SEATTLE — Mike Zunino continued his torrid month with a pair of two-run home runs, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 6-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday night.
Meanwhile, Seattle starter Sam Gaviglio struggled with his control, walking four and letting his pitch count climb early, but avoided any big innings. The former Ashland High and Oregon State standout made it through five innings, allowing just a bases-loaded groundout and Ian Kinsler's RBI double. But Gaviglio's spot on the 25-man roster is uncertain with the return of Felix Hernandez and possibly Hisashi Iwakuma to the rotation later this week.
Beginning a stretch with 16 of 19 games at home prior to the All-Star break, the Mariners used a trio of homers to hand the Tigers their third straight loss and ninth in the last 13 games.
Guillermo Heredia lined a two-run homer in the fifth inning to pull Seattle even at 2-all, and Zunino's eighth homer since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on May 23 gave Seattle the lead. Quickly behind in the count against Alex Wilson (1-4), Zunino worked it to 3-2 and drove a slider beyond the bullpens in deep left field.
Zunino added one more with a shot over the center field wall in the eighth inning off Francisco Rodriguez.
Since returning from the minors with a retooled stance and approach at the plate, Zunino is hitting .338 with 28 RBIs. He's already set a new franchise record for the most RBIs in a month by a catcher.
Four Seattle relievers combined to hold Detroit to two hits over the final four innings. James Pazos (2-1) got out of a bases-loaded jam with strikeouts of Mikie Mahtook and Andrew Romine in the sixth.
Heredia's homer was his fifth of the season and the only major mistake by starter Anibal Sanchez. Making his first start of the season, Sanchez scattered five hits over five innings. He pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning but couldn't get through the fifth unscathed.
Sanchez had made 11 appearances as a reliever for Detroit before being sent to Triple-A Toledo and making four starts in the minors.
ON THE FARM
Iwakuma and SS Jean Segura both struggled in their rehab outings at Triple-A Tacoma on Monday. Iwakuma lasted just two innings, giving up four runs and four hits. He was supposed to throw 70 to 75 pitches, but was pulled after throwing just 49. Segura, recovering from a high ankle sprain, played five innings at shortstop and was 0 for 3 at the plate. The Mariners hope to get Segura back later this week.