CLEVELAND – Left-hander Yusei Kikuchi struck out 10 over seven solid innings but missed out on his second win of the season on Friday night as the Cleveland Indinas earned a 2-1 walk-off victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Making his eighth start, Kikuchi limited the Indians to one run on three hits and a walk at Progressive Field. He surrendered all of his hits in the fourth and threw five perfect innings before he was replaced with the game tied 1-1.
“I gained a lot from the game,” he said. “I’ve always needed many pitches after getting ahead in the count, but today, I was able to get strikeouts with my slider and fastball.”
Kikuchi, who is 1-1 so far in his debut season in the majors, blew the Mariners’ one-run lead in the fourth when he allowed Leonys Martin to lead off the inning with a double, advance to third on a single and score on a double play.
“Yusei did a great job, the best we’ve seen since he’s been a Mariner,” manager Scott Servais said. “He continues to grow and I thought he was great tonight.”
Added Kikuchi: “I was able to think one inning at a time. That was my philosophy, to zero in on each inning.”
The Mariners rapped out eight hits but lacked the finishing touch, and the Indians sealed the win on Tyler Naquin’s ninth-inning, RBI single off right-hander Anthony Swarzak (2-1).
Swarzak, who replaced Zac Rosscup, put two runners on base with two outs before pinch hitter Naquin singled to right field.
Jay Bruce’s fourth-inning, solo home run off Cleveland starter Shane Bieber opened the scoring.