The Chicago Cubs made short, easy work of Hisashi Iwakuma’s five-game winning streak, raking him for five runs on seven hits — homer, double, five singles — over the second and third innings en route to a 12-1, rain-delayed shellacking of the Mariners Friday at Wrigley Field (box). Seattle (51-50) fell seven games behind AL West leader Texas, three behind the second-place Houston Astros and 4.5 in arrears in the race for the second wild card.
Iwakuma, who hadn’t lost since June 22, exhibited no stuff whatsoever and made it through only three abysmal innings as the Cubs manufactured three runs on four hits in the second and had a two-run homer from Jayson Heyward in the third.
Making their first Wrigley appearance since 2007, the Mariners also yielded a six-spot in the sixth and had no push-back against Cubs starter and Tacoma native (Bellarmine Prep) Jon Lester, collecting only four hits off him during his six innings. Seattle has been outscored 22-2 in its past two contests.
In the second, Chicago’s Javier Baez reached on an infield single, David Ross singled to center, Lester sacrificed and Chris Coghlan brought them home with a single to center. Kris Bryant singled off Iwakuma for a 3-0 lead.
The Mariners collected eight hits off three Chicago pitchers. Only Robinson Cano (2-for-3) produced a multi-hit game and Leonys Martin had Seattle’s only extra-base hit (double, second inning) . . . The Mariners swiped two bases, Shawn O’Malley his fourth, Franklin Gutierrez his first. O’Malley drove in Seattle’s only run in the ninth with a single to left . . . The Mariners went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left 11 on base.
Iwakuma threw 60 pitches, 40 for strikes. He fanned two and walked one in his first setback since a 5-1 loss at Detroit June 22. A victory by Iwakuma Friday would have tied Wade Miley (April 24-June 7) for the longest winning streak (six games) by a Seattle pitcher this season . . . Nathan Karns, who relieved Iwakuma, didn’t fare any better, allowing four earned runs in two innings. Karns had a terrible sixth, allowing a home run (David Ross), three consecutive walks and a three-run double (Anthony Rizzo) without recording an out . . . INF Luis Sardinas pitched the eighth for Seattle and retired the Cubs in order on two ground-ball outs and a fly ball to center . . . Mike Montgomery, traded by the Mariners to the Cubs last week, pitched the final two innings for Chicago and allowed one run on three hits with two strikeouts.
“Iwakuma wasn’t on, obviously. He had a little tightness going on. He wasn’t sharp and missed in the middle of the plate. It was a rough day, but I don’t think it’s anything to be alarmed about. We’ve seen him come out, start slowly and make adjustment. But not today. Today, he, and we. just never really got it going.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
Due to a steady rain, the game was delayed one hour, 14 minutes as the Cubs came to bat in the seventh ahead 11-0 . . . The Mariners, 3-3 on their trip, have lost 11 of their past 19 and are 10-5 in interleague play . . . The Mariners are 5-8 all-time vs. the Cubs . . . The Mariners Friday selected OF Guillermo Heredia from AAA Tacoma and optioned LHP David Rollins back to the Rainiers. Heredia, A Cuban refugee who signed with Seattle as a non-drafted free agent March 1, hit .340 with two home runs in 26 PCL games. Rollins is 1-0 with a 7.04 ERA in four stints with the Mariners this season. Heredia made his MLB debut for Seattle in the seventh inning, and struck out in the eighth (Montgomery) in his first career at-bat.
The middle game of the three-game series Saturday at 11:20 a.m., PT. LHP Wade Miley (6-8, 5.23) will pitch for Seattle opposite RHP Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.76). After the teams complete the series Sunday, the Mariners return to Safeco Field Monday night to begin a four-game set with the Boston Red Sox.