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Live Tigers blog: Upton hits walk-off homer in 12th

Geoff Robinson
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Mike Pelfrey, left, talks to Miguel Cabrera after Cabrera hit a homer out of Comerica Park in the first inning against the Mariners Monday.

FINAL: TIGERS 8, MARINERS 7

Justin Upton is starting to heat up at the right time.

The Tigers' big offseason acquisition hit a walk off home run to leadoff the 12th inning to give the home team an 8-7 win over Seattle in extra innings. It was Upton's second home run of the night and fourth in as many games.

The Tigers escaped this night despite a rough night from starter Mike Pelfrey. The bats did their job, with Cabrera and Upton both hitting towering two-run home runs that put the Tigers out in front earlier in the game.

It was a gritty performance from the Tigers bullpen, who gave up just a single run over seven innings and worked out of trouble on multiple occasions.

Top 12th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Seattle notched a leadoff double for the second consecutive inning, and once again, they weren't able to cash in as Anibal Sanchez was able to work himself out of trouble. only this time they were able to cash in with Anibal Sanchez on the mound.

Adam Lind hustled out the two-bagger and moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt from Chris Iannetta. With one out, Franklin Gutierrez grounded out to shortstop, holding Lind at third. Sanchez got Ketel Marte to line out to third base to end the frame.

Bottom 11th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Victor Martinez shot a two-out single into right center to put the winning run on base for the Tigers. But Vidal Nuno, in his second inning of the relief, was able to get Nick Castellanos to ground out to third to send this one to the 12th.

While the starters couldn't get anybody out, the bullpens have done a nice job of extending this game well into extra innings.

Cameron Maybin grounded out to shortstop and Andrew Romine grounded out to third to start the inning.

Top 11th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Shawn O'Malley drilled a ball hard to right field and beat the throw to second to put the leadoff man in scoring position for the Mariners.

Alex Wilson issued an intentional walk to Robinson Cano, and that strategy couldn't have worked any better as Wilson induced a ground ball double play from Nelson Cruz. With two outs and O'Malley on third, Kyle Seager grounded out to second to end the inning.

Wilson didn't have his best stuff tonight, but he was clutch when he needed to be and has given the Tigers another chance to win this one.

Bottom 10th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Vidal Nuno came out of the bullpen for Seattle and set the Tigers down in order to push this one forward to the 11th.

James McCann grounded out to shortstop, Jose Iglesias did the same and Ian Kinsler flew out to right field to end the frame.

Top 10th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Alex Wilson got the call for the 10th inning and gave up a pair of two-out singles to Franklin Gutierrez and Ketel Marte, putting runners on the corners for Leonys Martin. Wilson dialed it in for that last at-bat, striking out Martin to get out of the jam.

Adam Lind grounded out to second base and Chris Iannetta struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt for the first two outs of the frame.

Bottom 9th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

With Joaquin Benoit still on the hill for the Mariners, Miguel Cabrera notched a leadoff single to right field. Victor Martinez followed with a base knock of his own to right field, after which Brad Ausmus decided to pinch-run Andrew Romine for Cabrera at second base.

Well, that didn't play out well for the manager and the Tigers now find themselves down their best hitter heading into extra innings.

Nick Castellanos flew out to center field for the first out of the inning, Justin Upton fouled out and Mike Aviles (a defensive replacement in the eighth for Steven Moya) struck out to end the threat.

Top 9th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Francisco Rodriguez came in for the ninth inning and got the job done, posting a pair of strikeouts and giving his team a chance to win it in the bottom of the ninth.

Robinson Cano grounded out to the shortstop, Nelson Cruz struck out swinging and Kyle Seager did the same.

Bottom 8th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Former Tiger Joaquin Benoit came out of the bullpen for Seattle and set his old team down in order.

Jose Iglesias grounded out about an inch in front of the plate, Ian Kinsler flew out to center field and Cameron Maybin grounded out to shortstop to end the inning.

Top 8th: Tigers 7, Mariners 7

Justin Wilson got the call in the eighth and got the first two outs with ease before giving up a two-out double to Ketel Marte down the right field line. Wilson then surrendered an RBI single to Leonys Martin that has tied the game at 7-7.

