Nelson Cruz's majestic two-run homer in the first inning started things, Felix Hernandez looked strong and closer to Edwin Diaz took the rescue. The Mariners defeated Cleveland 2-1 at Safeco Field.
Scott Servais played a bit on the top step of the dugout. He had previously done this dance with Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning at Safeco Field.
The binding was on third base. The starting signal fell to second place. And 47,149 fans – the biggest crowd that ever saw a game in the regular season at Safeco Field – well, they were nervous, maybe panicking.
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Diaz harnessed the fastball that had sunk two battles to exploit this potential he started on base, winning Tyler Naquin to end the inning and a 2-1 victory against the Indians to win.
Felix Hernandez took the win, Diaz saved and Servais could feel exhaled as his players got out of the dugout to celebrate their first win of the 2018 season.
"No question," joked Servais. "Just as we did it."
Well, it was sort of the way they did it – make a decent trip from Felix Hernandez, scratch enough runs against the Indian-Ace Corey Kluber and let the Bullpen down.
Kluber made two mistakes during the night – one of them against Nelson Cruz, who led to a two-run in the front row, and Hernandez gave them everything he had after a shortened jump training on a shortened turf line.  "I can not say enough about the job Felix did," Servais said. "With limited work in spring training, so to go out and compete."
In his tenth straight start on the opening day for the Mariners and 11th of his career, Hernandez came to this occasion and presented a new way of thinking on the hill (19659003). Although Hernandez had not done much feather training – he only made three starts a line drive from his right forearm – Hernandez won the 2-0 Cruz's majestic two-way lead and showed why he wanted to do so much on opening day.
"You know, you listened to me," he said.
Was he surprised by his performance?
"No," he said. "I was not surprised, I was pumped up, the crowd was unbelievable, it was the opening day, I had to do my job, it was good, it was fun."
Sure, he drew four batters, but he did not look them. He struck and accepted a ground ball or a flying ball as satisfying as a punchout.
"My sinker was really good," he said. "It helped a lot, we're ahead of Kluber and he's really good, this guy, Nelson Cruz, met this homer, so I had to keep him right there."
This attitude was even more impressive, considering that Hernandez worked with an unknown catcher. His normal backstop, Mike Zunino, was scratched from lineup before practicing with some stiffness in his right side. So Mike Marjama, who could never grasp Hernandez this spring, stepped behind the plate. His third career start came on the opening day with Hernandez on the hill.
"He was good, he did a great job," said Hernandez. We talked about our game plan, we went over the scout report and he did a really good job. "
With a pitch limit of about 85, Hernandez moved into the sixth inning, taking One on and then went on four pitches on Jason Kipnis. At 83 positions Servais took no chance to expand Hernández even further. He raised Hernandez for helper Dan Altavilla. The muscular right-handed player took his strong feat in his first outing and brought Jose Ramirez to an inning-ending 3-6-3 double play.
"You could definitely see him banging against the wall," Servais said. "Altavilla picked us up with a big double-play ball."
On the 11th opening day, Hernandez posted a 1.53 ERA in 762/3 innings.
"Everyone talks about how he turns the ball". said Indian manager Terry Francona. "He's really good at it, I just thought how he did his fastball and his change in the other direction, it gave him two different directions, two different speeds."
"He commanded baseball so well. His sense of what he wanted to do was so good. "
Cruz needed a whole field to jog the bases, and with Robinson Cano, who first followed his two-time single, Cruz hit Kluber's first-pitch cutter and shattered a towering drive to the center through the crisp Night and was carried directly over the wall. "According to MLB Statcast, the ball traveled 411 feet at an exit speed of 111 miles per hour."
"He left a tailor in the zone," Cruz said Zone. He did not make many mistakes in the game.
Kluber got involved in his typical Cy-Young form and allowed two strokes over the next seven innings.
Seattle should have probably added another run in the fifth inning Mitch Haniger, who had three hits on Kluber, led the inning with a double to the left, it looked like he could easily score on Marjama's hard ground in the middle, but the defensive wizard who is Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor added to his highlight collection on a full dive He took the ball from the air, got up and fired first on Marjama.