SEATTLE — Scoring runs has not been a problem lately for the Seattle Mariners. Scoring enough to win has been the issue.
Jefry Marte, in his initial big league start after bouncing around the minors for eight years, had an RBI double for his first career hit and added a solo home run that sent the Detroit Tigers over Seattle 5-4 on Wednesday.
Down by three early, the Mariners bounced back to tie it 4-all by the fourth. But the Tigers went ahead in the seventh and the Mariners finished 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position.
“You certainly would like to be more efficient in those spots,” said Trent Jewett, filling in as Mariners manager with Lloyd McClendon away from the team to attend his sister’s funeral. “We obviously had plenty of opportunities to push a lot more across.”
Marte, promoted to the majors Sunday, doubled during Detroit’s three-run second. He also scored his first run that inning.
In the fourth, he homered to left on a 2-0 pitch from J.A. Happ to make it 4-2.
“So excited — my first career homer in the big leagues,” said the 24-year-old Marte, who planned to give the souvenir ball to his family.
The Mariners had at least one baserunner in every inning and put two on in five of them. Even in the ninth, they threatened against closer Joakim Soria, who issued successive two-out walks. Soria then struck out Mark Trumbo, who had three of Seattle’s six hits.
“He threw me a nice split to end it,” Trumbo said.
Dustin Ackley hit a two-run homer for the Mariners to tie it in the fourth.
“We just have to have better at-bats, be ready early in the count and make sure we are squaring those balls up,” he said.
“The situation kind of gets the best of us sometimes,” Ackley added. “We are trying to do too much instead of keeping it simple.”
Anibal Sanchez (8-7) went 6 1-3 innings for the win. He allowed three earned runs on five hits, walked five and struck out six.
The teams combined for 14 home runs this week, tying for the most in a three-game series at Safeco Field. The Tigers hit nine of them.
Yoenis Cespedes singled in the seventh, Victor Martinez also singled and J.D. Martinez was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.
Nick Castellanos hit a shallow sacrifice fly to center. Ackley caught it, and Cespedes tagged up and scored while Victor Martinez was thrown out at third. Cespedes crossed the plate just before Martinez was tagged.
Happ, who allowed four runs and seven hits, threw 103 pitches in four innings. Mayckol Gauipe (0-2) took the loss.
“It’s a tough thing when you feel like you are making a good pitch and they are getting hit,” Happ said. “It’s tough to trust that it’s going to stop. So sometimes you tend to try and do too much.”