It appeared the Tigers bullpen was on its way to its third scoreless inning of the night, but Wilson couldn't get that last out when he needed it.

Bottom 7th: Tigers 7, Mariners 6

Nick Castellanos was able to give the Tigers the baserunner they needed with a one-out double to right field, and Justin Upton was able to deliver an even bigger shot, driving a ball deep to center field for a two-run home run that gives the Tigers a 7-6 lead.

Upton has started driving the ball a lot more lately. That's his third long ball in the last four games. He's also got a 10-game hit streak going.

With one out, Steven Moya flew out to right field. James McCann struck out to end the inning.

Victor Martinez grounded out to first to leadoff the inning.

Top 7th: Mariners 6, Tigers 5

Kyle Ryan stayed in the game for the seventh inning and set the Mariners down in order to keep the Tigers within striking distance heading into the late innings.

Nelson Cruz grounded out to third, Kyle Seager grounded out to shortstop and Adam Lind popped out to end the frame.

Bottom 6th: Mariners 6, Tigers 5

James McCann drew a leadoff walk from reliever Jonathan Aro, and after Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler both flew out, Cameron Maybin notched an infield single to put runners on first and second for Miguel Cabrera.

Seattle went back to its bullpen to bring in Nick Vincent to face the Tigers' slugger, and that proved to be the right call, as Vincent struck out Cabrera to get out of the inning.

Top 6th: Mariners 6, Tigers 5

Kyle Ryan got the call from the bullpen in relief of Mike Pelfrey, who despite giving up six runs, was able to pull an escape act on a number of occasions tonight.

With one out, Ketel Marte reached second base after Jose Iglesias booted a ball that snuck into the outfield. Leonys Martin dropped a single into left field, putting runners at the corners for Seth Smith, who struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt. With two outs, Ryan struck out Robinson Cano to escape the jam.

Pelfrey's final line: 5 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Bottom 5th: Mariners 6, Tigers 5

Justin Upton drew a two-out walk from Nathan Karns, his third of the night, and stole second base to get the tying run into scoring position. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Steven Moya struck out swinging to end the frame.

Victor Martinez lined out to third base and Nick Castellanos struck out to start the inning.

Despite his struggles, Karns has racked up six strikeouts tonight. His pitch count is at an even 100. I suspect he's done for the night.

Top 5th: Mariners 6, Tigers 5

Nelson Cruz notched a one-out single to left field, and after Mike Pelfrey got Kyle Seager to pop out to third base, it looked like he might get out of this inning with relative ease.

Not so fast.

Adam Lind went down in the zone and drove a Pelfrey offering just over the wall in right field for a two-run shot that gives the Mariners a 6-5 lead.

Robinson Cano grounded out to shortstop to leadoff the inning.

Pelfrey's pitch count is up to 92. He may be done for the night after giving up that home run to Lind.

Bottom 4th: Tigers 5, Mariners 4

The Tigers put two men on base with just one out, and after Ian Kinsler flew out to center field, Cameron Maybin came through with a triple that rolled all the way to the wall in left center field to plate both runs and give the Tigers a 5-4 lead.

In the next at-bat, Miguel Cabrera struck out to end the inning.

James McCann notched a one-out single to center field and Jose Iglesias followed with a base knock of his own through the middle of the infield to put ducks on the pond for Kinsler.

Steven Moya flew out to center field to leadoff the inning.

Nathan Karns has allowed eight Tigers to reach (seven hits, two walks). He's thrown 77 pitches through four frames.

Top 4th: Mariners 4, Tigers 3

Ketel Marte laid down a bunt on the first pitch of the inning and beat Mike Pelfrey to the bag for a leadoff single, but Pelfrey again got out trouble via the double play ball. After striking out Leonys Martin for the first out of the frame, Pelfrey got Seth Smith to ground into the third inning-ending double play of the night.

Pelfrey has done an amazing job escaping trouble this season, and that's continuing tonight. Problem is, he wasn't able to pull of the magic act in the second inning.

Bottom 3rd: Mariners 4, Tigers 3

Victor Martinez struck out, Nick Castellanos flew out to center field and Justin Upton struck out swinging as the Tigers went down in order in the third.

