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Bats can't back Gonzales as Mariners drop G1

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

DETROIT -- The Mariners had a lot of hits sitting in their dugout on Saturday, with Ichiro Suzuki serving as temporary bench coach. But they didn't manage many on the field in dropping a 4-3 contest to the Tigers in the opening game of a doubleheader at Comerica Park.

With manager Scott Servais attending his daughter's graduation, bench coach Manny Acta ran the team for the day and Ichiro moved into Acta's spot. But the Mariners' offense never got in gear in the opener against left-hander Matthew Boyd, as they totaled just four hits and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

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DETROIT -- The Mariners had a lot of hits sitting in their dugout on Saturday, with Ichiro Suzuki serving as temporary bench coach. But they didn't manage many on the field in dropping a 4-3 contest to the Tigers in the opening game of a doubleheader at Comerica Park.

With manager Scott Servais attending his daughter's graduation, bench coach Manny Acta ran the team for the day and Ichiro moved into Acta's spot. But the Mariners' offense never got in gear in the opener against left-hander Matthew Boyd, as they totaled just four hits and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.

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"We couldn't get anything going offensively until the last third of the game," Acta said. "Boyd deserves a lot of credit. He kept our guys off-balance, mixing his pitches very well."

Seattle lefty Marco Gonzales pitched out of trouble while battling to a 1-1 tie through five innings, but allowed three runs -- and surrendered the lead -- with two out in the sixth after a close play at the plate. Gonzales allowed four runs on 10 hits and a pair of walks in six frames.

The Mariners had a chance to prevent Detroit's three-run sixth when right fielder Mitch Haniger fired a strike to the plate as JaCoby Jones tried to score from second on a two-out single by Grayson Greiner.

Catcher Mike Zunino's tag appeared to catch Jones' left leg before he touched the plate, but Jones was ruled safe and the Mariners didn't request a replay. Jose Iglesias then followed with a two-run homer to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead.

Video: SEA@DET: Greiner drives in Jones with a 2-out single

Acta said a mix-up between the video room and bench resulted in the play never being challenged.

"It needed to be challenged, after the fact when I saw it," Acta said. "But we had a miscommunication over the phone with the people involved in it. I'm not going to point fingers. We win and lose as a team. It shouldn't happen, but it did."

Gonzales said he tried to refocus after the play at the plate, but left a back-door cutter over the middle to Iglesias.

"It's not my decision," he said, of the non-replay. "It's just trying to channel, reset and get back on the hill and throw strikes after that."

The Mariners managed just three hits off Boyd, but pushed across three runs on a sacrifice fly by Dee Gordon in the fifth and a pair of RBI groundouts by Zunino and Ben Gamel in the seventh.

Video: SEA@DET: Zunino drives in Seager on grounder to first

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The Mariners had a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead in the top of the ninth when they loaded the bases on walks to Kyle Seager and Gamel sandwiched around a single by Zunino before Gordon grounded out for the final out. But the play that changed that inning was a diving shoestring catch by Jones on a low, sinking liner hit by Ryon Healy for the second out. Had Healy reached base, the inning could have been far different. But closer Shane Greene wiggled out of trouble for his eighth save.

Video: SEA@DET: Jones lays out for a diving grab in the 9th

SOUND SMART
Healy went 1-for-3 with a double and scored twice to continue his hot stretch. Since coming off the disabled list on April 26, the Mariners' first baseman is hitting .333 (18-for-54) with three doubles, six home runs, 12 RBIs and 14 runs in 14 games.

HE SAID IT
"That's kind of been the theme behind a couple of my starts, being able to pitch through situations like that. I'm a contact pitcher and guys are going to be on, I'm just trying to get a ton of ground balls and some double plays in there and field my position and give us a chance to stay in the ballgame.'" -- Gonzales, on his ability to work around his career-high 10 hits allowed

UP NEXT
James Paxton, who fired the sixth no-hitter in Mariners history on Tuesday in Toronto, takes on the Tigers in Sunday's 10:10 a.m. PT series finale at Comerica Park. Paxton has allowed just two runs with 33 strikeouts over 22 innings in his last three starts. He's 2-1 with a 3.19 ERA in five previous starts vs. Detroit. The Tigers will counter with lefty Blaine Hardy (0-0, 6.75 ERA).

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Marco Gonzales