Poor pitching dooms Detroit Tigers in 9-6 loss in Game 2 of doubleheader at Mariners

SEATTLE — The end of the 2022 season is less than 24 hours away.

Ahead of Wednesday's finale, the Detroit Tigers lost both games of Tuesday's doubleheader to the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile. They were dropped 7-6 in the 10th inning in Game 1, as closer Gregory Soto was outdueled on the mound by a backup catcher in extras, then 9-6 in nine innings in Game 2.

Rookie Spencer Torkelson, who homered in Game 1, added another home run in Game 2 for his eighth long ball of the season. The 23-year-old became the first Tiger to homer in both games of a doubleheader since Jeimer Candelario in September 2020.

The Tigers (66-95) scored six runs on eight hits and four walks in Game 2, but they were doomed by their pitching staff. Right-handed reliever Will Vest, making his second start in the past week, threw 28 pitches and failed to escape the first inning.

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Vest drilled a batter with the bases loaded.

Right-hander Elvin Rodriguez, a traditional starter, took over and avoided further damage in the first inning, but he allowed six runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts over 3⅔ innings, throwing 94 pitches. Rodriguez gave up mammoth home runs to Abraham Toro in the fourth and Cal Raleigh in the fifth.

Rodriguez was chased from his seventh big-league outing with one out in the fifth. He threw 49-four-seam fastballs (52%), 19 sliders (20%), 14 changeups (15%) and 12 curveballs (13%), generating just nine swings and misses and 11 called strikes.

Tigers manager A.J. Hinch takes pitcher Elvin Rodriguez out of the game in the fifth inning of the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Tigers manager A.J. Hinch takes pitcher Elvin Rodriguez out of the game in the fifth inning of the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

In the sixth, righty reliever Garrett Hill plunked Dylan Moore with the bases loaded. He gave up two runs over 1⅔ innings. Left-hander Daniel Norris pitched perfect seventh and eighth innings, striking out four batters.

Clemens takes flight

Trailing 1-0 after the first inning, the Tigers tied the game in the third inning on Candelario's sacrifice fly. That didn't last long, as the Mariners regained the lead in the bottom of the third on Dylan Moore's RBI single.

Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield entered the fifth inning having allowed one run, but he gave up a four-spot. The Tigers rattled off three straight one-out singles: Torkelson, Candelario and Jonathan Schoop.

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Rookie Kody Clemens, a left-handed hitter, drove all of them in with the first grand slam of his MLB career. The big fly to right-center field, which traveled a game-high 411 feet, put the Tigers in front, 5-4.

Clemens has five home runs in 54 games this season. Before the fifth inning ended, rookie Brendon Davis collected his first MLB hit in the second game of his career. Sheffield gave up five runs on seven hits and four walks with four strikeouts across five innings.

The Tigers fell behind again, a product of Rodriguez's disastrous fifth, but Torkelson chipped away at the deficit in the sixth. He turned on an inside slider — the seventh pitch of the at-bat and third pitch in the same location — and sent the ball 409 feet to left field for a solo home run.

Just like that, the Tigers trailed 7-6.

Torkelson finished 3-for-5 in Game 2.

Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo fails to catch an RBI-single against the Mariners during the third inning of the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.
Tigers center fielder Akil Baddoo fails to catch an RBI-single against the Mariners during the third inning of the second game of the doubleheader on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022, in Seattle.

The Mariners separated the gap in the sixth against Hill, scoring one run on a hit-by-pitch and another on Adam Frazier's sacrifice fly.

Those runs pushed the margin to 9-6.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: MLB: Detroit Tigers lose Game 2 of DH in Seattle, 9-6, get swept