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Robbie Ray struggles as Detroit Tigers lose 8-1 to Seattle Mariners
DETROIT - With Anibal Sanchez on the disabled list and Justin Verlander skipping a start due to shoulder soreness, the Detroit Tigers sent Robbie Ray to the mound for the finale of a weekend series against the Seattle Mariners.
It didn't work out so well for the rookie and the Tigers.
Ray lasted just five innings in Detroit's 8-1 loss to Chris Young and Seattle on Sunday. The left-hander allowed four runs, three earned and seven hits.
"We're kind of in a bind with Sanchie hurt and Ver missing a start, and we're asking Robbie to compete in a pennant race," manager Brad Ausmus said. "That's a tall order. It's not always going to come up roses for a young pitcher in that situation."
Ray (1-3) got into trouble in Seattle's two-run first inning, when he hurt himself by a balk when he lost focus in mid-delivery and stumbled off the mound without throwing a pitch. He also threw a wild pitch in the third that allowed a run to score, giving the Mariners a 3-0 lead.
"It's tough going out there in a situation like this, but I went out there and tried to execute like I would in any other game," Ray said. "I just had a tough day with my slider. I kept throwing it, hoping I would regain the feel, but I couldn't put anyone away with it."
The Mariners finished the game without Lloyd McClendon, who was ejected for the second straight day by Tony Randazzo, but it didn't seem to bother them.
"That's a great team over there," said McClendon, who had served as Jim Leyland's bench coach and lost out to Ausmus for the Tigers job last winter. "We did what we came here to do — we played good baseball and we took the series."
Young (12-6) pitched six scoreless innings while improving to 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four career starts against Detroit. The 6-foot-10 right-hander has won each of his last three starts this season and is 4-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last five games overall.
"With that lineup, you know you are going to get into trouble," he said. "The key is getting out of it, and I was able to miss bats when I needed to today."
Rajai Davis created a threat for Detroit with one out in the third, walking and stealing second and third, but Young got out of the jam.
Chris Denorfia's two-out RBI triple made it 4-0 in the fifth, and the Mariners added three more in the sixth in Jim Johnson's first appearance with Detroit.
Victor Martinez drove in Detroit's only run with an eighth-inning double.
Seattle: The Mariners travel to Philadelphia to open a three-game series with the Phillies on Monday night. Roenis Elias (9-9, 4.14 ERA) is scheduled to start in the opener for Seattle, while Jerome Williams (0-0, 3.38 ERA) will go for Philadelphia.
Detroit: The Tigers have Monday off before going to Tampa for three games. Detroit's Max Scherzer (14-4, 2.98 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Chris Archer (8-6, 3.24 ERA) in the opener, while David Price is slated to go against his old team on Thursday.
Seattle: OF Michael Saunders will get a few more rehab games with Triple-A Tacoma before rejoining the Mariners.
Detroit: RHP Joakim Soria (oblique) was feeling "significantly better" on Saturday, according to Ausmus. Soria is eligible to return from the disabled list on Aug. 25, and will probably make a rehab appearance before that. . Davis left the game with a left thumb contusion.
Umpires: Randazzo was hit in the left foot by a line drive from Detroit's J.D. Martinez in the fourth inning, but the ball only struck a glancing blow and he stayed in the game.
Ausmus thought the Tigers might have lost some focus after beating Felix Hernandez on Saturday. "Young pitched well, but that wasn't all Chris Young," he said. "After the adrenaline high facing a guy like King Felix, we had a few good at-bats today, but we need to have better ones up and down the lineup."
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