Mariners blank Indians, 5-0
SEATTLE (AP) — Taijuan Walker returned to his early season form throwing eight innings and tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, and Chris Iannetta provided the offense with two home runs in the Seattle Mariners’ 5-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night.
Walker (3-6) was dominant, allowing three hits and winning for the first time since April 25. Walker had lost his previous six decisions after beginning the year 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in the first month of the season. Walker faced only one jam in the fourth inning with runners on second and third and two outs, but struck out Lonnie Chisenhall to end the threat.
Iannetta hit a two-run homer in the third inning, added a solo shot in the fifth off Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco (2-1) and had an RBI double in the seventh. It was the second career multi-homer game for Iannetta, the previous coming in 2011 when he was playing for Colorado.
Iannetta’s RBI double off reliever Zach McAllister capped a nine-pitch at-bat.
But the return of what Walker showed earlier in the season was the more important development for Seattle. Part of it may have been the opponent. In four career starts against Cleveland, Walker has thrown 28 innings allowing one earned run and striking out 31.
He was overpowering from the start and retired the first nine batters with five strikeouts before Rajai Davis’ single leading off the fourth. Jason Kipnis followed with a single, but Cleveland’s only other hit off Walker was Michael Martinez’s broken-bat single leading off the sixth.
Walker struck out four of his final six batters and received a tremendous defensive play from right fielder Franklin Gutierrez crashing into the wall as he grabbed Juan Uribe’s deep fly ball to end the seventh.
Iannetta’s first home run in the third inning barely eluded the leaping attempt of Davis at the wall in left field. His second homer two innings later left zero doubt and had Cleveland’s outfielders watching the shot estimated at 456 feet land in the second deck in left field. Iannetta had not homered since May 13.
Other than Iannetta’s two homers, Seattle did very little against Carrasco. The right-hander threw 6 2/3 innings giving up five hits and striking out six.
Indians: C Yan Gomes was out of the lineup after leaving Tuesday’s game with a testicular contusion. Manager Terry Francona said Gomes had an ultrasound and was fine, but was sore. … 2B Jose Ramirez was a late scratch from the lineup with a bruised left ankle. He fouled a ball off his ankle in Tuesday’s loss.
Mariners: CF Leonys Martin (hamstring) took part in a simulated game on Wednesday and is set to join Triple-A Tacoma on a brief rehab assignment on Thursday. Seattle can activate Martin from the 15-day DL as early as Friday.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin (8-1) is 4-1 in five career starts against Seattle and is 4-0 away from home this season.
Mariners: RHP Nathan Karns (5-2) is 4-1 with a 3.88 ERA in his last eight starts, but lost his last time out allowing seven earned runs against Texas.