Jake Rogers’ arm leads Detroit Tigers to 3-2 victory over Seattle Mariners
By DAVE HOGG
DETROIT — When Jake Rogers was making his way through the Detroit Tigers farm system, there was one thing everyone noticed. His throwing arm was more than ready for the big leagues.
Wednesday night, he used it to help the Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners, 3-2.
Rogers threw Keon Braxton out stealing to end the third inning, then picked Mallex Smith off first base for the third out in the seventh with the tying run on second base.
“His arm is everything advertised,” said Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire. “He’s got great footwork and that throw to first was like lightning.”
Rogers had an advantage on the play — backup catcher John Hicks was playing first base.
“We both saw what kind of lead he was taking, so we made eye contact and I gave him a little nod,” the rookie said.
Rogers’ first 12 games have been a mixed bag. He already has four home runs, but he’s hitting .179 with four passed balls — more than the team’s other catchers combined.
“I’m learning a ton at this level — stuff I had never even touched on before,” he said. “I’m getting more confident back there, but I always have been able to throw guys out. I like doing that.”
The Tigers have to win five of their final 22 games at Comerica Park to avoid becoming the first team with 60 home losses.
“We really needed this game,” Gardenhire said. “We got enough pitching and a few big hits and we caught the ball.”
The Tigers improved to 4-6 with one game left in an 11-game homestand. Seattle has lost nine of 11.
“In baseball, you go through skids, but this one is lasting longer than we want,” said Daniel Vogelbach, who homered before striking out with the bases loaded to end the sixth.
Edwin Jackson (3-5) allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four and allowed two homers while winning his second straight start. Joe Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth for his second save since taking over as the closer when Shane Greene was traded at the deadline.
“We haven’t gotten him any chances, so we were asking him to pitch after being off for a while,” Gardenhire said. “You don’t know if he’s going to be sharp, but he went out there and made good pitches.”