Detroit Tigers lose 7-6 in 10 innings in Game 1; Mariners catcher earns win on mound

SEATTLE — The Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners entered extra innings in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader, and the Mariners rolled out a position player — backup catcher Luis Torrens — to pitch the 10th inning.

Torrens, who has two pitching appearances in his career, allowed a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th, but the Mariners' offense battled back against Tigers left-handed closer Gregory Soto in the bottom of the inning at T-Mobile Park.

The Tigers lost, 7-6.

"They're trying to line themselves up for the playoffs," manager A.J. Hinch said. "I have zero problem with them taking care of their own team and getting themselves ready for Friday. I had a feeling they were going to do something creative if there was a blowout either way or if we got to extra innings. It was no surprise."

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Mariners catcher Luis Torrens pitches against the Tigers during Tigers' 7-6 loss in 10 innings in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Mariners catcher Luis Torrens pitches against the Tigers during Tigers' 7-6 loss in 10 innings in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

Two straight singles, from Carlos Santana and Jarred Kelenic, helped snap the Tigers' three-game winning streak. Santana picked up the game-tying hit, and Abraham Toro delivered a walk-off sacrifice fly. Torrens became the first position player in Mariners history to record a win, and he's the first non-Shohei Ohtani position player to get a win since Chicago Cubs catcher John Baker in July 2014.

Soto has a 2-10 record this season.

Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto throws to a Mariners batter during the 10th inning of the Tigers' 7-6 loss in 10 innings in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Tigers pitcher Gregory Soto throws to a Mariners batter during the 10th inning of the Tigers' 7-6 loss in 10 innings in Game 1 of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

The Tigers (66-94) took a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning, thanks to a Victor Reyes two-run home run. But in the bottom of the seventh, right-handed reliever Alex Lange squandered the advantage.

Lange gave up a leadoff single to Adam Frazier but bounced back with a pair of outs to regain control of the situation. Ty France ripped a grounder to rookie first baseman Spencer Torkelson. The ball, which made contact with his glove, got past him. Torkelson's error, though ruled a single by the official scorer, allowed Frazier to score, cutting the Mariners' deficit to 5-4.

After a walk, Eugenio Suarez singled to even the score, 5-5.

Left-hander Andrew Chafin entered for a matchup with Santana. He walked him on four pitches before striking out Kelenic to strand the bases loaded. Right-handers Miguel Diaz and Jason Foley fired scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively.

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E-Rod's finale

If it weren't for the third inning, left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez would've tossed another scoreless outing in his final start of the year. But the Mariners spoiled an otherwise dominant performance with a pair of home runs.

Rodriguez, who signed a five-year, $77 million contract in November, allowed three runs on six hits and one walk with seven strikeouts across six innings. He finished with a 4.05 ERA across 91 innings in 17 starts.

"I feel really good to be able to end the season the way I wanted," Rodriguez said. "The only mistake that I made and paid for was two homers. But the rest, I felt good with everything. Fastball command, changeup was right where I wanted it."

Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez looks up after bobbling the ball to allow Mariners center fielder Jarred Kelenic a single during the second inning in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez looks up after bobbling the ball to allow Mariners center fielder Jarred Kelenic a single during the second inning in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

With one out in the third, Rodriguez doubled up on inside four-seam fastballs to Curt Casali. He isn't known for hitting home runs. Entering Tuesday, Casali — an ex-Tigers minor-leaguer — had 46 homers in his 459-game career.

He upped his homer total in his 14th game with the Mariners, putting the second four-seamer over the left-field wall and knotting the score at one run apiece. (The San Francisco Giants traded Casali and former Tiger Matthew Boyd to the Mariners before the trade deadline in early August.)

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The next batter, J.P. Crawford, drew a five-pitch walk.

For that, Mitch Haniger made Rodriguez pay. He hammered a fastball for a two-run home run and put the Mariners ahead, 3-1, with two outs in the third. Rodriguez answered by striking out Suarez.

"Everything that I can do to help the team win games, I'll feel proud of it," Rodriguez said. "I feel really good about the way we ended the season as a team. We'll bring everything into next year."

Rodriguez ran into more trouble in the sixth inning but kept the Mariners from adding runs to maintain the 3-3 tie. He induced a double play for the first two outs, then allowed a single to Santana and drilled Kelenic in the ribs with a fastball. Toro, the final batter of Rodriguez's season, struck out swinging.

For his 98 pitches (70 strikes), Rodriguez tossed 30 sinkers, 28 four-seam fastballs, 22 cutters, 16 changeups and two sliders. He recored 14 swings and misses: five sinkers, four four-seamers, two cutters and three changeups.

The Mariners averaged an 83.8 mph exit velocity.

A Tork bomb

In the fourth inning, Torkelson tagged his seventh home run in 108 games this season. Right-hander Chris Flexen, who allowed three runs in four innings, left an 85.2 mph cutter over the heart of the plate.

Torkelson took care of business.

The 23-year-old put a drive into Flexen's mistake, hammering the middle-middle cutter with a 110.6 mph exit velocity for a 426-foot two-run home run. He tied the game, 3-3, with his first long ball since Sept. 7.

The Tigers missed an opportunity to take the lead in the fifth inning. Akil Baddoo greeted right-handed reliever Matthew Festa with a leadoff double, but he was thrown out — and it wasn't even close — trying to advance to third base on a grounder to shortstop.

Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson, right, celebrates his two-run home run with third baseman Jeimer Candelario against the Mariners during the fourth inning of the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Tigers first baseman Spencer Torkelson, right, celebrates his two-run home run with third baseman Jeimer Candelario against the Mariners during the fourth inning of the first game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

Before Torkelson's game-tying homer, the Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Reyes doubled and scored when Riley Greene's roped a hanging curveball for a one-out double to the right-field corner.

Greene advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Javier Báez and Harold Castro let Flexen off the hook with a strikeout and groundout, respectively.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers lose 7-6 (10 inn) in Game 1; catcher earns pitching win