keep Iglesias at shortstop and work out Peralta in the outfield.

Fielder doubled in the third and fifth. After Hunter led off the Detroit seventh with a double and went to third on Miguel Cabrera's flyout, Fielder hit a single to make it 4-all.