Jarred Kelenic set all sorts of career firsts in his second Major League game, notching a homer for his first big league hit in a three-hit, three-RBI day as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Cleveland Indians, 7-3, on Friday night.
The Mariners struck through early against undefeated right-hander Aaron Civale. The Tribe hurler worked the count from 3-0 to 3-2 against Kyle Seager, but the second payoff pitch was belted to right-center to put Seattle up, 1-0.
Chris Flexen worked a perfect first and faced the minimum in the second, getting a double play ball to wipe out a one-out walk of Franmil Reyes. Civale used a double play of his own to minimize trouble in the home half of the second, while Flexen stranded runners on the corners with one out in the third after Jordan Luplow doubled to the wall and was pushed to third on a single by Austin Hedges before Flexen got Cesar Hernandez to foul out and Amed Rosario to ground back to the mound.
The Mariners expanded on their lead in the bottom of the third. Former Tribe farmhand Sam Haggerty reached on a slow grounder to second. Two pitches later, Kelenic launched his first big league homer over the right field wall to give Seattle a 3-0 lead.
Both pitchers worked 1-2-3 frames in the fourth before the Indians got on the board. Josh Naylor singled to right, moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored on Luplow’s second hit of the game, a single to center to make it 3-1 Seattle.
Civale worked around a two-out double by Kelenic in the bottom of the fifth, while Flexen left after three batters in the sixth, giving up a single to Hernandez before two fielder’s choices before handing the ball over to Kendall Graveman. He left Jose Ramirez at first on a groundout by Eddie Rosario.
Civale pitched a perfect sixth but got into trouble in the seventh before exiting. Dylan Moore doubled to left before Civale struck out Jose Marmolejos. Moore swiped third base and scored a big insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Luis Torrens. Haggerty doubled to right, knocking Civale out of the game before things got worse for Cleveland. Phil Maton took over for Terry Francona’s Tribe, but he lost Kelenic in an eight-pitch battle as the second-day big leaguer laced his third extra base hit of the day into left for an RBI-double. He got to trot home on a two-run blast to center by Mitch Haniger, as his eleventh homer of the year gave Seattle a comfortable 7-1 advantage.
The Indians cut into the deficit in the ninth against JT Chargois, but could not make up the six run disadvantage. E. Rosario was hit by a pitch and exited for Andres Gimenez. Reyes flied to center but Naylor took Chargois deep to right for a two-run shot, making it a 7-3 game. Luplow kept the inning going with a double to right-center. Jake Bauers was cut down swinging but Harold Ramirez, pinch-hitting for Hedges, reached on error to put runners on the corners. Seattle turned to its bullpen, bringing on Rafael Montero, who got Hernandez to ground to first to end the contest with his fifth save of the season.
Seattle moved to 19-20 on the year and 10-9 at home. Cleveland dropped to 21-15.
Civale suffered his first loss of the year in his worst outing to date. He made it two outs into the seventh, but was tagged for five runs on seven hits. He walked one man and struck out six while falling to 5-1 on the season.
Flexen moved to 4-1 on the year with an effective, if not unusual. He worked five and two-thirds innings, giving up a run on five hits. He walked one and did not strike out a batter while inducing just four swings and misses on the night.
Kelenic was one of three Mariners to post multi-hit days at the plate. He led things off and recorded his first big league homer along with a pair of doubles while scoring twice and driving in three. Moore and Haggerty also added a pair of hits. The club placed first baseman Evan White and second baseman Ty France on the injured list prior to the game.
Naylor and Luplow both had three hits for the Tribe, but the club could not capitalize on the nice production from the bottom half of the order. Naylor drove in two and scored twice, while Luplow also drove in a run. Hernandez added a pair of hits from the top spot in the lineup.
Game three of four from T-Mobile Park is scheduled for a 9:10 PM ET first pitch on Saturday night. Former Tribe prospect Justus Sheffield (2-3, 4.91 ERA) will take on the club that drafted him for Seattle, while Triston McKenzie (1-1, 4.94 ERA) will look to build upon a solid start his last time out against Kansas City.
Photo: Steph Chambers/Getty Images