The Mariners scored five runs in the frame, turning a four-run deficit into an eventual and unlikely 5-4 victory.

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In the moments after a frustrating loss Wednesday afternoon in which the Mariners handed the game away in the ninth inning, a tired-looking Scott Servais tried to find some level of optimism about his exhausted team.

“We’re still playing good baseball,” he said, repeating that sentiment again in his remarks.

But over the next game and a half, his players provided no evidence to further that assertion. A disappointing loss to the Tigers Thursday night was being followed by a forgettable Friday-night showing in a front a crowd of 34,932 packed into Safeco Field.


Detroit @ Mariners, 6:10 p.m., ROOT Sports

For six innings, the Mariners bats looked helpless against Tigers starter Michael Fulmer. Meanwhile, Seattle starter Felix Hernandez was dealing with wandering command, falling behind in counts and had four runs scored off him.

And then it all changed in the seventh inning.

The Mariners scored five runs in the frame, turning a four-run deficit into an eventual and unlikely 5-4 victory.

It’s been a trying week for the Mariners, and this win allowed them to feel something other than disappointment or fatigue.

“It certainly has a good vibe about it,” Servais said. “You could feel the momentum turn in the ballgame. It’s been a rough week, and it started off about as rough as you can get with the travel and the news that happened (second baseman Robinson Cano getting suspended for 80 games). This team has a lot of character, and it’s very resilient.”

It was the Mariners’ 11th comeback win of the season and their fifth in a game in which they were trailing after the sixth inning, and they improved to 25-19 on the season.

“Tale of two games,” Servais said. “Fulmer was really dominating us for six innings, and then we started controlling the strike zone better and got a couple of walks, a few hits and you look up and we were able to put a big number up there.”

It was a rally that had showed no signs of occurring against Fulmer. The right-hander was dealing through six innings, allowing just two hits with seven strikeouts and roughly two hard-hit balls in play.

“He was dominating,” Servais said. “He was commanding the fastball away. He was getting the slider over. There really wasn’t a whole lot we could do against him. The stuff was on fire.”

But in the seventh, with a 4-0 lead, Fulmer’s command disappeared and his outing fell apart. He walked Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager to start the inning. He later gave up a one-out, two-run single to Ben Gamel on a ground ball up the middle.

“Fulmer was throwing fantastic,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “His pitch count was down, then all of a sudden he had a couple of walks and they ended up getting a base hit and scoring a couple of runs.”

Gardenhire went to his bullpen, but it offered no relief. Right-hander Buck Farmer came in and walked the two batters he faced to load the bases. Gardenhire went situational after that. Lefty Daniel Stumpf gave up a sacrifice fly to Dee Gordon that cut the lead to 4-3.

Right-hander Warwick Saupold was brought in to face the upcoming right-handed hitters. He couldn’t hold the lead. Jean Segura bounced a single up the middle to score Zunino and tie the score, and Mitch Haniger followed with a double to left field to score Guillermo Heredia for the lead.

“It becomes a merry-go-round,” Gardenhire said.

But even with all the elation from the cheering fans and the celebrating coming from the Mariners dugout, there was still anxiety looming. The Mariners had to get through the eighth inning, which had become a prolonged nightmare over the last week.

With Nick Vincent unavailable to due to workload, Servais turned to his original eighth-inning man, Juan Nicasio, to protect the one-run lead.

Nicasio worked a 1-2-3 inning, surviving a pair of line drives to the outfield that were tracked down by Heredia and Haniger with ease.

Edwin Diaz picked up his 15th save in the ninth inning, getting some help from Mike Zunino, who erased a leadoff single with a perfect throw to second on a stolen-base attempt.

Hernandez gave the Mariners a mediocre outing. It might have been better if not for a dreadful first inning in which he gave up three runs after retiring the first two batters.

“He needs to get off to a better start,” Servais said. “The first inning is just as important as the fifth and sixth. But he hung in there and gave us a chance.”

Hernandez still managed to work six innings, allowing only one run — unearned — after the first inning.

He struck out four and walked three. He got some serious help from Seager, who had two brilliant plays at third base to prevent more runs being scored in the second and third innings.

“I don’t know what to say,” Hernandez said. “I made some better pitches after the first and tried to keep the game close so we can come back and win it. I appreciate the offense for coming back and winning this game.”