SEATTLE — Remember what Javier Báez said on Opening Day?
"It's not going to be easy," he said in April, "but it's going to be fun."
He ended up being halfway correct.
The Detroit Tigers' 2022 season, which concluded Wednesday with a 5-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners, certainly wasn't easy, but it also wasn't fun for the players, coaches and organization as a whole.
The Tigers finished 66-96 overall and fourth in the American League Central, after losing their final three games of a four-game set to the Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Left-handed closer Gregory Soto threw 26 pitches Wednesday afternoon and allowed a walk-off single to Ty France with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning.
SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE:Poor pitching tanks Tigers in 9-6 loss in Game 2 of doubleheader at Mariners
The Mariners, in Wednesday's regular-season finale, launched three home runs.
Left-hander Tyler Alexander allowed two of them in the first inning.
Julio Rodriguez, who ended his season with a franchise rookie-record 28 jacks, and Mitch Haniger went deep before Alexander could collect his second out. Rodriguez slammed a second-pitch cutter above the strike zone, while Haniger connected on a four-seam fastball.
Trailing 3-2 in the sixth inning, Luis Torrens hit an 0-2 sinker over the heart of the plate for a two-run home run to left-center field. He put the Mariners ahead 4-3.
Alexander allowed four runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts over 5⅔ innings, throwing 68 of 92 pitches for strikes. He posted a 4.81 ERA, 25 walks and 61 strikeouts across 101 innings in 27 games (17 starts).
The 28-year-old placed third on the Tigers in innings pitched, behind Tarik Skubal (117⅔) and Drew Hutchison (105⅓).
The comeback: Marco polo
The Tigers climbed back from an early deficit by scoring two runs off left-hander Marco Gonzales in the fourth inning. Spencer Torkelson's walk and Eric Haase's double put two runners in scoring position for Jeimer Candelario.
Both runners scored on Candelario's single and a throwing error by third baseman Abraham Toro. The Tigers took a 3-2 lead on Báez's two-out single to score Brendon Davis in the fifth inning.
Davis notched his second career MLB hit in the seventh inning and traveled from first to third base on Akil Baddoo's single. With two outs, and the Tigers down by one run, Riley Greene lined a game-tying single to center field.
Gonzales allowed four runs (three earned runs) on eight hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 71 of 106 pitches for strikes.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Walk-off 5-4 loss ends Detroit Tigers' 2022 in Seattle