The first game of the Indians-Mariners series at Progressive Field proved to be a game of opposites.
The Indians usually steady young right-handed pitcher Trevor Bauer didn’t make it out of the fifth inning.
he offensively challenged Seattle Mariners exploded for five runs, including the first four during a four-run fourth inning.
About the only aspect of the game that followed script was the visitor’s defense showing why its one of the best in the major leagues, helping lead the Mariners to a 5-2 victory.
After Bauer made his way through the first three innings relatively easily, he ran into trouble in the fourth. After hitting his second batter of the night, Corey Hart’s one-out double down the left-field line scored the first run of the game. A two-out, two-run double for Dustin Ackley pushed the Mariner’s lead to 3-0 and a misplayed ball by Indians left field Chris Dickerson handed newcomer Chris Taylor a RBI double that capped the inning’s scoring.
The Mariners made it 5-0 on Mike Zunino’s first-pitch home run to left field that put a premature end to Bauer’s brief outing. In his 4 1/3-inning loss, Bauer dished up all five runs on eight hits, two walks (one intentional) and hit two batters. He threw 47 of his 78 pitches for strikes.
With Bauer out of the game, left-hander Nick Hagadone gave the Indians three scoreless innings of relief, holding the Mariners pat while giving the Tribe time to catch up.
In the fifth inning the Indians offense rallied for two runs to dash any hopes Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma had of a shutout. A run scoring hit by Yan Gomes scored Nick Swisher for the first run. A Jason Kipnis groundout scored Gomes the second to close the gap to three runs.
The only other scoring opportunity the Indians had came via two hard-hit balls in the seventh inning, but they came away with anything to show for it. Swisher opened the inning with a long shot to the outfield- but it was to centerfield - the deepest part of Progressive Field. Mariners James Jones ran, leapt, and crashed into the wall, yet managed to haul in the ball and rob Swisher of an extra-base hit.
The next batter, David Murphy, followed by sending another long shot to the outfield wall. Originally ruled a double, Indians manager Terry Francona quickly ran out to the field to challenge the call thinking it might have hit the top of wall for a home run. But after a review, the call stood.
Iwakuma limited the Tribe to the two runs on six hits, striking out six over seven innings to improve to 9-5. In a rarity, the right-hander did allow one walk – his first in five starts and just his ninth of the season over 17. In the ninth, veteran closer Fernando Rodney sidestepped a Swisher hit en route to notching his 29th save of the season.