SEATTLE – Hisashi Iwakuma was impressed with his likeness on the bobblehead the Seattle Mariners handed out on Saturday night.
The fans who got them were likely more impressed with the real version on the mound.
Iwakuma pitched a career-high 8⅔ innings, and Kyle Seager and Robinson Cano homered to lift the Mariners to a 6-2 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Iwakuma fanned five of the first six batters he retired en route to eight strikeouts overall. The right-hander allowed five hits and faced the minimum in all but three innings.
After giving up a single to start the ninth, the right-hander retired two straight, but Brandon Moss’ two-run home run chased him from the game, one out shy of his first complete game. It also snapped his 20-inning scoreless streak, the longest by a Mariners pitcher this season.
It was the 12th time in 63 career starts that Iwakuma pitched at least eight innings.
“Just looking at the numbers today, the results today, I’m very happy with that,” Iwakuma said.
“Having that being on the bobblehead day is special. We have a lot of fans out there, very electric out there.
“The last game of the first half (for me), I wanted to finish strong. I’m glad that I did finish strong.”
In his last three starts, Iwakuma is 3-0 with a 0.42 ERA (3 earned runs in 21⅔ innings), 25 strikeouts and no walks.
The successful stretch follows a forgetful two games in which Iwakuma allowed a combined 10 runs.
Angels 5, Rangers 2
In Arlington, Texas, Howie Kendrick celebrated his 31st birthday with three hits, including a game-tying RBI single during a four-run sixth inning as Los Angeles won for the ninth time in 10 games, sending the reeling hosts to their seventh straight loss.
The Rangers have dropped 21 of 24. They have the worst winning percentage in the majors, .404 with their 38-56 record.
Astros 3, Red Sox 2
In Houston, Jason Castro hit a two-run homer and Chris Carter had a tiebreaking infield single in the eighth inning, lifting the Astros over Boston.
Josh Fields (2-4) pitched 1⅔ scoreless innings for the win and Chad Qualls got two outs for his 10th save. Houston turned a double play to end the game and Boston challenged the play at first, but it was upheld.
Rays 10, Blue Jays 3
In St. Petersburg Florida, rookie Jake Odorizzi pitched into the seventh inning and Kevin Kiermaier, Matt Joyce and Ben Zobrist delivered key hits during a six-run outburst that helped Tampa Bay trounce Toronto.
Pitching a day earlier than scheduled because All-Star David Price was ill, Odorizzi (5-8) allowed three runs and six hits over 6⅔ innings. The 24-year-old right-hander walked two and struck out seven to improve to 3-1 over his last five starts.
White Sox 6, Indians 2
In Cleveland, Jose Abreu hit his major league-leading 29th homer, a two-run shot that sent Chicago over the Indians and ended a three-game losing streak.
Abreu, picked for the AL All-Star team in his rookie season, broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with his drive off Zach McAllister (3-5). The homer cleared the fence in right field and landed in the White Sox’s bullpen for Chicago’s first hit.
Yankees 3, Orioles 0
In Baltimore, rookie Shane Greene pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning of his second major league start, Derek Jeter had two hits and an RBI and New York blanked the O’s.
Greene (2-0) struck out nine and walked two in his third big league appearance. The right-hander didn’t give up a hit until the fifth inning and allowed only two runners past second base in 7⅓ innings. David Robertson, the third New York reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his 23rd save.
The Yankees’ Ichiro Suzuki was hitless in four at-bats.
Tigers 5, Royals 1
In Kansas City, Rick Porcello outdueled James Shields and Detroit won its fifth in a row, beating the Royals.
Porcello (12-5) raised his career record against Kansas City to 8-3 while yielding six hits and one run through seven innings.
Twins 9, Rockies 3
In Denver, Kevin Correia pitched six innings of one-run ball, Eduardo Escobar homered, and Minnesota pulled away late to beat Colorado.
Correia (5-11) scattered seven hits and cooled off the power-hitting Rockies, who stranded 10 baserunners and were kept in the yard after slugging eight home runs in their previous two games.
He walked one and struck out one in snapping a hard-luck three-game losing streak during which he had received no run support.