CLEVELAND (AP) — The defending American League champions ran into an overpowering pitching performance Friday night.
Ariel Miranda and two relievers combined to strike out 14 while allowing only four hits and the Seattle Mariners defeated the Cleveland Indians 3-1.
Miranda (2-2) allowed two hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven. James Pazos struck out four and Edwin Diaz recorded the final four outs, three on strikeouts, for his fourth save.
“We didn’t do much,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “As he (Miranda) got into the game, you could tell he got a lot more comfortable. And then when they went to their bullpen, those are some pretty good arms.”
Robinson Cano and Ben Gamel homered off Carlos Carrasco (2-2), who allowed three runs in eight innings.
Miranda didn’t give up a hit until Jose Ramirez’s one-out homer in the fourth. The left-hander was making his first career appearance against the Indians.
“I just liked the way he was throwing, and once he got in the groove in the third and fourth inning, it’s just trying to get as much as we can out of him,” manager Scott Servais said.
Pazos struck out the first four hitters he faced before Diaz struck out Edwin Encarnacion with a runner on to end the eighth. Seattle’s closer, working for the third straight day, struck out two in a perfect ninth.
“That’s not a problem for me,” Diaz said of pitching more than one inning. “Last year I got a couple of situations coming into an inning where I had to get two outs. I felt fresh.”
Cano hit a two-run homer in the fourth. Gamel added a solo shot in the sixth, a towering drive to right.
Seattle won its third straight despite the absence of Nelson Cruz, who was scratched because of a tight hamstring. The Mariners cleanup hitter leads the AL with 19 RBIs.
Miranda walked two in the first and pitched around a two-out fielding error by third baseman Kyle Seager in the second. Ramirez’s long fly toward the bleachers in the fourth was ruled a double, but the call was reversed after a review.
Carrasco retired nine in a row after allowing a double to start the game. Gamel led off the fourth with a double and Cano homered to center. Cano is batting .411 (7 for 17) with two homers and six RBIs in his career against the right-hander.
The Mariners announced before the game that RHP Felix Hernandez (shoulder bursitis) and OF Mitch Haniger (sprained right oblique) are both expected to miss three to four weeks.
“We’ll get them back and at some point we’ll be at full strength, but a lot of teams in the league have to deal with injuries, we’re not the only one, and it hurts, there’s no doubt,” Servais said.
TAKING UP INNINGS
Carrasco struck out seven and pitched eight innings for the second straight start.
“That’s good,” he said. “I’m pretty excited for that. That’s why we’re here to pitch deep in the game and try to put zeroes on the board.”
Cleveland Browns first-round draft picks Myles Garrett, Jabril Peppers and David Njoku each threw out a ceremonial first pitch. The three threw from the mound and were on target.
Mariners: RHP Steve Chisek (left hip) is dealing with mechanical issues on his minor league rehab, but is having no physical problems coming off surgery for a torn labrum.
Indians: OF Michael Brantley was given a planned day off as he continues his comeback from a shoulder injury that forced him to miss most of last season. He’s batting .348 with four homers and 10 RBIs in his last 11 games.
Mariners: RHP Yovani Gallardo will start against Cleveland for the first time since 2009 in the series’ second game. He’s gone 5-plus innings in each of his five starts this season.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar allowed three runs in the first inning and got the loss in his last start against the White Sox.