Wade Miley didn’t issue a walk during his first two starts for the Mariners. Once he lost the strike zone in his third start, the Seattle Mariners were lost.
The left-hander walked his first four batters of the season in the fourth inning Tuesday night, two of them with the bases loaded, helping the Cleveland Indians to beat Seattle 3-2.
Miley (0-3) had gone 15 1-3 innings to open the year without a free pass before walking three straight Indians, including Rajai Davis to force in a run. Two hitters later, he walked Francisco Lindor to score another and give Cleveland a 3-0 lead that ended his evening.
“I don’t know how to explain this one, I just lost it,” said Miley, who also allowed nine hits in 3 2-3 innings. “I couldn’t throw strikes or competitive pitches all of a sudden. It was 100 percent on me. I’ve got to do a better job.”
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Kyle Seager hit a solo homer in the sixth and Leonys Martin had an RBI groundout in the ninth for the Mariners, who scored three or fewer runs for the ninth time in 13 games.
Seattle sent the potential tying run to the plate with two outs in the ninth, but Indians closer Cody Allen struck out pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez to earn his fourth save.
Mariners manager Scott Servais was as confused as Miley about his sudden loss of control.
“Wade just fell out of whack with his mechanics in the fourth and couldn’t get through it,” he said. “I think he’s frustrated as much as anyone. He has the track record where we like having him out there, but he’s better than that.”
Miley, pitching in his 29th different major league ballpark, induced three double plays to drop his season ERA to 8.04. He has allowed 26 hits in 15 2-3 innings, but Servais said he isn’t considering removing him from the rotation yet.
“To walk four guys in an inning, that’s what you lose sleep over,” Miley said. “I tried them all, but I couldn’t find a pitch that I could throw over the plate. I started thinking, which isn’t something I do very often and wasn’t a good thing.”
Seager snapped a 0-for-18 slump with a single in the fourth and finished 2-for-4. He is 28-for-67 (.418) with four homers and 10 RBIs in 17 career games at Progressive Field.
“It’s not necessarily a launching pad, but it’s a really nice park,” said Seager, who has the second-highest average of all-time against the Indians at .384. “Sometimes you just feel comfortable someplace. I obviously do here.”
Mike Montgomery and Tony Zych followed Miley with 4 1-3 combined scoreless innings.
Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (2-0) went 6 1-3 innings for the win, striking out five.
DOWN ON THE FARM
Former Mariners C Mike Zunino, playing for their Triple A-Tacoma affiliate, was named the Pacific Coast League Player of the Week. “Good for him, that’s what he needs to get his confidence back,” manager Scott Servais said. “The big thing for me is their coaches tell me that he’s having fun.” Zunino batted .174 in 112 games with Seattle last year.
Mariners: RHP Ryan Cook and RHP Evan Scribner, who are both on the disabled list with strained right lat muscles, remain on throwing programs. Servais said Scribner is “a little farther along” in the process.
Indians: OF Lonnie Chisenhall (sore left wrist), who was placed on the 15-day DL on March 28, could return Wednesday. OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) continues to rehab at Double-A Akron.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker has a 2-0 record with a 0.64 ERA in two career outings against Cleveland.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar, who is 12-6 at Progressive Field, makes his first home start of the season.