SEATTLE (AP) - Aaron Harang's debut in Seattle and return to the American League would have gone just fine if not for Miguel Cabrera's ability to hit with two strikes.
``He ended up basically single-handedly beating us,' Harang said. ``He is one of those guys you really have to be careful with.'
Cabrera hit a two-run homer and drove in Detroit's first four runs, Doug Fister threw seven strong innings against his former team, and the Tigers beat the Mariners 6-2 on Tuesday night.
Cabrera's homer came with two outs in the fifth inning off Harang and was his second of the season. Cabrera drove a pitch off the edge of the plate out to right-center field to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead.
Cabrera also had RBIs in the first and seventh innings, scoring Austin Jackson both times. Jackson has 19 runs scored in just 13 games.
``That's a hard spot to hit the ball out and he did it with ease,' Fister said. ``That guy is such a special hitter.'
Harang was done after the fifth in his Mariners debut. He was acquired in a trade from Colorado last week after the Rockies designated him for assignment and he took Blake Beavan's spot in the Mariners rotation. Harang (0-1) allowed seven hits and struck out six while throwing 95 pitches.
Harang noted the Tigers ability to extend at_bats early and raise his pitch count.
``When you can fight through two-strike at_bats like that, a lot of times it wears a pitcher out,' Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. ``Making a pretty nasty pitch and you're fouling it off, or hitting it pretty good somewhere and fouling it off to extend the at-bat that takes its toll on pitchers after a point.'
Harang's problems all came on two-strike pitches. Jackson led off the game with a triple to deep right-center on a 3-2 pitch and scored with one-out when Cabrera singled on a 0-2 pitch.
In the fifth, Harang allowed a two-out single to Hunter. He got ahead of Cabrera 2-2 and his fastball was in a good location just off the outside edge of the plate.
But Cabrera stayed through the pitch and drove it 395 feet into the right-center field seats to give the Tigers the lead. Cabrera added a single in the seventh after Jackson reached on a one-out single and stole second base.
``Cabrera's home run was not something I was hoping to get, but he did a great job hitting that pitch,' Harang said. ``It was four or five inches off the plate; should have been a ball. It proves why he is as good as he is.'
Detroit added on in the eighth after loading the bases with one out. Seattle reliever Bobby LaFromboise struck out pinch-hitter Matt Tuiasosopo for the second out and got ahead of Jackson.
He barely missed with a 1-2 pitch that was inside and Jackson walked when the 3-2 pitch was outside. Yoervis Medina entered to make his major league debut and walked Hunter on four pitches before getting Cabrera.
But Seattle's offense wasn't much help, struggling to get going against Fister outside of the fourth inning.
Fister (3-0) retired the first 10 batters in order before giving up a one-out double to Kyle Seager in the fourth. It was Seager's seventh double of the season. Kendrys Morales followed with another double to right-center that scored Seager.
Michael Morse then lined a single into center and Morales scored although the play at the plate was closer than expected after he slowed down the last few steps.
Fister quickly got back into a grove after Morse's single, retiring nine of the next 10 batters and not allowing another hit until Justin Smoak's one-out single in the seventh. Fister threw 32 pitches in the fourth inning and no more than 14 in any other inning. Fister gave up four hits and struck out five in seven innings.
``We've got to get the offense going. Loosen things up around here,' Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. ``You get a couple of guys going , you start to gain a little momentum and it gives everyone a little more room to breathe and games aren't always so tight.'
Notes: The Mariners held a moment of silence in honor of the victims of Monday's bombings in Boston. The American flag in center field was lowered to half-staff and ``Sweet Caroline,' a staple at Fenway Park, was played in the middle of the seventh inning. ... Jackson has reached base in all 13 games this season and scored a run in 11 of 13. ... Tigers DH Victor Martinez had his first three-hit game of the season. He had six hits total coming into the game.
The Associated Press News Service
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