SEATTLE -- Matthew Boyd had passed out 38 tickets to family members. He had what he estimated were "40 or 50 more friends" around his hometown ballpark. They were presumably in on their own dime Thursday.Then he took the mound and dazzled. Boyd had a career-high nine strikeouts in his
SEATTLE -- Matthew Boyd had passed out 38 tickets to family members. He had what he estimated were "40 or 50 more friends" around his hometown ballpark. They were presumably in on their own dime Thursday.
Then he took the mound and dazzled. Boyd had a career-high nine strikeouts in his first career start in his backyard.
Jose Iglesias ensured all that didn't go to waste.
The Tigers' No. 8 hitter drove in the go-ahead runs in the eighth with a two-out bases-loaded single off Seattle reliever Nick Vincent (1-1) that scored Victor Martinez and Michael Mahtook and kept Boyd from an underserved defeat in Detroit's 3-2 victory over the Mariners to begin a four-game series at Safeco Field.
Iglesias clapped his hands excitedly while on first base after his decisive single off the glove of shortstop Jean Segura, who made a diving attempt. Then he pointed at his roaring dugout after his second game-winning hit against the Mariners in four days.
The battered-yet-resilient Tigers won for the fifth time in seven games.
"Great, great ballgame. Extremely happy with the way the guys battled the whole game," Iglesias said. "Boyd, the 'pen did a great job today. We competed the whole game.
"Got a good pitch to hit. I was able to find a hole and help the team to win a game."
Iglesias, who was batting .238 entering Thursday, also doubled in the fifth inning off Seattle starter Marco Gonzales. Iglesias had a walk-off hit to beat the Mariners in Detroit on Sunday.
The Tigers have defeated Seattle three times in four games since Saturday. They won for the first time in eight tries at Safeco Field.
Guillermo Heredia tied his career high with three hits for the Mariners. And reliever Ryan Cook shined in his first Major League game since Sept. 16, 2015, a span of 973 days between appearances. Cook, who's had surgeries in two of the last three years, retired all four Tigers he faced.
Yet Seattle lost for the second time in three games since Robinson Cano's 80-game suspension for a violation of baseball's drug policy on Tuesday.
"Detroit has played us tough. They're playing really good right now," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "They've got a lot of young players that are out to prove something. They beat us two out of three over there. They beat Cleveland two out of three and they come in and get the first one here tonight. Confidence is growing with that ballclub.
"Even though there's not some household names over there, they're playing really well."
Warwick Saupold (2-1) threw three pitches and got one out in the seventh before the Tigers' rally, for the win.
Boyd, a native of Mercer Island across Lake Washington seven miles from Safeco Field, was smiling after having command issues with his fastball to begin the game. He fell behind 2-0 after Segura's double and Mitch Haniger's RBI single in the third. Then Boyd relied more on his slider. He used that pitch at speeds of 79 to 84 mph for six of his nine strikeouts.
He had tied his career high of eight K's by the fourth inning.
"It was exciting," said Boyd, who pitched collegiately at Oregon State. "Everywhere I turned I saw someone I grew up with. It was just really nice to have all love. ... It was a special day."
Shane Greene finished the ninth for his 10th save and second in three days.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Joe Jimenez blew away Haniger, Kyle Seager and Ryon Healy on strikes in his perfect bottom of the eighth.
Yes, that middle of the Mariners' lineup is missing Cano and injured Nelson Cruz. Yet what Jimenez did with his 14 pitches and 10 strikes that the Mariners didn't come close to hitting left the usually stoic reliever grinning.
"He was pounding it. His fastball was jumpin'," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He doesn't smile very much. But he had a big smile on his face in the dugout."
Thursday's win was the Tigers' 18th one-run game already this season. Ten of Detroit's 20 victories this year have come in one-run games.
"We feel comfortable," Gardenhire said. "Stay close, and see what happens. It's just about a group of guys getting after it. … It's fun in our dugout in that way. We feel like we can do some things."
The Tigers won only 17 of 40 one-run games in 2017 en route to a 98-loss season.
Leonys Martin will test his strained hamstring before Game Two of this four-game series expecting to come off the disabled list Friday to start in center field against former Mariners teammate Felix Hernandez (5-3, 5.66 ERA). Michael Fulmer (1-3, 4.37) starts for the Tigers. The 2016 American League Rookie of the Year has allowed 11 earned runs and three home runs in his last 10 innings, including six runs and two homers against Seattle last weekend in Detroit.
Gregg Bell is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle.