DETROIT (AP) — Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge has been talking about how his young team has to combine development with winning.
Well, the winning is starting to come.
Chone Figgins hit a two-out, tiebreaking double in the seventh inning that was misjudged by right fielder Brennan Boesch, and Seattle completed a three-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers with a 5-4 victory Thursday.
“It’s all about development, don’t get me wrong,” he said. “But part of that development, the biggest part of it, is that we’re coming to the ballpark and trying to find a way to win.”
Figgins’ drive to right-center scored Brendan Ryan, who reached on a two-out walk from Rick Porcello (1-2).
“Just a pitch middle in. I thought I hit it real good,” Figgins said. “But when I saw him coming in, I thought ‘I didn’t hit it that bad. . Good thing it worked out for us.”
Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer and Miguel Olivo also connected for the Mariners, who took a 4-0 lead in the fourth before the Tigers tied it.
“They came back and we were able to counter punch,” Smoak said. “That’s what you’ve got to do.”
Figgins, who has struggled early in the season, was 3 for 4 with a run and a stolen base from the leadoff spot to help Seattle reach .500 at 10-10.
“I was a little more aggressive today. And the results will bear it,” Figgins said.
Wedge said the sweep especially helped the confidence of his young players.
“It makes you feel better, especially on the road, to get a sweep,” Smoak said.
Miguel Cabrera hit his sixth home run for the Tigers, who have lost six of seven after a 9-3 start.
“We’re not getting big hits late in the game. We’re not making some plays, we’re not pitching real good, we’re not managing good enough, we’re not coaching good enough,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “We’re all involved in this together, that’s just the way it is. You just gotta get aggressive and take charge and get after somebody.”
Former Tigers reliever Charlie Furbush (1-1) pitched a perfect inning.
“A little different. It was fun though. Being in this ballpark after being up here for a while last year, I had some familiarity,” said Furbush, who came to Seattle in the deal that sent Doug Fister to Detroit last summer. “I know the guys and know some of their tendencies as hitters. Kind of felt a little at home.”
Brandon League induced Alex Avila’s double-play grounder to escape a first-and-second, one-out jam in the ninth and get his seventh save in eight chances.
Mariners starter Hector Noesi, acquired from the Yankees along with Jesus Montero in the deal that sent Michael Pineda to New York, allowed four runs and five hits in five-plus innings.
Porcello gave up five runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings.
Noesi held the Tigers hitless for the first 4 1-3 innings, allowing only Delmon Young’s one-out walk in the second before Don Kelly’s single.
Seattle took an early lead, as it did in the first two games of the series. Smoak broke an 0-for-16 skid with a three-run homer in the first on a 2-2 pitch. The drive landed deep in the right field stands for Smoak’s third home run.
Olivo homered in the fourth, his first since Sept. 9.
Ryan Raburn singled in a run in the fifth, his first RBI this year. But with runners at the corners, Gerald Laird grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Andy Dirks tripled leading off the sixth, Boesch singled and Cabrera tied it with a two-run homer that chased Noesi. Furbush retired the next three batters.
Detroit put runners at the corners with one out in the seventh before Dirks and Boesch grounded out against Lucas Luetge.
NOTES: Seattle also swept Detroit in a three-game series at Comerica Park last April 26-28. … Laird was called out by first-base umpire Mike DiMuro on a slow roller to second base with one out in the third. Laird and Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who sprinted across the diamond, both argued the call. Replays showed Laird beat the throw. … Detroit recalled RHP Brayan Villarreal from Triple-A Toledo and selected the contract RHP Luke Putkonen from the same team. The Tigers also optioned RHP Thad Weber to Toledo. … Dirks returned after missing eight games with tightness in his left hamstring. … Seattle heads to Toronto for a three-game series. The Mariners’ Blake Beavan (1-2) will face Toronto’s Ricky Romero (3-0) on Friday. Detroit travels to New York for a three-game series with the Yankees. AL Cy Young Award winner and MVP Justin Verlander (2-1) pitches against Ivan Nova (3-0). … The Tigers released slumping third baseman Brandon Inge. Inge was batting .100 (2 for 20) with a home run and two RBIs this season. The 34-year-old Inge is in his 12th season in the majors, all in Detroit.