DETROIT (AP) — Nick Castellanos hit a grand slam off the brick facade in left-center field, part of an eight-run third inning for the Detroit Tigers in their 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night.
Anibal Sanchez (10-7) won his seventh straight decision, and Ian Kinsler had four hits for the Tigers, who rebounded from an ugly 11-9 loss the previous night.
Detroit entered the night four games behind the American League’s second wild card. With the trade deadline approaching, it’s not clear what the next week or so has in store for the Tigers, but every win helps their postseason chances.
Nelson Cruz homered twice for Seattle. Mike Montgomery (4-4) allowed six earned runs and six hits in 2 2-3 innings.
The Mariners did make it close enough to force Detroit to use closer Joakim Soria, who got four outs for his 22nd save in 25 chances.
Detroit opened the scoring in the third when Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager threw the ball away on Kinsler’s infield single. The error allowed Rajai Davis, who began the play on first, to come around and score.
With the bases loaded, Castellanos sent a drive off the brick wall that displays retired numbers in left-center. He almost hit Al Kaline’s No. 6, and the homer was measured at 447 feet by MLB.com.
Jose Iglesias made it 6-0 with an RBI double, and Seager committed another error on Davis’ line drive, allowing a run to score. Montgomery was taken out after that, and Kinsler’s double made it 8-0.
Montgomery allowed five walks with two strikeouts.
Sanchez had some shaky moments as well, but only after the Tigers had given him a big lead to work with. Cruz’s two-run homer in the fourth went 437 feet, landing about halfway up the seating area in left. His solo shot in the fourth made it 8-4 and gave him 24 home runs on the season.
It’s been a big week for long home runs at Comerica Park. Cruz hit one 455 feet on Tuesday, and J.D. Martinez hit a 467-footer in the same game.
Cruz had three hits Wednesday, and he came up in the seventh with two on and two out. Alex Wilson relieved Sanchez and struck out the Seattle slugger.
Sanchez allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.
On Tuesday, Detroit reliever Neftali Feliz allowed five runs in the eighth, squandering a two-run lead. On Wednesday, when the Mariners had two on with two out in the eighth, the Tigers brought in Soria. He got Brad Miller on a weak groundout.
Victor Martinez made it 9-4 with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, and Soria finished for his 200th career save.
Mariners: Manager Lloyd McClendon said he expects to give C Mike Zunino a day off Thursday, and that he’s concerned about Zunino’s workload. Zunino has played in 87 of Seattle’s 95 games in 2015.
Tigers: Iglesias hadn’t been feeling well and sat out Tuesday’s game, but he played Wednesday and had two hits.
Detroit ace David Price (9-3) takes the mound Thursday in the Tigers’ final home game before the trade deadline. Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) starts for Seattle.