SEATTLE – Hisashi Iwakuma is back on track, and that should create a serious concern for the rest of the American League.
Iwakuma struck out a season-high 10 in seven strong innings, Mike Zunino and Michael Saunders hit solo home runs, and the Seattle Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins 2-0 on Monday night.
Iwakuma (7-4) has not allowed an earned run to the Twins in five career starts, which spans 33⅔ innings.
“My body, physically, I’m feeling really good right now. My arm feels better, too,” said Iwakuma, who started the season on the disabled list and then dealt with neck soreness in June. “Just keeping the ball down and moving to both sides of the plate has helped me a lot.”
After allowing a combined 10 runs in two consecutive starts to close out June, Iwakuma has given up just one in his two outings in July.
“He’s got great stuff,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said. “You watch it up there and he doesn’t really throw the same thing anytime. His ball moves all over the place and his back-door fastball against right-handers when he gets ahead, he can paint.
“He’s got a great breaking ball, they keep saying it’s like a Frisbee.”
Danny Farquhar bridged the gap to the ninth with a scoreless inning of relief and Fernando Rodney pitched the final frame for his American League-leading 26th save in 28 chances.
Kevin Correia (4-11) was credited for the loss despite allowing only five hits in seven innings. It was the fourth time in the last five starts that the right-hander has left the game with no run support, and the sixth time this season the Twins have not been able to score a run for him.
Minnesota struggled just to put the ball in play, tying a season high by striking out 14 times.
Yankees 5, Indians 3
In Cleveland, Shane Greene allowed two runs in six innings for his first major league win and All-Star Dellin Betances earned his first career save to help New York beat the Indians.
Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and Ichiro Suzuki had three hits apiece for the Yankees.
White Sox 4, Red Sox 0
In Boston, Scott Carroll pitched 6⅔ innings of one-hit ball, and Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer to lead Chicago past the Red Sox.
Royals 6, Rays 0
In St. Petersburg, Florida, Kansas City’s James Shields sparkled in his return to Tropicana Field, limiting Tampa Bay to three hits and striking out 10 over seven innings.
Angels 5, Blue Jays 2
In Anaheim, Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had run-scoring hits in the fifth inning and five relievers helped fill in for an injured Jered Weaver, leading Los Angeles past Toronto.
Munenori Kawasaki was 1-for-4 with a run scored for the Blue Jays.
Astros 12, Rangers 7
In Arlington, Texas, Jon Singleton homered among three hits and drove in four runs, Marwin Gonzalez had a bases-loaded triple and Houston snapped a seven-game skid.