Miller’s Strong Return & Raleigh Homers as the M’s top the Tigers 2-0
SEATTLE (AP) — Bryce Miller, Cal Raleigh and a foursome of relievers allowed the Seattle Mariners to salvage something from a disappointing weekend coming out of the All-Star break.
Miller tossed five sharp innings in his return from the injured list, Raleigh hit his 12th home run and the Mariners avoided a three-game sweep with a 2-0 win over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday.
Seattle got back to .500 with 70 games left in the regular season, but a series loss to the Tigers stymied any momentum the Mariners gained by winning seven of nine going into the break.
Seattle manager Scott Servais praised the performance of his pitchers on a day the Mariners offense continued to scuffle, a day after getting shut out.
“We needed to win the ballgame today. Again offensively, it was not pretty today by any means,” Servais said.
Miller had been sidelined since leaving his June 30 start against Tampa Bay with a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The Mariners hoped to get five innings out of the rookie right-hander and that's exactly what they received.
Miller (6-3) scattered five hits, struck out three and relied more than usual on his secondary pitches. Through his first 11 major league starts, Miller was throwing nearly 70% fastballs. On Sunday, that dropped to 54%, with his slider usage up to 39%. Miller also used more breaking pitches the first time he faced the Tigers back in May when he pitched seven shutout innings and allowed three hits.
“It feels really good. I was really happy with where it was. The harder slider, it’s a big pitch for me,” Miller said. “Whenever I’m able to locate it at the bottom of the zone, it plays really well.”
Matt Brash, Justin Topa, Andrés Muñoz and Paul Sewald combined to allow only one hit over the final four innings. Sewald earned his 18th save.
The Tigers were shut out for the 11th time and did not get a runner to third base.
“Obviously this pitching staff, if you give them the lead and then they can set their bullpen up how they want, they're tough,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said.
Raleigh’s homer in the fourth was his first since June 25 in Baltimore and one of the few costly mistakes made by Detroit starter Reese Olson. Raleigh’s long ball came on a 3-1 pitch and traveled a projected 432 feet.
“He put a really good swing on that ball. Cal has been squaring up balls. He’s been pulling a lot of balls foul. It’s a strike. You've got to keep it in play and he did today,” Servais said.
On his 24th birthday, Jarred Kelenic had a two-out RBI double in the first inning that missed clearing the left-field wall by about a foot. J.P. Crawford was on base four times for the Mariners with two doubles, a single and a walk.
Olson (1-3) allowed six hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out five and walked none.
It was the final scheduled game in Seattle for Detroit slugger Miguel Cabrera before his retirement at the end of the season. The Mariners presented Cabrera with a personalized apron and gift basket from Starbucks and a donation to his charity. Before a game late in the 2022 season, Cabrera chaperoned the Tigers’ rookies and second-year players from T-Mobile Park to a nearby Starbucks in their uniforms.
The Mariners earned their 1,000th win at T-Mobile Park nearly 24 years to the day from when the ballpark opened. Seattle’s first game in the stadium came on July 15, 1999. The Mariners are 1,000-900 in regular-season games at the park. They went 852-903 at the Kingdome from 1977-99.
Seattle optioned reliever Matt Festa to Triple-A Tacoma to clear a roster spot for Miller.
Tigers: Open a four-game series in Kansas City on Monday. Detroit RHP Matt Manning (3-1, 3.72 ERA) is scheduled to start the opener against Jordan Lyles. Manning threw 6 2/3 shutout innings in his last start before the All-Star break to beat Toronto.
Mariners: Begin a four-game series with Minnesota on Monday. RHP Logan Gilbert (7-5, 3.66 ERA) will start the opener against Twins All-Star Sonny Gray (4-3, 2.89). Gilbert allowed one earned run over 16 innings in his final two starts before the break.