SEATTLE (AP) — After handing out some punishment on a few prior occasions, Seattle Mariners designated hitter John Jaso was happy to take a beating Monday night.
Jaso hit a sacrifice fly to score pinch-runner Munenori Kawasaki and cap a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 3-2 win over the Detroit Tigers.
Jaso and the Mariners won their third straight game — with a lot of help from Tigers veteran reliever Octavio Dotel.
Detroit manager Jim Leyland knew pregame that closer Jose Valverde would not be at his disposal, so he turned to Dotel with a 2-0 lead in the ninth — and he lacked any control from the start.
Dotel walked Brendan Ryan after nearly hitting him twice. A walk to Ichiro Suzuki followed, then a wild pitch, which advanced both runners. A visit from catcher Alex Avila along with a separate visit from pitching coach Jeff Jones during the inning could not settle Dotel down.
His first pitch to Jesus Montero with two runners on was again wide of Avila, which resulted in a passed ball and scored Ryan. Montero pushed the count to 3-0 before finally throwing a strike. Montero fouled off the next pitch, then doubled to deep center, the ball hitting the wall just left of the 405 marker, to drive in Suzuki and tie the game.
"You've got to look for the right pitch, and I think I had the right pitch," Montero said of facing an erratic pitcher.
That was it for Dotel (1-1), who threw only four of his 16 pitches for strikes.
"Walks will kill you, and they killed us," Leyland said.
Kyle Seager bunted Kawasaki to third, and Jaso followed with his fly to right to score Kawasaki and finish the rally.
Leyland chose to give Valverde the night off after three consecutive appearances. Leyland also decided prior to the game he would not use Joaquin Benoit.
The comeback denied Detroit starter Doug Fister his first win of the season in his second start. He was removed from his first start April 7 after straining his left side. On Monday night, he allowed four hits, walked none and struck out three.
Seattle starter Blake Beavan left after being hit on the right elbow by a line drive in the third inning.
Beavan was in trouble in third after Austin Jackson singled and stole second. Andy Dirks moved Jackson to third with a single, bringing Miguel Cabrera to the plate. Cabrera's strong line drive of an 0-1 pitch hit Beavan and the ball caromed to third baseman Seager, who picked it up to start what turned out to be a 1-5-4-3 inning-ending double play.
Beavan walked off the mound without wincing, but the Mariners immediately told Hisashi Iwakuma to warm-up in the bullpen. He took over in the fourth for Beavan, who was diagnosed with a right elbow contusion after throwing three innings and allowing one run. X-Rays of Beavan's elbow were negative. He's hopeful of making his next start and will be re-examined Tuesday morning.
Fister dominated his seven innings, retiring six in a row over the fourth and fifth. The only solid hit came from Justin Smoak, who drove a fly ball to deep center field. Fister threw less than 10 pitches in four of the first five innings.
After throwing four innings May 2 for Triple-A Toledo in his final rehabilitation start from a left costochondral strain, Fister, who the Mariners traded to Detroit last season, wasn't on a specific pitch count. Leyland said he would "use common sense" when assessing how far into the game Fister could go. He wound up throwing 73 pitches.
Jhonny Peralta singled off Mariners reliever Shawn Kelley to open the seventh inning. Left-hander Charlie Furbush relieved Kelley with two outs in the seventh, and allowed a singled to Jackson, then walked Dirks to load the bases. Furbush won a battle with Cabrera, who grounded out to third base after a seven-pitch at-bat.
Prince Fielder reached on his second blooper of the night then scored on a broken-bat single by Brennan Boesch in the fourth inning. Iwakuma was able to strike out Ryan Raburn a pitch after Raburn pulled a line drive just foul down the left-field line.
Fielder's first-inning bloop double down the left-field line drove in Dirks, who had doubled two batters earlier, to put Detroit ahead 1-0.
Steve Delabar (1-0) picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.
Notes: Seattle hit .322 in a three-game sweep of Detroit April 24-26. . Monday's visit to Seattle started Detroit's run of 19 of the next 24 games on the road. . Detroit starter Justin Verlander, who will face Seattle on Tuesday, is 3-4 with a 4.44 ERA in his career at Safeco Field. Seattle has won Verlander's last three starts at Safeco. ... The Mariners lead the majors with the most blown leads in a loss (10).