ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Hisashi Iwakuma continued his strong performance on the mound after beginning the season on the disabled list, and third baseman Kyle Seager had three hits, including a two-run single that sparked a four-run third inning as the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Tuesday night.
A career .256 hitter in four seasons, Seager is hitting .329 against the Rangers.
“I’ve always seen the ball pretty well here,” Seager said. “It’s a good park to hit in.”
Robinson Cano, Dustin Ackley and recent call-up Nick Franklin added two hits each as the Mariners, last in the American League in hitting, had every member of the batting order reach base during the first four innings,
That backed the pitching of right-hander Iwakuma (3-0), who allowed both runs and six hits through eight innings. Iwakuma had a streak of 17 consecutive scoreless innings end with a home run by Adrian Beltre leading off the second inning that made it 1-0.
“He’s phenomenal,” Seager said of Iwakuma. “He’s got great tempo and seduces ground balls.”
Iwakuma began the year on the DL with a torn tendon in his right middle finger and made his first start on May 3. He threw a season-high 99 pitches on Tuesday night.
“I’m not obsessed with going nine innings,” Iwakuma said through a translator. “I want to go out there and do my part, and I feel like I did my part today.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington’s take on the Seattle starter was: “Same Iwakuma. Sinking the ball. Cutting the ball. Hitting his spots. Changing speeds. Working fast. Having early contact.”
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino told manager Lloyd McClendon that he thought Iwakuma was done after throwing 90 pitches in seven innings. McClendon decided to see what more his starter had, and Iwakuma retired Texas in order on nine pitches in the eighth.
“We’re hoping to get him built up,” McClendon said. “He ran out of gas again.”
Texas’ Colby Lewis (3-3) started on seven days’ rest and allowed five runs on nine hits through six innings, the longest of his seven starts this season. Lewis debuted in the starting rotation in mid-April after missing the previous 21 months following elbow and hip surgeries.
Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 4
In Boston, Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of two-run homers for Toronto.
Athletics 3, Rays 0
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Drew Pomeranz won his third consecutive start since moving from the bullpen into the rotation, and Coco Crisp drove in two runs before departing with an injury.
Indians 6, Tigers 2
In Cleveland, Trevor Bauer outpitched former Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and tamed Detroit’s menacing lineup.
White Sox 7, Royals 6
In Kansas City, Adam Dunn hit a three-run homer as Chicago defeated the Royals.
Norichika Aoki was hitless in four at-bats for Kansas City.
Angels 9, Astros 3
In Anaheim, David Freese had a season-high four RBIs after getting reinstated from the disabled list.