Castellanos’ grand slam gives Tigers win over Seattle

Detroit Tigers beat the Seattle Mariners 9-4 on Wednesday

Detroit Tigers' Jefry Marte dives at home plate to score from first base on a double by Jose Iglesias during the third inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
Detroit Tigers' Jefry Marte dives at home plate to score from first base on a double by Jose Iglesias during the third inning of a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners, Wednesday, July 22, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

DETROIT (AP) — Nick Castellanos added his own impressive shot to a series full of long home runs.

Castellanos hit a grand slam off the brick facade in left-center field, part of an eight-run third inning for the Detroit Tigers in their 9-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night. The ball hit the wall that displays retired numbers, nearly caroming off Al Kaline’s No. 6.

“When (Yoenis) Cespedes told me that it hit off the Kaline name out on the brick wall, I didn’t believe him at first, but then some other people told me that it was true,” Castellanos said. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s probably the farthest ball I ever hit in my life.'”

The homer was measured at 447 feet by MLB.com. Seattle’s Nelson Cruz hit one 455 feet on Tuesday, and Detroit’s J.D. Martinez hit a 467-footer in the same game.

Cruz homered twice Wednesday, including a 437-foot drive in the fourth.

Anibal Sanchez (10-7) won his seventh straight decision, and Ian Kinsler had four hits for the Tigers, who rebounded from an ugly 11-9 loss the previous night.

Detroit entered the day four games behind the American League’s second wild card. With the trade deadline approaching, it’s not clear what the next week or so has in store for the Tigers, but every win helps their postseason chances.

Mike Montgomery (4-4) allowed six earned runs and six hits in 2 2-3 innings.

The Mariners did make it close enough to force Detroit to use closer Joakim Soria, who got four outs for his 22nd save in 25 chances.

Detroit opened the scoring in the third when Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager threw the ball away on Kinsler’s infield single. The error allowed Rajai Davis, who began the play on first, to come around and score.

Castellanos’ homer made it 5-0, and Jose Iglesias added an RBI double. Seager committed another error on Davis’ line drive, allowing a run to score. Montgomery was taken out after that, and Kinsler’s double made it 8-0.

“Probably the best inning we’ve had all year offensively,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said.

Sanchez had some shaky moments, but only after the Tigers had given him a big lead to work with. Cruz’s two-run homer in the fourth landed about halfway up the seating area in left. His solo shot in the fourth made it 8-4 and gave him 24 home runs on the season.

Cruz had three hits Wednesday, and he came up in the seventh with two on and two outs. Alex Wilson relieved Sanchez and struck out the Seattle slugger.

Sanchez allowed four runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.

On Tuesday, Detroit reliever Neftali Feliz allowed five runs in the eighth, squandering a two-run lead. On Wednesday, when the Mariners had two on with two outs in the eighth, the Tigers brought in Soria. He got Brad Miller on a weak groundout.

“You don’t want to,” Ausmus said. “I think we could have been a little bit cleaner from a pitching perspective, but we also needed this win, so really didn’t have a choice. It became a save situation.”

Victor Martinez made it 9-4 with an RBI single in the bottom of the inning, and Soria finished for his 200th career save.

BATTLING BACK

The Mariners finished with 11 hits and certainly gave Detroit some anxious moments late.

“We had opportunities all night, and we never really thought we were out of the game,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Seattle went only 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

STILL ROLLING

If the Tigers do become sellers at the deadline, it’s not because of their offense. Even with Miguel Cabrera injured, Detroit has hit well.

In the 15 games without Cabrera since his calf injury, Detroit has averaged 5.7 runs.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: McClendon said he expects to give C Mike Zunino a day off Thursday, and that he’s concerned about Zunino’s workload. Zunino has played in 87 of Seattle’s 95 games in 2015.

Tigers: Iglesias hadn’t been feeling well and sat out Tuesday’s game, but he played Wednesday and had two hits.

UP NEXT

Detroit ace David Price (9-3) takes the mound Thursday in the Tigers’ final home game before the trade deadline. Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) starts for Seattle.

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