Cleveland used four walks in a fourth inning that Seattle starter Wade Miley will undoubtedly prefer to forget to pad an early lead and the Indians held on to a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Tuesday night.
Both pitchers danced out of early trouble on the cool night from Progressive Field. Indians starter Carlos Carrasco worked out of a jam with two on and one out in the first, striking out Nelson Cruz on three pitches before a fielder’s choice from Kyle Seager ended the threat. The Indians got infield singles from Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor with one out against the lefty Miley, only to see a 5-3 inning ending double play grounder to third from Mike Napoli.
Carrasco threw first pitch strikes to each of the first eight batters in the game, a trend for his evening, and used a seven-pitch second to make up for a large number of pitches thrown in the first. The Indians, meanwhile, loaded the bases on three straight singles in the bottom of the frame, but again succumbed to a double play as Collin Cowgill grounded to Seager at third, who went around the horn for the twin killing.
After the Mariners stranded two more in the third, the Indians got on the board, but not before a third straight inning with a double play. Rajai Davis legged out an infield single before Kipnis grounded into a double play. Lindor and Napoli each doubled, with Napoli’s plating Lindor with the game’s first run.
Things unraveled and did so quickly for Miley in the fourth. After striking out Yan Gomes on three pitches, Marlon Byrd singled to left. Juan Uribe walked. Then Cowgill walked on four straight. Seven pitches later, Davis drew a walk, forcing home Byrd with the second run of the night. After a Kipnis strikeout, the walk returned again as Lindor received his free pass on five pitches to score Uribe and make it a 3-0 game. Napoli grounded out off of reliever Mike Montgomery to end the rally.
“It was nice to see them get patient enough where, bases loaded, we worked a couple walks, then made it hold up,” said manager Terry Francona postgame. “We swung the bats good early, we hit the three double plays the first three innings, which doesn’t help. But I’ll take having our chances. I’d rather have chances than not.”
Carrasco cruised along until the sixth, when Seager lifted a high moonshot to the seats in right with two down to get the M’s on the board. The Tribe’s right-hander exited after a one-out double in the seventh, with Zach McAllister closing down the inning quietly.
The Mariners made it a bit of a game in the ninth against reliever Cody Allen. Adam Lind led off the inning with a double to left and moved to third on a groundout from Chris Iannetta. Leonys Martin knocked him in with a grounder to second for the second out, but Allen struck out pinch-hitter and ex-Indians outfielder Franklin Gutierrez to end it.
It was the fourth save for Allen in four opportunities this season.
“I knew we were up two, so obviously you don’t want to give up a double there,” said Allen after the game. “But that guy really doesn’t mean anything, so I’m just trying to keep anything else from starting. My focus was on the guy in the batter’s box and they got that run there but ultimately we got the win.”
Cleveland improves to 6-5 on the season and pulls back to the .500 mark at 3-3 at home. Seattle has dropped two in a row and is now 5-8 on the season and 4-3 on the road.
THIS COOKIE DOESN’T CRUMBLE
Carrasco (2-0, 2.79 ERA) earned win number two on the season in three attempts. He pitched six and one-third innings, allowing one run on four hits with three walks on 103 pitches.
RUNNING A 5K
Carrasco, with five strikeouts on the night, extended his American League leading streak of games with five strikeouts or more to 21 consecutive games. He has a long way to go to catch the active leader, Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw, who has accomplished the feat in 59 straight outings.
While covering first base in the third, Carrasco came down on the foot of Robinson Cano, who beat the throw to first from Lindor on the back end of a double play attempt from the Indians. He was checked out then and again later in the game when covering first on another play. All indications are that he is okay and he remained in the game both times.
“When he covered first, he kinda turned his ankle a little bit,” said Francona. “It was hard for him to push off, but he continued to pitch and besides the one pitch to Seager, kept them off the scoreboard. I just wanted to make sure. He covered first fine.
“I just thought he was limping coming back [the second trip to the mound]. To make a trip seems worth it, because if he’s hurting, I just don’t want him to lose a game when he’s not healthy.”
Bryan Shaw worked the eighth inning for the Tribe and aggressively attacked the strike zone. He threw first pitch strikes to three of four hitters and struck out Seager, with Cano standing on third base after a double and advancement to third on a fly out.
“His velocity has been crisp, right from the beginning,” said Francona. “He’s just been working from behind in the count.”
“Shaw’s Shaw. He’s as consistent as they come,” shared Allen. “He’s had two rough ones. I was in the same spot last year this time. So if anybody’s going to bounce back from it, it’s him. His stuff’s really good. It just seems like right now every time they put a bat on the ball they seem to get a hit. That kinda plays itself out, so nobody’s really worried about him.”
FRANKIE BE GOOD
Lindor was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate Tuesday night and reached all four trips to the batter’s box. In addition to a walk, he had a pair of singles and a double, scored one run, and knocked another one in. He is now hitting .326 in the early season.
WALK THIS WAY
Miley (0-2, 8.04) had not allowed a walk in 12 innings coming in to the night, but that all changed in the fourth when he issued four of them in one inning. They led to two runs, both of which would loom large in the one-run Indians win. He was credited with three and two-thirds innings worked Tuesday night and gave up three runs on nine hits while striking out a pair.
Right-hander Taijuan Walker (0-0, 2.25) will take the ball for Mariners manager Scott Servais in Wednesday’s contest looking for his third win over the Indians in as many career starts. Danny Salazar (2-0, 0.79) will counter for Francona and the Tribe as he looks to continue his hot start to the season.
First pitch from Progressive Field is scheduled for 6:10 PM ET.
Photo: AP Photo/Tony Dejak