Wade Miley’s new look provided some new results for the slumping Mariners, who snapped a four-game slide with a 7-1 win over Cleveland Tuesday night at Safeco Field (box). Miley tossed seven shutout innings, RF Nelson Cruz hit a pair of home runs and the offense exploded for 11 hits as Seattle (32-26) handed the Indians their first loss in seven games.
On a night when Seattle bats were in a groove, the biggest play might have been a routine ground ball to the Indians’ shortstop. In the fourth inning, the Mariners had a 2-0 lead and runners on first and second with two outs when Cleveland SS Francisco Lindor cleanly scooped an DH Adam Lind grounder and looked to second base.
When he realized 2B Jason Kipnis wasn’t going to get to the bag in time to force the runner for the inning-ending out, Lindor instead threw to first – but too late to catch Lind. C Steve Clevenger followed with a bases-loaded, two-run double, then SS Shawn O’Malley drove in two more with a triple as Seattle blew open a 6-0 lead.
A significantly less hairy Miley shaved off most of his beard and cut down Cleveland’s red-hot bats. Miley threw seven shutout innings, allowing four hits after getting hit hard in his previous start. It marked the second time this season that Miley has not allowed a run in a start, and it came against one of the best offenses in the American League.
Cleveland’s lone run came on a Lonnie Chisenhall homer off veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit in the eighth.
The Mariners needed less than an inning to double their Monday total of one run, as Cruz hit a two-run homer in the first. Cruz added his 15th home run with a solo shot in the fifth. Four of Seattle’s first eight hits went for extra bases and drove in runs. Backups Steve Clevenger (C Chris Iannetta had day off) and O’Malley (SS Ketel Marte was nursing a sore neck) had back-to-back, extra-base hits from the bottom of the order to drive in four runs in the fourth.
“I just got tired of it. My wife was getting on me. Every year, I do this. If I’m struggling, or I just get tired of it.” – Miley, who shaved his thick beard
“(Miley) kept us off balance. He added and subtracted. He pitched a really good game. He works quick, he threw strikes and for the most part kept us off the barrel and when he didn’t, he kept it in the big part of the ballpark.” — Indians manager Terry Francona
Starter Felix Hernandez (strained calf muscle) is eligible to come off the disabled list as early as next week, but it’s looking less and less likely that will happen. Hernandez was in a walking boot before the game. There was no estimate for his return. Hernandez (4-4, 2.86 ERA) has missed his last two starts . . . Cruz is regaining his power stroke, although he’s still behind the pace he set during his 40-homer seasons in 2014 (21 homers on June 7) and 2015 (18 homers on June 7) . . . Cleveland starter Cody Anderson was recalled from Triple-A Columbus before the game. To make room for Anderson on the roster, the Indians optioned reliever Austin Adams to Columbus . . . The Indians’ six-game winning streak was Cleveland’s longest since winning the final 10 games of the 2013 regular season to earn a wild-card spot.
RHP Taijuan Walker (2-6, 3.94 ERA) will get another chance to right himself Wednesday night. The Mariners can’t wait much longer for the phenom to regain his April form. The 23-year- old went 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA over four April starts but is 0-6 with a 7.86 ERA since then. The good news? He has a career record of 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA in three career starts against the Indians. Cleveland will counter with RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 3.00).