DETROIT (AP) — Rick Porcello baffled the Seattle Mariners for six innings, and when Detroit finally added a few more runs for the young right-hander, the Tigers were one step closer to another division title.
That was cause for celebration in a clubhouse that seems a little livelier these days.
"September hits, sometimes you get kind of laid back and you get tired, so we're just trying to pump ourselves up," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "After the game, we always try to turn the music up loud and jump up and down. We have a huddle and we start screaming loud for no reason. ... Only time we get to do it is if we win."
The anticipation is building in Motown. Porcello struck out 10 and the Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Monday night. Victor Martinez broke a 1-all tie in the sixth with a run-scoring single, and Omar Infante followed with his own RBI single.
The AL Central-leading Tigers increased their advantage over Cleveland to six games with 12 to play.
Porcello (13-8) allowed a run and five hits with two walks, falling one strikeout short of his career high. Drew Smyly got five outs in relief and Jose Veras finished the eighth.
Joaquin Benoit pitched a hitless ninth for his 21st save in 21 chances.
"I think as a ballclub we're really coming on strong here," Porcello said. "Guys are working. It's September. Everybody's had a long season, but everybody's coming in with focus, and they're playing good baseball."
Joe Saunders (11-15) pitched well until the sixth, when he got two outs before a walk and three hits chased him from the game.
Abraham Almonte homered for Seattle, which has lost seven of eight.
"Everyone hates losing," Justin Smoak said. "We've been in tight ballgames and haven't been able to get the big hit."
It was tied at 1 in the sixth when Miguel Cabrera walked and Prince Fielder followed with a single. Martinez's single up the line in right field scored Cabrera, and Infante lined a single to left to make it 3-1.