Zunino's double lifts Mariners over Tigers 3-2 in 12 innings
DETROIT (AP) Seattle catcher Mike Zunino wasn't expecting to play in a day game after being in the lineup a night earlier.
It didn't quite work out that way.
Zunino had an RBI double in the top of the 12th inning after entering the game in the 10th, lifting the Mariners to a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
''That wasn't exactly what I had planned for the day, but I'm always happy to contribute to a victory,'' said Zunino, who threw out speedy Detroit baserunner Anthony Gose on a potential wild pitch in the 10th after Jesus Sucre left for a pinch-hitter. ''Especially a great win like this one.''
Chris Taylor started the 12th with a single off Ian Krol (1-3), and Zunino tried to bunt him to second. After two failed attempts, Zunino doubled down the left-field line. Yoenis Cespedes misread the bounce off the fence, allowing Taylor to score the go-ahead run.
''I was really frustrated when I didn't get the bunt down, so I was just looking for a pitch I could put into play,'' said Zunino, who is hitting just .169. ''I wanted to make something happen after these guys fought for so long.''
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the bottom of the 12th for his first save of the season after Fernando Rodney (3-4) threw a scoreless 11th.
Neither starter was involved in the decision.
David Price, the subject of trade rumors with Detroit (47-48) struggling to get above .500, allowed two runs in eight-plus innings.
The star left-hander got standing ovations from the crowd of 40,225 at the end of the eighth and again after his final pitch in the ninth. Detroit does not play at home again until after the trade deadline.
''It's out of my control so there's no point in thinking about it,'' Price said. ''I hope those ovations were just because I pitched into the ninth inning and only gave up two runs.''
Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma allowed two runs in seven innings.
The Mariners had two runners on in the 10th and 11th but couldn't score. The Tigers had a pair of runners on in the 11th, but Rodney retired James McCann.
Kyle Seager hit his 15th homer to give Seattle a 1-0 lead in the first, but Iwakuma gave up two runs before getting an out. Ian Kinsler singled and took third on a single from Cespedes, and both scored on a double by Victor Martinez.
Seattle pulled even in the seventh when Robinson Cano singled, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Mark Trumbo's single to right. Trumbo ended up on third when the ball skipped past J.D. Martinez, but Price retired Logan Morrison to end the inning.
Kinsler, who hit a go-ahead homer off Mark Lowe on Monday, almost did it to his former teammate again in the eighth. But Franklin Gutierrez made the catch at the wall. Lowe allowed a one-out double to Cespedes, but retired Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez on called third strikes.
Zunino and closer Carson Smith came in together in the 10th, and Smith walked the first batter he faced in Gose. With the top of Detroit's order coming up, Zunino backhanded a slider in the dirt, grabbed the ball as it started to bounce away and threw out Gose at second.
''I closed my eyes and grabbed for it, because I knew that was my only chance,'' Zunino said. ''I was going to throw behind him, but I saw he was going, so I adjusted and made a great throw.''
James McCann and Jose Iglesias got one-out singles in the seventh for Detroit, but Gose hit a sharp grounder up the middle that Iwakuma snared to start a double play with the shortstop Taylor.
''He's a great athlete,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He had to lead Chris with the throw, which is dangerous if you don't know what you are doing. He knows what he's doing.''
Mariners: LHP Charlie Furbush (biceps tendinitis) threw a bullpen session on flat ground Wednesday in Seattle. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Furbush is close to a return, but will need a short minor league stint.
Tigers: LHP Kyle Lobstein (shoulder), who has been sidelined since May 24, threw off the mound Tuesday for the first time since his injury and reported no discomfort.
Mariners: Ace RHP Felix Hernandez (11-5) pitches the opener of a three-game home series against Toronto on Friday.
Tigers: RHP Justin Verlander (0-3) faces former teammate Rick Porcello in a series opener at Boston on Friday.