LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fernando Rodney had another chance to do his customary bow-and-arrow pantomime bit. This time, however, former teammate Howie Kendrick stuck him with his first blown save of the season.
Kendrick drove in two runs with a broken-bat two-run single in the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-5 victory over the Seattle on Tuesday night.
“I knew he was going to swing, but the pitch was up a little bit in the zone and that’s why he took the ball the other way,” Rodney said. “I tried to throw the sinker in to try and get a ground ball and get out of the inning, but they got me tonight. It’s only the eighth game of the season, so I’m just going to try to prepare myself for tomorrow and be ready.”
Rodney (1-1), who led the majors last season with 48 saves, gave up a leadoff single to Justin Turner that started the rally. Turner took third on Jimmy Rollins’ single and was erased in a rundown after third baseman Kyle Seager fielded Carl Crawford’s single. Adrian Gonzalez walked to load the bases and Kendrick slapped the next pitch the other way to right field.
“I just wanted to get a pitch I could hit, something up,” Kendrick said. “If anything’s down with that changeup he throws, it’s tough because it’s such a great pitch. So I had to stay honest, for the most part. My previous at-bat I kind of got outside of what I was trying to do, but that at-bat, I went back to my normal approach.”
It was the second walkoff win in two nights for the defending NL West champions. On Monday, Alex Guerrero gave the Dodgers a 6-5 win with a bases-loaded RBI single in the 10th inning.
“They don’t give up. There are some teams that you have to fight until you get 27 outs, and they’re one of them right now,” said Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, who hit his first home run of the season. “We just have to forget about tonight, go back to the hotel and get some rest, then get ready for tomorrow and try to win at least one out of three.”
Nelson Cruz homered for the fourth straight game for the Mariners, matching the longest streak of his career.
Cruz, who signed a four-year, $47 million, contract in December after leading the majors with a career-high 40 homers last season for Baltimore, drove a 3-2 pitch over the glove of a leaping Crawford at the left field fence in the first after a two-run shot to right by Cano.
“He’s been impressive the way he’s been swinging,” Cano said. “He had a great year last year, and hopefully this year will be the same way and he’ll help us win some games.”
Cruz, a three-time All-Star, also homered in his first four games of the 2011 season with the Texas Rangers.
Seattle right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, including home runs by Guerrero and Andre Ethier.
Guerrero, who hit his first major league home run on Sunday, pinch-hit for starter David Huff in the fourth and cut Seattle’s lead to 4-3 with a homer to left-center after a two-out walk to Joc Pederson. Ethier’s first homer of the season landed just inside the right field pole on Iwakuma’s 95th and final pitch, reducing Seattle’s lead to 5-4 in the sixth.
Yimi Garcia (2-0) recorded his second big league victory in as many nights with a perfect ninth inning. Huff gave up four runs and seven hits through four innings in his Dodgers debut, his first start since Sept. 29, 2013 with the New York Yankees.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez, whose second start of the season on Sunday at Oakland ended after five innings because of tightness in his right quadriceps, will throw a side session on Wednesday before it is determined if he can make his scheduled outing against Texas Saturday at Safeco Field. The 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner and five-time All-Star pitched at least 200-innings in each of the previous seven seasons. “He played catch yesterday and felt fine,” McClendon said. “I don’t foresee any setbacks tomorrow, but I just want to cover myself.”
Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig did not play because of tightness in his left hamstring, following his second consecutive game with a home run. He felt discomfort rounding first base on his single in the seventh inning.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker (0-1) was 4-0 in spring training, allowing just two earned runs over 27 innings before surrendering nine runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings last Friday at Oakland in his first start of the season.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (0-0) threw 94 pitches over six innings in a no-desision at Arizona last Friday, which was the sixth anniversary of his major league debut with Oakland. This will be his first career start at Dodger Stadium. His seven career wins against Seattle are the most he’s had against any opponent.
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