By CURTIS CRABTREE/Associated Press
SEATTLE (AP) – Drew Smyly is probably thrilled the month of May is finally over.
Smyly (2-4) lasted just four innings and threw 105 pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the Detroit Tigers’ 3-2 loss Saturday night.
After picking up the victory in 9-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on May 3, Smyly is 0-3 with a 5.68 ERA in his last five starts.
“He had a little trouble with his command again,” Detroit manager Brad Ausmus said. “He had trouble getting ahead and when he did get ahead, it seemed like they would work their way back into 3-2 counts.”
Chris Young allowed two runs and three hits over six innings to improve to 5-2. After allowing the first two runners to reach base in the ninth inning, Fernando Rodney picked up his 14th save of the season.
After a relatively tidy first inning, Smyly ran into troubles in the second. He threw 38 pitches in the frame as the Mariners scored a pair of runs to take the lead.
Stefen Romero and John Buck each singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Cole Gillespie hit a dribbler off the end of the bat just past the mound to score Romero and give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Willie Bloomquist added another run with a two-out RBI single that scored Buck from second.
“A rough second inning. Threw too many pitches,” Smyly said. “I think every hit that inning I had them at 1-2 and couldn’t finish them. They were taking really good two-strike breaking balls. (They) got back in a hitter’s count and put it in play. It didn’t work out for me.”
Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer to left field with one out in the fourth inning to get the Tigers on the board. It was Cabrera’s second home run in two games this series against Seattle and his 10th homer of the season.
Seattle answered in the bottom half. Gillespie singled and stole second base to move into scoring position. Bloomquist came through again with two outs, hitting a single to left to score Gillespie and give Seattle a 3-1 cushion.
“One-hundred pitches in four innings in not very efficient,” Smyly said. “I only walked one person, but it’s just way too many pitches per batter.”
Ausmus said he didn’t believe Smyly’s issues with the high pitch count were due to mechanics.
“I think it’s something he can fix, but I think it’s something he’s going to have to fix himself,” Ausmus said.
Austin Jackson doubled to lead off the seventh and chase Young. Jackson scored on a wild pitch by Dominic Leone to pull back within a run. A walk to Don Kelly and single from Rajai Davis put a pair of runners on, but Gillespie ran down a line drive from Ian Kinsler at the wall to preserve Seattle’s lead.
Rodney walked Alex Avila to lead off the ninth. Don Kelly followed with a broken-bat flyball to left that dropped in to put two runners on with no outs. Rodney struck out and Andrew Romine and Davis before getting Kinsler to ground out to short to seal the victory.
“I thought we had a chance to win that game, but we couldn’t seem to get the big hit,” Ausmus said. “And when we did seem to get the big hit, it wasn’t a hit. It was caught.”
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