Taijuan Walker allowed two hits over eight strong innings, Seth Smith hit a two-run homer, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Cleveland Indians 2-1 Friday night.
Walker (2-5) got his first win since April 27 with one of the best starts of the 22-year-old’s young career. He did not walk a batter and struck out eight, matching his career high.
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Smith, batting cleanup for the first time this season with Robinson Cano out sick, hit a 2-1 pitch from Trevor Bauer (4-2) into the right-center seats in the sixth inning. It scored Nelson Cruz, who had singled.
The Mariners have homered in eight straight games and 13 of their last 14.
Fernando Rodney had trouble in the ninth, allowing a pinch-hit, run-scoring single by Ryan Raburn, but still earned his 14th save in 16 opportunities.
Bauer went seven innings, allowing two runs, six hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton was placed on the 15-day DL Friday with a strained tendon in his middle finger. RHP Dominic Leone was called up to replace him. … RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (strained lat), on the DL since April 24, threw catch from 90 feet Friday with no timetable for a return. … LHP Joe Beimel was placed on the restricted list to attend his son’s high school graduation. … LHP Lucas Luetge was called up from Triple-A Tacoma. … 2B Cano missed the game with flu-like symptoms.
Indians: INF Carlos Santana is on the restricted list to be with his wife Brittany, who gave birth Thursday morning to a girl. He will fly from Cleveland Saturday night and is expected to be available for Sunday’s game.
Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias (2-1, 2.56) started the season at Triple-A Tacoma but after five starts has become an integral part of the Mariners injury-riddled rotation. Elias has won his past two starts and has not allowed more than three runs in any start.
Indians: RHP Shawn Marcum (1-0, 6.28) will try to rebound from a poor start Monday against Texas. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs and four hits. He gave up two home runs, had six strikeouts and three walks. He is 1-2 with a 4.00 ERA in five career starts against Seattle.
Indians 2B Jason Kipnis went 1 for 3 with a walk after entering the game hitting .449 in May with 13 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 16 RBIs. From May 9-16, he had club-record-matching 19 hits over seven games and his 49 hits this month is the most for the franchise since at least 1914. ”He’s in the midst of a really good run here,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. ”Right now you’re seeing a good player who feels good, and fun to watch. His level when he feels good is pretty damn high.”
The Mariners are going through a particularly tough stretch of strikeout pitchers. It started Wednesday, facing Tampa’s Chris Archer, second in the AL with 82 (he had 12). On Thursday, they faced Cleveland’s Corey Cluber, the leader with 96 (he had 13). Bauer, who came in with 55, had 10. On Sunday, Cleveland’s Danny Salazar, tied for fifth with 66, is scheduled, and on Monday the Yankees’ Michael Pineda, fourth with 67, is expected to start.
PUT HIM IN COACH
With two hits Friday, Cruz is batting .376 with 15 HRs and 30 RBIs when he starts in right field. As a DH, he is batting .286 with three HRs and 8 RBIs.