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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, May 9th (All times eastern)

Detroit Tigers (15-14) at Seattle Mariners (14-18), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Detroit - Drew Smyly (1-0, 1.61) Seattle - Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.09)

(Sports Network) - Rookie left-hander Drew Smyly tries to pitch Detroit to a series win this evening when the Tigers conclude a three-game set with the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

After Seattle won Monday's opener, the Tigers bounced back on Tuesday, despite a so-so showing from ace Justin Verlander in a 6-4 win.

Verlander (3-1) fanned six and allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in six innings for the Tigers, who snapped a five-game losing skid to Seattle.

"Verlander certainly wasn't at his best, but a little later on in the game he got better. We made it a little tough on ourselves again at the end, but we got out and that's the important thing," Detroit manager Jim Leyland said.

The Tigers needed some defensive heroics to secure the win as Don Kelly hauled in Jesus Montero's fly ball down the right field line, but crashed into the stands, giving Jose Valverde his sixth save of the season.

Prince Fielder smacked a solo homer and scored two runs in the win.

Kevin Millwood (0-4) gave up five runs on eight hits and five walks in five innings for Seattle.

"It's not an easy game, but it's also not as hard as I'm making it look. The fact of the matter is, if you make good pitches, you get people out, that's pretty much it," Millwood said.

Smyly has been tremendous for the Tigers, going 1-0 with a 1.61 ERA in five starts. He did not get a decision on Friday against Chicago, but held the White Sox to two runs and seven hits in six innings of Detroit's 5-4 win.

"Of course you want to get a win, but as long as the team wins, there's not much you can do about it," said Smyly. "All you can do is just go out and pitch and keep your team in the game and hope for a win or a no-decision. Just stay away from the losses."

This will be his first-ever start against the Mariners, who will counter with an impressive lefty of their own in Jason Vargas.

Vargas, who is 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA this season, also did not receive a decision his last time out on Friday against Minnesota, despite allowing just a run in 6 1/3 innings of his team's 3-2 loss.

Vargas beat the Tigers back on April 24 and is 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA in four starts against them.

The Mariners swept a three-game series in Detroit from April 24-26 and have won nine of the past 11 encounters.

05/09 10:38:32 ET