Mariners-Indians Preview

BY foxsports • April 21, 2016

Throughout his brief career, Danny Salazar has proven he can pitch with power. While he's had some hiccups with control early this year, he's learning to be more of a pitcher who has power heading into Wednesday night's game for the Cleveland Indians against the Seattle Mariners.

Salazar (2-0, 0.79 ERA) has averaged 9.95 strikeouts per nine innings over his 62 major league starts, including a 12.71 mark in winning his first two outings of 2016 by fanning 16 in 11 1-3 innings. The right-hander has issued more walks (6) than hits allowed (5) in those victories but has been aggressively contesting hitters.

"If you work hard, and every time you go out there you try to give 100 percent," he told MLB's official website, "it doesn't matter if you are throwing a ball, and then you come next pitch and are throwing hard and try to execute that pitch - that is going to make you feel more confident."

Nearly 32 percent of batters have swung at the first pitch of their at-bat, which ranks ninth in the AL, and his 37.2 percent mark of pitches swung on and missed is second-best in the majors. Salazar stifled Tampa Bay on Thursday, scattering three hits and three walks while striking out nine in six innings of a 6-0 victory.

''Being aggressive,'' Salazar said after the win. ''They were swinging a lot, so I mixed in my fastball and changeup for the first pitch.''

Salazar yielded three runs and four hits with four walks in 5 1/3 innings of Cleveland's 6-3, 12-inning win over Seattle on May 31, his only start versus the Mariners.

Cleveland (6-5) opened the series Tuesday night with a 3-2 victory as Carlos Carrasco allowed a solo homer and little else in 6 1/3 innings while Francisco Lindor had three hits and an RBI. The second-year shortstop is 5 for 10 with three doubles and two RBIs in his last three games, bumping his average to .326.

Lindor and the Indians will try to keep Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.25) winless, though his lack of wins is due to his bullpen more than a lack of quality.

Seattle (5-8) lost his first start in the ninth inning against Oakland on April 8, and after he limited to Texas to one run in six innings last Wednesday, the bullpen allowed the tying run in the eighth before the Mariners posted a 4-2, 10-inning victory.

Walker had his way with the Indians last year, winning two starts in a 12-day span while conceding only one run in 14 innings with 14 strikeouts.

"He's got a chance to have a big year for us," manager Scott Servais said of Walker after his last outing. "It took him a little while. We didn't see the big fastball until real late, and he kind of dug deep and got a little extra, which was nice to see."

Kyle Seager, who had a solo homer in his first multihit game of the year, snapped an 0 for 16 slump and is batting .152. He is 28 for 67 (.418) with four homers and 10 RBIs in 17 games at Progressive Field.



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