Baseball

Edwin Jackson helps pitch Tigers past Mariners, 3-2

Edwin Jackson continues to pay dividends.

And the Detroit Tigers offense – so spotty and powerless for much of the season – continues to hit.

Jackson won his second start in as many tries Wednesday night, beating the Seattle Mariners, 3-2, at Comerica Park.

Jackson allowed two runs on four hits in five innings. He walked one batter and struck out four.

He was backed first by outfielder Victor Reyes, who rescued the Tigers (36-81) from nearly squandering a prime scoring opportunity in the bottom of the second inning. Against lefty Marco Gonzales, they loaded the bases with nobody out. With two outs, Reyes ripped a two-run single to center field.

Harold Castro hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third and Jackson danced around a pair of solo home runs, giving way to a shut down bullpen effort: Three relievers – lefty Gregory Soto, righty Buck Farmer and closer Joe Jimenez – combined for four scoreless innings.

Jackson looks comfortable and has manager Ron Gardenhire feeling comfortable when he takes the mound. With his pitch count not yet in midseason form – Jackson was building up at Triple-A Toledo after some time off – he threw 93 pitches. The bullpen was rock solid, with Soto dancing out of self-inflicted trouble in the sixth counting as a key inning to bridge the gap to the back-end of the bullpen.

The Tigers also have a weapon behind home plate in catcher Jake Rogers. The rookie – who has made an outstanding early impression with his defensive skills – threw out two baserunners, ending the inning on both occasions. With a runner on first base in the third inning, Rogers threw out Keon Broxton attempting to steal second base. Then, in perhaps the biggest play of the game, Rogers picked Mallex Smith off first base, ending a rally for the Mariners (49-72) in the seventh.

Miguel Cabrera, who continues to show better at the plate, hit a leadoff double into the right-field corner in the third inning. It marked the 574th double of his career, which tied Bobby Abreu for the most doubles by a Venezuelan-born player. Cabrera is tied for 23rd all-time with Abreu and former Tiger Charlie Gehringer. On the double, he beat the throw from right field by sliding into second base, but one batter later, was thrown out by a handful of steps trying to score from second base on a Niko Goodrum single to center field.

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