Chris McCosky The Detroit News
Published 10:11 PM EDT Aug 14, 2019
Detroit — His throwing arm, which was gaining legendary status in the minor leagues, had yet to make much of an impact in the big leagues.
Tigers rookie catcher Jake Rogers had thrown out 49 percent of would-be base-stealers in four minor-league seasons. But four of the first six stolen-base attempts against him in his brief time in the big leagues were successful.
But on Wednesday night, in helping the Tigers to a 3-2 win over the Seattle Mariners, Rogers demonstrated what all the fuss was about.
He ended the third inning by gunning down the speedy Keon Broxton trying to steal second base. But his best throw came in the seventh, and it was to first base.
BOX SCORE: Tigers 3, Mariners 2
The Tigers had a skinny, one-run lead and two of the fastest Mariners players — Broxton and Mallex Smith — slapped two-out singles off lefty reliever Gregory Soto.
Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire made the curious decision to bring in right-hander Buck Farmer to face left-handed hitting J.P. Crawford, who was hitting just .181 against lefties and .267 against right-handers.
Farmer fell behind 2-0, but Rogers, seeing Smith straying off first base, fired a strike to first baseman John Hicks and picked him off to end the inning.
Farmer punched out the heart of the Mariners order in the eighth — Crawford, Omar Narvaez and Domingo Santana — around a two-out walk.
Closer Joe Jimenez finished it with a clean ninth, earning his second save.
It was the Tigers’ first win over the Mariners in six games this season and it ended a three-game losing streak.
Edwin Jackson, the ageless wonder, gave the Tigers another sturdy start and got his second straight win. He limited the Mariners to four hits over five innings. Two of those hits, though, left the yard — solo home runs by Crawford and Daniel Vogelbach.
The Mariners have hit seven home runs in the first two games of this series. Most of them have been fence-scrapers, one was deflected over by center fielder Niko Goodrum on Tuesday. But Vogelbach’s was legit — a 435-footer into the seats in deepest right-center.
Jackson, 35, left the game with a 3-2 lead. In his two starts with the Tigers, his first here since his All-Star season in Detroit in 2009, he’s allowed three runs in 11 1/3 innings.
The Tigers produced eight hits off Mariners starter Marco Gonzales in the second and third innings, but probably expected to come out with more than three runs.
They loaded the bases with no outs in the second, but didn’t score until Victor Reyes dropped a two-out, two-run single into shallow center field.
Miguel Cabrera led off the third with a double into the corner in right field. It was the 574th of his career, tying him with Bobby Abreu for the most by a Venezuelan-born player. It also ties him with Tigers Hall-of-Famer Charlie Gehringer for 23rd on baseball’s all-time list.
But Cabrera got a little overzealous. He ran through the stop sign of third-base coach Dave Clark and tried to score on a single by Niko Goodrum. Center fielder Keon Broxton threw him out by several feet.
Goodrum alertly took second on the throw and scored on a base hit by Harold Castro.
Goodrum, Castro and rookie Travis Demeritte have been swinging hot bats recently. Castro had three hits, Goodrum and Demeritte two each.
Goodrum was hitting .232 on July 12. In 27 games since, he’s hit .305 with seven doubles and four home runs, raising his average 20 points.
Castro, since being recalled at the beginning of June, is hitting .290 with five doubles, three triples and three home runs.
And Demeritte, acquired from the Braves in the Shane Greene trade, has hit safely in eight straight games, hitting .379 over that stretch.
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