SEATTLE -- It's taken the Mariners all season to climb over the .500 mark, but they finally made it as Robinson Cano cranked two home runs and a career high-tying six RBIs in a 9-6 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night to complete a four-game series sweep.Cano hadn't homered
SEATTLE -- It's taken the Mariners all season to climb over the .500 mark, but they finally made it as Robinson Cano cranked two home runs and a career high-tying six RBIs in a 9-6 victory over the Tigers on Thursday night to complete a four-game series sweep.
Cano hadn't homered in his previous 15 games, but he roped a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the seventh to give him 13 homers and 48 RBIs on the year. That provided plenty of run support for right-hander Andrew Moore, who won his Major League debut with seven innings of three-run ball.
"I'm not looking for my power numbers, but when you've got men in scoring position or situations like that and you hit a homer, you put your team ahead," Cano said. "That's what I'm looking for. For me, it's not about how many homers I hit, it's just to do my job with men in scoring position."
Seattle had lost its previous four games when given a chance to break .500, but this time improved to 38-37 with just the second four-game sweep of the Tigers in franchise history. The Mariners are 17-8 since May 28, the second-best mark in the Majors in that span.
Detroit (32-40) saw its season-long losing streak extended to six games, falling to last place in the American League Central. Ian Kinsler and Jose Cabrera each had two hits with a home run and two RBIs, while Daniel Norris took the loss as he allowed five runs on five hits over six frames.
"I gave up the five runs in three innings and I still wasn't feeling it," Norris said. "But in my head, I had to find a way to get through. And the way I finished is the positive I am going to take out of it. But at the same time, obviously, you want to give the team a better chance to win. It was a grind, for sure."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
He likes lefties, too: WIth Jean Segura back off the disabled list, Mariners manager Scott Servais dropped the hot-hitting Ben Gamel out of the leadoff role. He was in the two-hole against right-hander Justin Verlander on Wednesday and hit in the No. 7 spot against the southpaw Norris. But Gamel doesn't seem to care where he hits, he just hits. The rookie ripped a two-run double in the second to extend his hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active streak in the Majors. He's batted .431 (25-for-58) during that stretch to put his average at .352. And he's fared just fine against lefties, batting .340.
"It feels good to see Gamel come from the Minor Leagues and do the job he's doing," Cano said. "He's helping us big time in the lineup. You can't just focus on the three guys [in the middle]."
Birthday bash: Kinsler celebrated turning 35 by continuing his recent power surge as he homered for a third straight game, this one a solo shot with two out in the third for the Tigers' first run off Moore. Kinsler drove a 90-mph fastball a projected 398 feet, per Statcast™, over the left-field wall as Moore left a 3-1 fastball out over the plate. Kinsler also had a run-scoring single in the fifth in going 2-for-5, and he now has eight homers on the season.
"He's been a little more aggressive on the bases, he's swung the bat better, he's looked good at the plate," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "He's a guy that wants to win, so he's trying to do what he can to spark, I guess, would be a good way to describe it."
"That was unbelievable. It felt like I blinked and it was over. It absolutely flew by." -- Moore, on his MLB debut
"Big night for Robbie, no doubt. He was due. He doesn't like everybody else getting all the attention and certainly tonight, he carried the load for us with a couple big homers. Very talented player, he's had a great career. He can go hitless or not look great for a few days, but it usually doesn't last too long with him." -- Mariners manager Scott Servais, on Cano
ROCKY DEBUT FOR POVSE
Moore wasn't the only Mariners pitcher making his first MLB appearance as Max Povse also saw his first action since being called up from Double-A when he replaced Moore in the eighth. The 6-foot-8 right-hander didn't fare nearly as well, allowing three runs on four straight two-out hits -- a double by Alex Avila, Cabrera's two-run homer to center, a double by J.D. Martinez and a run-scoring single by Justin Upton that cut the lead to 9-6 -- before Tony Zych came on to strike out Andrew Romine and end the rally.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Moore and Povse became the 30th and 31st pitchers used by the Mariners in their first 75 games, including 12 rookies. Moore is the team's 13th starter. All of those numbers are the most in the Majors this year.
Tigers: The West Coast trip continues with a trek to San Diego, where the Tigers will open a three-game set against the Padres on Friday with a 10:10 p.m. ET start at Petco Park. Michael Fulmer (6-5, 3.45) will take the mound with a 0.96 ERA in five career starts on the West Coast.
Mariners: Ace Felix Hernandez (2-2, 4.73 ERA) returns from a two-month stint on the disabled list with bursitis in his right shoulder in Friday's series opener against the American League West-leading Astros at 7:10 p.m. PT. Hernandez is 0-4 with an 11.15 ERA in four starts against Houston dating to 2015, including an Opening Day loss this year.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and Facebook.