Another One-Hit Wonder; Mariners 3, Indians 0
Steve Eby | On 29, Jun 2014
For the second day in a row, Safeco Field in Seattle hosted a one-hit shutout. Unfortunately for the Tribe, this time it came at the hands of the opposition rather than from one of their own.
Coming into the ballgame on Sunday, the Indians chances looked bleak as they were matching up rookie lefthander T.J. House (0-2, 4.54) against one of baseball’s best pitchers in former Cy Young Award winner “King” Felix Hernandez (10-2, 2.10). Just as if it was according to a plan, the rookie was indeed outdueled by the Mariners ace as the M’s took the game and the series by a score of 3-0. The dominant Hernandez worked eight innings and allowed just allowed just a Lonnie Chisenhall single and four total baserunners on the afternoon.
“Actually I just think it makes it a little bit more fun,” House said before the game about matching up against King Felix. “It’s just another obstacle that I’ve got to overcome—going out there and facing one of the best in the game. I’m going to elevate my level and try to match him.”
House did seem up for the challenge and early on he did match Hernandez zero for zero despite giving up some early baserunners. The Mariners loaded the bases in the first inning with help from an error by Nick Swisher, but House was able to work out of the jam. The rookie settled in well after that, as House rolled through the next four innings of scoreless pitching.
Hernandez, meanwhile, was doing his best Tomlin impersonation as the big righty took a no hitter into the fifth inning, just as Tomlin did on Saturday night. Just like the night before, the no-no was broken up by the leadoff batter in the fifth as Chisenhall grounded the Indians only single just out of the reach of Robison Cano at second base. The only baserunner prior to the Chisenhall base knock was a first inning walk to Michael Brantley. Just after the Indians finally reached base, the M’s finally broke the scoreless tie.
Michael Saunders led off the bottom of the sixth by chopping a slow tapper down the first base line. House fielded the ball and then fired it past Swisher at first and down the right field line. Saunders made it all the way to third on the single and E-1, but the error eventually proved moot as Cano blasted his fifth homerun of the season down the rightfield line a batter later. The homer was Cano’s first hit of the series and gave the Mariners a 2-0 advantage. House was then pulled in favor of John Axford after allowing a leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Tribe’s southpaw allowed just the two runs on seven hits and one walk for the day.
The M’s tacked on their third run of the game against Marc Rzepczynski in the bottom of the eighth. A leadoff single by Cano was followed by a hit by Kyle Seager and then an RBI single by Mike Zunino. Fernando Rodney worked a perfect ninth inning for his 23rd save of the season.
The Indians will stay on the west coast but travel down to Los Angeles on Monday to begin an interleague series with the Dodgers. The first game at Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine will be at 10:10 PM ET and will match up Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.09) against Dan Haren (7-4, 3.83). The late-night game can be seen on Fox Sports/SportsTime Ohio and can be heard on the Cleveland Indians Radio Network.
Photo: Ted S. Warren/Associated Press