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Box score … 04.19.14 Box Score
In the final game of last season, Lloyd McClendon sat in the same dugout he was sitting in on Saturday night as the hitting coach for the Detroit Tigers. He watched as Henderson Alvarez used his mid-90s fastball, hard slider and power change-up to throw a no-hitter against his team.
At least this time, McClendon got to see his team get a hit. – they got two actually.
“His stuff was exceptional tonight,” McClendon said. “He had plenty of movement and he was pounding the zone.”
Dustin Ackley broke up Alvarez’s no-hit/perfect game bid in the sixth inning to spare the Mariners from further misery on this road trip. But Seattle has still lost five straight going into Sunday’s finale and is now 7-10 in the season.
“We are one ground ball away from having a decent road trip to this point,” McClendon said, referring to the walk-off loss to Texas on Wednesday. “I’m not going to blow things out of proportion at this point. For me, that’s silly stuff. This is a tough stretch for us, but guess what? Everybody in baseball go through tough stretches. We just happen to be having ours now. We just have to grind it out, keep our heads up and keep going.”
Roenis Elias gave the Mariners a serviceable start, despite some command issues. As Zunino said, “his stuff was good, but his location wasn’t as good as last time.”
He had just one clean inning – the fifth. The Marlins picked up a run in the third inning on Casey McGehee’s RBI single. They added another in the fourth on passed ball when Zunino had a fastball bounce off his glove and roll to the backstop allowing Adeiny Hechavarria to score.
“It just cut on me a hair and I got it on the toe of the glove,” Zunino said.
Still, the Mariners trailed 2-0 going into the sixth inning, which gave them a chance. But it fell apart there.
Alvarez came up with a two-out, broken-bat bloop single to left field to score a run of Elias to make it 3-0. Elias was visibly upset on the mound.
“A pitcher should never get a hit off me,” he said through translator Danny Farquhar. “He’s not a professional hitter so he shouldn’t get a hit.”
Elias then walked Christian Yelich and left a fastball up that Marcell Ozuna hit over the fence for a three-run homer to make it 6-0. It was a whole lot of insurance runs for a pitcher that didn’t need them.
“It was a high fastball and I was trying to go in on him and left it over the middle,” he said.
That was the end of Elias’ start. McClendon replaced him with Danny Farquhar, who struck out Giancarlo Stanton to end the inning.
Admittedly, McClendon might have replaced him sooner had the bullpen not been so taxed.
“It was unfortunate that we tried to push him a little because of where we are with our bullpen,” he said. “If you really think about it, he was one out – the pitcher – from having a fantastic outing, so it’s a shame that ended up like it did.”