Wade Miley credited mechanical adjustments rather than his razor for regaining his pitching form.
Nelson Cruz homered twice and an almost-clean shaven Miley pitched seven scoreless innings to pace the Seattle Mariners to a 7-1 victory over Cleveland on Tuesday night, snapping the Indians’ six-game winning streak.
Cruz hit a two-run homer in the first inning off starter Cody Anderson (1-4) and added a solo shot in the fifth, his 15th, to put Seattle up 7-0. Cruz has five homers in his last six games.
Miley (6-2), who shaved off his full beard following his last disastrous start when he was rocked for nine runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings, bounced back against the Indians, allowing four hits, striking out three and walking two.
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“I don’t think that was the issue” Miley said of his beard, adding that he’s not superstitious. “I was just tired of it.
“Obviously, the last few starts, I kind of got out of whack,” said Miley, who had allowed 18 runs in 14 2/3 innings in his last three starts. “I wasn’t really sure what was going on. No command. Just kind of flipping things up there. In between this last start, we kind of saw some things on video and tried to make some adjustments and it worked out.”
Anderson, who was called up from Triple-A earlier in the day to replace the ailing Danny Salazar, allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Lonnie Chisenhall accounted for the Indians’ run in the eighth with a homer, his second, off Joaquin Benoit. Steve Cishek pitched the ninth for Seattle.
The Mariners, who had lost four straight, tagged Anderson for four runs in the fourth inning with the aid of a botched infield play to take a 6-0 lead.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Adam Lind bounced to shortstop Francisco Lindor. Second baseman Jason Kipnis was late getting to second for the force and by the time Lindor decided to throw to first, Lind had an infield single.
Steve Clevenger then laced a two-run double to right and Sean O’Malley followed with a two-run triple to right-center.
“We get into the fourth and we got what we thought was the inning over, get a ground ball to Frankie and it looked to me like he looked to first, then looked to second, and then by the time he went to first it was too late,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “It’s unfortunate, you give teams extra opportunities, and a lot of times not so good things happen. He elevated a fastball and they tacked on four, and boy that really hurt.”
Cruz staked the Mariners to a 2-0 lead in the first inning, following Robinson Cano’s two-out single with his 14th home run.
“He’s in a good spot,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “He’s seeing the ball really good. When he’s using the big part of the field, not trying to pull everything, is when he’s on. His timing is really good right now.”
UPON FURTHER REVIEW:
Seattle’s Seth Smith lined a double off the wall in right field in the first inning, barely sliding in ahead of a perfect throw from right fielder Chisenhall. Cleveland challenged and the call was overturned after an estimated review of 1:01.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-0, 3.00 ERA) is making his second start since coming off the DL on June 2 (strained left hamstring). In his last start, he allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings, but did not get a decision.
Mariners: RHP Taijaun Walker (2-6, 3.94 ERA) is struggling to regain his early season form. The 23-year-old is 0-6 with a 5.77 ERA in his last seven starts after going 2-0 with a 1.44 ERA in four April starts. In his last start, he allowed six runs and nine hits in five innings with four walks.
Indians: Salazar (6-3, 2.24 ERA), scratched from his scheduled start Tuesday due to shoulder fatigue, is on track to make his next start. “He’s on pace,” Francona said. “He’ll throw his side on Thursday getting in line for the Sunday start. But, he had a real good day physically.”
Starting C Yan Gomes came out in the bottom of the second with a testicular contusion after being hit in the groin with a foul tip. “We sent him to the hospital to get an ultrasound, and he’s still there,” Francona said. “He hasn’t had the ultrasound yet. Hopefully we will get something here fairly soon. I don’t think he is probably having the best night of his life.”
Mariners: CF Leonys Martin, on the DL with a strained left hamstring, is scheduled to bat and run the bases in a simulated game on Wednesday, then join Triple-A Tacoma for a rehab game. If all goes well, he could rejoin the Mariners over the weekend. He is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.
RHP Felix Hernandez, on the DL with a strained right calf, was wearing a protective boot on his injured in the club house on Tuesday. “He’s still sore,” Servais said. “I think it’s one of those injuries to get rid of the soreness, and then it will come pretty quick once he starts feeling a bit better. He’s still feeling it.”
SS Ketel Marte, who was 1 for 3 Monday in his first game off the DL, was scratched from the lineup Tuesday with neck spasms. “I was talking to Cano after I hit, it just started to hurt,” Marte said. “After that, I couldn’t do anything with my neck. But now, it’s a lot better.”