Seattle's Nathan Karns just recorded the first 1-2-3 inning of the night by either starting pitcher.

Top 3rd: Mariners 4, Tigers 3

Adam Lind and Chris Iannetta both notched one-out singles, but Mike Pelfrey was able to get out trouble this time around by getting Nori Aoki to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Well, Pelfrey has gotten out of a jam twice so far tonight. The problem is that pesky four-run second inning he allowed.

Kyle Seager grounded out to second to leadoff the inning.

Bottom 2nd: Mariners 4, Tigers 3

Cameron Maybin had a chance to do some real damage, stepping to the dish with the bases loaded. He settled for getting just one run across after grounding into a double play. With a man on third, Miguel Cabrera grounded out to end the threat.

James McCann dumped one into right field for a leadoff single and moved up to third on a double down the left field line by Jose Iglesias. Ian Kinsler was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Maybin with nobody out.

Top 2nd: Mariners 4, Tigers 2

Kyle Seager did his best Miguel Cabrera impression against Mike Pelfrey, drilling a ball up and over the wall to the deepest part of Comerica Park in right center field to start a big inning for the Mariners.

Adam Lind fouled out before Chris Iannetta singled back up the middle and Nori Aoki got a base knock of his own to right field, putting runners on the corners for Ketel Marte. Marte delivered an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2. With two men in scoring position, Pelfrey was able to strike out Leonys Martin, but he wasn't able to get Seth Smith, who drilled a fastball to right field to plate both men on base and give the Ms the lead. Robinson Cano drew a walk to extend the inning, but Pelfrey finally got out of the frame by striking out Nelson Cruz.

Despite his struggles, Pelfrey is probably going to be in for a while with a stretched out bullpen. Seattle already has seven hits and a base on balls through 13 at-bats.

Bottom 1st: Tigers 2, Mariners 0

Cameron Maybin drew a one-out walk and Miguel Cabrera did the rest.

Cabrera drilled a 1-0 fastball from Nathan Karns 453 feet from home plate and out into the street just beyond the standing room only spectators in left center field.

That was impressive and could be the very first home run ball to ever leave Comerica Park (it bounced out to the street after initially hitting the ground in the concourse). The 453 foot measurement is just the initial estimate. A lot of people believe that ball went much, much farther.

To follow the majestic bomb hit by Cabrera, Victor Martinez drew a walk and Nick Castellanos singled to give the Tigers two men on with just one out. Justin Upton struck out and Steven Moya grounded out to first to end the threat.

Ian Kinsler grounded out to second to leadoff the inning.

Top 1st: Tigers 0, Mariners 0

Leonys Martin singled through the right side of the infield to get things started and Seth Smith singled back up the middle to give the Mariners men on first and second with nobody out. But Mike Pelfrey was able to settle in, getting Robinson Cano to fly out to left field before inducing a ground ball double play off of the bat of Nelson Cruz to end the inning.

Ah, the life of Pelfrey. Expect him to live on the edge throughout the night.

Tigers lineup

1. Ian Kinsler, 2B

2. Cameron Maybin, CF

3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B

4. Victor Martinez, DH

5. Nick Castellanos, 3B

6. Justin Upton, LF

7. Steven Moya, RF

8. James McCann, C

9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Mike Pelfrey

Mariners lineup

1. Leonys Martin, CF

2. Seth Smith, RF

3. Robinson Cano, 2B

4. Nelson Cruz, DH

5. Kyle Seager, 3B

6. Adam Lind, 1B

7. Chris Iannetta, C

8. Norichika Aoki, LF

9. Ketel Marte, SS

Nathan Karns

TIGERS VS. MARINERS

What: First game of a four-game series

When: Monday, 7:10 p.m.

Where: Comerica Park, Detroit

Pitching matchup: Mike Pelfrey (1-7, 4.79 ERA) vs. Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.06 ERA)

Local TV: Fox Sports Detroit

National TV: None

Internet streaming: MLB.TV (blacked out in Detroit market)

Local radio: 97.1 FM

Satellite radio: SIRI 176 (Internet 849)