The Mariners' recent surge and victory Friday put them ahead of the stumbling Tigers in the race for the second American League Wild Card for just one day before Detroit's win on Saturday.
The rubber game of this three-game series on Sunday in Detroit will be important for both team's position in the standings.
Seattle did not receive the usual dominant start from Felix Hernandez, but will try to get back on track with right-hander Chris Young, who is building an impressive comeback from several years of shoulder problems.
Young has now won 11 games, equaling his most since 2006 with the Padres, and over his last 11 starts is 6-2 with a 2.67 ERA.
While the Tigers have struggled to score runs against anyone lately, manager Brad Ausmus does not want to point fingers.
"As a group, we haven't scored a bunch of runs lately," Ausmus said. "We have trouble scoring runs. We can't string hits together. So I'm not going to single out one particular player and say that's the reason we're struggling. First of all, it's not true, and it's completely unfair to that player."
Detroit will call on left-hander Robbie Ray, the Tigers' No.2 prospect as ranked by MLB.com. Seattle has struggled mightily against southpaws this season, sporting a .648 OPS against lefties this year.
Ray worked five-plus innings and allowed four runs on six hits in his return to the Tigers' rotation on Tuesday.
Mariners: Cano OK after fouling ball off foot
Robinson Cano was back in the Mariners' lineup on Saturday night, one day after he left Friday's 7-2 win in the eighth inning with a sore right foot.
He fouled a pitch off his foot in the seventh inning Friday and was hobbling around afterword, but manager Lloyd McClendon said his second baseman was good to go.
Cano went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the Mariners' 4-2 loss to Detroit.
Tigers: Veteran reliever Johnson gets call
Two weeks after being released by Oakland, Jim Johnson is headed back to the big leagues. The Tigers announced they will call up the former O's and A's closer from Triple-A Toledo and put him in their bullpen Sunday, trying to add a veteran arm to a late-inning staff that has had its struggles.
Johnson is not expected to reprise the closer's role that earned him back-to-back 50-save seasons the past two years in Baltimore. For now, at least, the Tigers will try to figure out how much Johnson can help them, and where his pitching stands after a rough half-season in Oakland.
• Eleven players have made their Major League debut this year with the Tigers, nine of them pitchers. The latter is the highest total for the Tigers since 2011.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.