Dillon Thomas made a memorable major league debut on Wednesday, and the Seattle outfielder hopes more good things await when the Mariners wrap up a three-game road series against the Detroit Tigers on Thursday.
Thomas robbed Niko Goodrum of an extra-base hit early in the Wednesday game and drove in two runs with a single during Seattle’s five-run 11th inning as the Mariners pulled out a 9-6 victory.
“That’s a moment you think about your entire life, getting to the big leagues and getting your first knock out of the way,” he said.
Thomas’ first big-league hit wouldn’t have happened on Wednesday if teammate Jake Fraley hadn’t made a game-saving catch in the ninth inning. Fraley extended his glove over the left field wall to rob Isaac Paredes of a walk-off home run. A runner was doubled off first on the play, sending the game to extra innings.
“That’s Jake in a nutshell,” Thomas said. “You’ve got Jake crashing into the wall, laying out for balls. That’s him. That was a huge play for us. It was exciting to be a part of the outfield tonight, the way we played and saved some runs and took some hits away.”
Justus Sheffield (5-4, 4.77 ERA) will start the series finale for the Mariners. In his most recent start, Sheffield gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings to the Los Angeles Angels on June 3 while recording a season-high seven strikeouts. The two runs he allowed came on solo homers.
“He was able to dominate the zone and get ahead in the count,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He also did a nice job of pitching through some early traffic.”
The 25-year-old left-hander will be facing Detroit for the first time.
The Tigers will go with Tyler Alexander (0-0, 4.56 ERA) at the start of what manager AJ Hinch calls a bullpen day. Spencer Turnbull, who tossed a no-hitter against Seattle last month, is on the 10-day injured list due to a forearm strain, forcing Hinch to improvise.
Alexander is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in two career appearances against the Mariners. One of those two was as a starter.
Alexander will be making his 17th appearance and second start this season. He hasn’t logged more than three innings in any of his outings. He hasn’t pitched since Friday, when he gave up one run to the Chicago White Sox in one inning of relief.
The Tigers would’ve been going for a six-game, season-series sweep of the Mariners on Thursday if not for Fraley’s catch.
“There was a lot to digest in that game, but that’s an emotional turn of events,” Hinch said. “You think the game is over and it turns out to be a double play and you’ve got to still play. Yeah, that was a frustrating turn of events.”
Detroit center fielder Derek Hill made a leaping catch at the wall in the first inning, but the play proved costly. Hill hurt his right shoulder and had to be taken out. If he requires an injury-list stint, Daz Cameron would be recalled from Triple-A Toledo.
“I feel for (Hill) because he was getting a lot of playing time and then he bangs into a wall and finds himself hurt,” Hinch said.
–Field Level Media