It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t simple. There were questionable calls along the way and a few gut-wrenching moments. But at the end of the day, the Seattle Mariners ground their way to a big 5-4 win.
The Mariners faced a daunting list of pitching probables entering a 4 game weekend series in Cleveland. Today’s game presented the best opportunity to win (on paper), and they found a way to get things done.
James Paxton once again struggled with his pitch count early, needing 23 pitches to get out of the first, but settled down and kept the Mariners in the game. By contrast, his opponent, Mike Clevinger breezed through the first 8 hitters, and we appeared to be on our way to a pitchers duel.
Then, Ryon Healy attacked the first pitch and laced a single into center. 3 pitches later, Dee Gordon bashed a triple into left to score Healy. On the next pitch, Jean Segura bashed a double to make it 2-0. Finally, 2 pitches later, Robinson Cano drove in Dee to make it 3-0.
Seattle would tack on a run in the 4th on a Mike Zunino jam shot to give Seattle a 4-0 lead. Meanwhile, Paxton was back on track and tied his career high with 10 strikeouts in 6 innings of work. The only blemish on Paxton’s ledger was a 2 run homer from Yonder Alonso.
Cleveland would battle back, scoring 2 in the 6th and tying the game in the bottom of the 7th with 2 runs. After Segura and Cano were quickly retired in the 8th, Nelson Cruz stepped to the plate. Cruz sent a hanging curveball about halfway up the wall in left for a double. After Ichiro entered the game as a pinch runner, Kyle Seager gave the Mariners a lead with his own double off the top of the leftfield wall.
Juan Nicasio would enter the game and look dominant in the 8th. Finally, Edwin Diaz entered the game.
Diaz was looking for his 11th straight save to open the season. Despite a 1 out walk to Francisco Lindor, Diaz was dominate again and shut the door on the Indians. The victory gives Seattle a 14-10 record, including winning 3 games in a row.
Finally, the Mariners will try to extend their win streak to 4 against Corey Kluber tomorrow. They will send Erasmo Ramirez to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PDT.