DETROIT — For four innings, the Seattle Mariners couldn’t hit a ball out of the infield.
Then Miguel Olivo hit one out of the park.
“I think that kind of woke us up a little bit,” teammate Brendan Ryan said.
Olivo hit two home runs and Felix Hernandez pitched eight innings to lead the Mariners to a 7-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Sunday. Seattle trailed 2-0 and hadn’t hit a ball out of the infield when Olivo led off the fifth with a home run. The Mariners scored three runs in the inning, and Olivo added a two-run shot in the eighth.
Hernandez (7-5) allowed three runs and nine hits. He struck out six and walked five. Ryan had three hits, and Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer in the ninth for Seattle.
Rick Porcello (6-4) went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Porcello was forcing the Mariners to hit a lot of groundballs before Olivo started Seattle’s fifth-inning rally with a line drive over the left-field fence.
“When you have the kind of pitcher like Felix Hernandez in there, and he sees that we’re battling, hitting,” Olivo said. “After that home run, that’s when he got everything together.”
First, the Mariners gave Hernandez a lead. One out after Olivo’s homer, Chone Figgins walked, and after he stole second, Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-out single over third baseman Don Kelly to tie the game. After Ryan bunted for a hit, Smoak hit a bloop to left-center that dropped between shortstop Jhonny Peralta, left fielder Andy Dirks, and center fielder Austin Jackson for an RBI single.
Kelly prevented more runs when he went back into shallow left field to catch a popup by Carlos Peguero with the bases loaded for the third out, but the Mariners added a couple more runs in the eighth. After Peguero drew a one-out walk from reliever Daniel Schlereth, Joaquin Benoit came out of the Detroit bullpen and gave up Olivo’s second homer of the game and 10th of the season.
“When I called timeout, he threw the fastball,” Olivo said. “I know he knows I saw the fastball coming, and I know he’s going to throw some breaking ball. I just stayed back, and he hangs the change-up.”
It was the fourth multihomer game of Olivo’s career. The catcher was shaken up in the bottom of the eighth when he appeared to be hit in the groin area by a foul ball, but Olivo stayed in the game.
Hernandez, last year’s American League Cy Young Award winner, allowed a walk to Miguel Cabrera and a single to Victor Martinez to start the bottom of the eighth. Alex Avila hit a two-out single to drive in a run, but Ramon Santiago hit a groundball to end the inning on Hernandez’s 126th and final pitch.
“Today was hard. I had a little trouble, not good command. I figured out a way to throw eight innings and win the game,” Hernandez said. “Walks have been killing me. I’ve been throwing a lot of walks in the last couple games so I’ve just got to figure it out, get ahead of the hitters and make good pitches.”
Smoak’s homer off Adam Wilk, his 12th of the season, made it 7-3. Brandon League then pitched the ninth for Seattle.
“I thought we were going to win that game — that was the feeling I had in my gut — but the add-on runs killed us,” Detroit manager Jim Leyland said. “We let it get away with those runs at the end.”
Detroit opened the scoring in the second thanks in part to a misplay by Hernandez, who turned and looked to second for a possible force play before throwing too late to first on Dirks’ bunt. That infield single gave the Tigers runners on first and second, and Avila eventually drove in a run with a two-out single.
Jackson led off the bottom of the third with a double off the fence in left-center and went to third on an error by Peguero, the left fielder. Hernandez came within a strike of getting out of that jam, but Martinez hit an RBI single with two outs for a 2-0 lead.
NOTES: The Tigers announced after the game they will call up OF Magglio Ordonez on Monday. Ordonez has been rehabbing his injured right ankle with Triple-A Toledo. ... Cabrera reached base in all four trips to the plate against Hernandez, hitting a single and drawing three walks. Martinez hit two singles with a walk. ... Suzuki had two hits for a second straight game after sitting out Friday night.