SEATTLE (AP) Felix Hernandez delivered the kind of opening game the Seattle Mariners expected – even after losing some time in the spring training session.
It's just a new version of Hernandez who did the job. 19659002] "I had to do my job, it was good, it was fun," said Hernandez.
Hernandez threw the ball into the sixth inning, Nelson Cruz hit a two-run run in the first and the Mariners opened the season with a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night
Hernandez was only the seventh pitcher to start at least 1
He won seven days on opening day, with Randy Johnson, Tom Seaver and Jimmy Key in fourth.
"Can not say enough about the job Felix did tonight, limited work in spring training and vying so, really stuck with the schedule, his curveball was excellent all night," said Seattle manager Scott Servais.
According to Hernandez, the Mariners used five relievers. Edwin Diaz beat two battles in the ninth and allowed Pinch Runner Rajai Davis to finish third. But Diaz beat Yan Gomes and Tyler Naquin to finish the parade.
Hernandez (1-0) was caught early by Cruz, who stopped in 2017. After cruising 39 homeruns last year, Cruz hit the first pitch he saw of Corey Kluber (0-1) over the Centerfield fence for an early 2-0 lead. The 88 mph cutter stayed in the middle of the plate and Cruz did not miss.
That was all Seattle would get against Kluber, who pitched eight innings and allowed six shots.
"It was supposed to be a down and down, I just landed underneath, and it ended up spinning and floating in the middle of it," Kluber said.
Seattle has asked Hernandez not to be afraid of contact. He is no longer the dropout pitcher of his younger years, as his fastball regularly clocked in the mid- to late-90s. Location and wisdom are key now.
For at least one trip it looked like the changes.
Hernandez allowed singles to Jason Kipnis in the third inning and Edwin Encarnacion in the fourth, but most contact was made weak and slightly outs. He even beat Bradley Zimmer for a strikeout that ended the fifth inning.
Hernandez left Kipnis on four pitches with one out in the sixth, ending his night at 83 inclines. Dan Altavilla brought Jose Ramirez to a double, and the Mariners were up to sixth without allowing a run.
Cleveland had his only run in the seventh round after Lonnie Chisenshall fell to the center with two outs and Gome's flair ahead of Dee Gordon. It was the only time Seattle had left a runner in second base.
"It's been a while since we opened home, so it was really good," said Hernandez
Ichiro Suzuki played the left field and went 0 for 2 in his first game Seattle has since traded to the New York Yankees in 2012. Suzuki signed as a free agent with the Mariners this month, rejoining him with the club where he played his first 12 seasons. The Japanese star was greeted by huge cheers during the player introductions and before his first at-fleet.
During the preparation ceremony, Mariners Tito Francona – father of Cleveland's manager Terry Francona – joined Baseball, who has died since the end of last season. Terry Francona seemed moved by the gesture, and Francisco Lindor put his arm around his manager during the silence.
"I was dumbfounded, I was not ready for it, it was very stylish at her side, so I had to catch myself right here," Francona said.
Indians: BY Michael Brantley was placed on the 10-day disabled list when Cleveland completed his roster, but he is making progress in his rehab right ankle operation. Brantley was scheduled to play only seven innings in his final spring training stint with Triple-A Columbus, but played all nine because he felt so good.
Mariners: C Mike Zunino was a late scratch for the opener due to stiffness in his right side. Zunino felt the stiffness develop after his last punching workout during training on Wednesday. … On Thursday, RHP's Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder surgery) and Erasmo Ramirez (Lat-Stretching) chased the cops on Thursday as they recovered from their injuries.
Indians: Cleveland will send Carlos Carrasco to the hill on Saturday. Carrasco won his last six decisions of the regular season 2017 as part of an 18-win season.
Mariners: Seattle will have left James Paxton on the hill. Paxton was 12-5 with a 2.98 ERA in 2017.
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