The Detroit Tigers didn't do much against struggling rookie starter Brandon Maurer. But they got the job done against the Seattle Mariners bullpen.

Anibal Sanchez struck out 10 Torii Hunter knocked in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and the Tigers pulled away with three runs in the eighth Tuesday night on their way to a 6-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The Tigers cut their magic number to finish ahead of second-place Cleveland to six and will see it fall to five if the Kansas City Royals defeat the Indians in their game tonight.

The Tigers managed just two runs on solo home runs by Miguel Cabrera and Don Kelly in five-plus innings against Maurer who has struggled in his rookie season and entered the game with a WHIP that was pushing 1.7.

Sanchez entered the game with a 14-7 record and an American League-leading 2.50 ERA. Maurer was 4-8 with a 7.18 ERA. But the Tigers couldn't get anything done against Maurer until Kelly hit a solo home run with two outs in the fourth inning. That was just the second hit of the game for the Tigers and gave them a 1-0 lead.

The game was tied 2-2 when the bullpens took over. The Tigers quickly broke the tie on a sacrifice fly by Hunter with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning then tacked on three runs in the eighth. The key hit for the Tigers in the eighth was a single by Austin Jackson with the bases loaded that drove in two runs.

Alex Avila tripled his first triple of the season to lead off the seventh. Jose Iglesias was then hit by a pitch. Avila was caught in a rundown between third and home on a ground ball by Austin Jackson but the Tigers ended up with runners on second and third after the play. That set up the sacrifice fly which was more of a sacrifice line drive by Hunter.

Iglesias raced home on the fly ball to shallow center field as the throw from Abraham Almonte was well off the mark.