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Iwakuma hits dominant stride as Mariners shut out Royals

AP

Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma added to his dominant streak against the AL Central.

The All-Star right-hander struck out seven and walked none in eight innings to run his scoreless streak against division teams to 48⅔ innings in the Mariners’ 1-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on Thursday night.

It is the second-longest streak by any pitcher against one division dating to 1974. Orel Hershiser tossed 55 straight scoreless innings against NL West opponents in 1988.

“He’s got a good two-seamer and his split was pretty much unhittable today,” Kansas City’s Billy Butler said. “He was mixing a slider in there and had all three pitches working at any time. He was throwing them all for strikes.”

Iwakuma (2-0) scattered four singles and allowed only one baserunner to reach second in his second start of the season. Iwakuma, who began the year on the disabled list with a strained tendon on the middle finger of his pitching hand, bolsters a strong pitching staff that has helped the team win 11 times in the last 14 games since losing eight straight from April 15-22.

“He’s getting better each and every time out,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “I think if you asked him, there’s a lot more in there. There’s a lot of room for improvement, but that just goes to show how good he really is.”

Norichika Aoki finished 1-for-3 for the Royals.

Astros 6, Tigers 2

In Detroit, Dallas Keuchel outpitched college roommate Drew Smyly, and the Astros stopped the Tigers’ eight-game winning streak and ended their own five-game skid.

Indians 9, Twins 4

In Cleveland, Asdrubal Cabrera had four hits and three RBIs, and Michael Brantley also homered as the Indians stretched a winning streak to three for the first time season.

Orioles 3, Rays 1

In St. Petersburg, Florida, Steve Pearce hit a two-run homer, Ubaldo Jimenez won his second straight start and Baltimore completed a three-game sweep.

INTERLEAGUE

Blue Jays 12, Phillies 6

In Toronto, Edwin Encarnacion hit two of the Blue Jays’ five home runs in a win over the Phillies.

Rangers 5, Rockies 0

In Arlington, Texas, Prince Fielder homered, Matt Harrison earned his first win of the season and the Rangers beat Colorado after being overwhelmed by the Rockies the previous three games.

Cubs 12, White Sox 5

In Chicago, Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro and Mike Olt homered, and the Cubs stopped a four-game slide.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Marlins 3, Padres 1 (11)

In San Diego, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and the surprising Marlins earned a rare road win, beating the Padres for their fifth straight victory.

Stanton lined an 0-2 pitch from Dale Thayer (2-1) over the right-center fence after Derek Dietrich reached on a two-out error by second baseman Jedd Gyorko.

Giants 3, Dodgers 1 (10)

In Los Angeles, pinch hitter Hector Sanchez had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, and San Francisco beat the Giants in the opener of a four-game series.

Brandon Belt added an RBI single for the Giants.