Great pitching matchup tonight featuring Hisashi Iwakuma and David Price, who is making his first career start, believe it or not, in Seattle. Price made his first and only start period against the Mariners last Aug. 14 in Tampa Bay. He got a no-decision that day after giving up four runs on five hits in seven inning in the Ray’s 5-4 win.
NINTH INNING — DeJesus, after being knocked down by a way-inside fastball from Fernando Rodney, crushed a 2-2 changeup way out to right, tying the score at 1-1. Loney singled with two outs, Jennings followed with a sharp single and Joyce blooped a single to center to drive in the go-ahead run. Rodney was pulled after walking Escobar. As he walked slowly back to the dugout, fans booed. … Cano stuck out on a 3-2 fastball from Price — a called strike three on a borderline pitch away. Cano wasn’t pleased. Hart flied out to left, and Smoak struck out swinging. Price threw a complete in his first Seattle start with 12 strikeouts. —– FINAL: Rays 2, Mariners 1.
EIGHTH INNING — Joyce beat the shift with a single to left to open the inning. Escobar grounded into a fielder’s choice, with Joyce out 6-4 at second. Pinch hitter Ryan Hanigan flied out to left. Myers then got to the count to 3-2 and fouled off one splitter before looking at an 80-mph slider on the inside corner. Brilliant. That should do it for ‘Kuma after 97 pitches. … Price works quickly in the bottom of the eighth. Miller struck out looking — the 10th strikeout of the night for Price, seventh looking. Jones grounded out to first on a bunt attempt, and Romero flied out to left. Mariners 1, Rays 0. It’s Rodney time.
SEVENTH INNING — A 10-pitch seventh inning for Iwakuma. That’s his fifth 1-2-3 inning of the night. He’s allowed three hits and no walks. That’s 15 consecutive scoreless innings for ‘Kuma and 23 in a row at Safeco. Streeetch! … Ackley beat out an infield single with one out but, after a couple close calls at first, was picked off by Price at first. Zunino then struck out looking to end the inning. Price has nine strikeouts tonight — six looking. Mariners 1, Rays 0.
SIXTH INNING — Yet another 1-2-3 inning for ‘Kuma, who is at 68 pitches through six. Odd: He had 34 pitches through six innings. Which means he will, of course, be right at 102 pitches if he can get through a full nine. (Because it’s that simple, right?) … Cano hit a bloop single with one out, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on Hart’s groundout to short. Smoak then popped out to short to end the inning. Mariners 1, Rays o.
FIFTH INNING — ‘Kuma retired 13 Rays in a row before Joyce’s two-out single in the fifth. Escobar followed with a sharp single to center, but Jose Molina popped out to Cano to end the inning. That’s 13 consecutive scoreless innings for ‘Kuma. … Zunino doubled to right with one out, but didn’t get any farther as Miller and Jones both struck out looking at fastballs on the outside corner. Mariners 1, Rays 0.
FOURTH INNING — Another 1-2-3 inning for ‘Kuma, who is at 45 pitches through four. Rays have only one hit so far. … Cano doubled to left-center on a 3-2 pitch from Price to lead off the inning. But Cano never budged from there, as Hart and Smoak both struck out on high fastballs, and Seager popped out to short on the first pitch he saw. Mariners 1, Rays 0.
THIRD INNING — ‘Kuma strikes out the side. He has thrown just 34 pitches through three. … M’s go down quietly, with Miller grounding out to second on the first pitch, Jones flying out to center and Romero grounding out to second. Mariners 1, Rays 0.
SECOND INNING — An easy 1-2-3 inning for ‘Kuma. … Ackley doubled off the left-field wall with two outs, but Price struck out Zunino on three pitches. Mariners 1, Rays 0.
FIRST INNING — Myers, the Ray’s new leadoff hitter, flied out the track in left for the first out. DeJesus doubled to left-center, but ‘Kuma got Longoria to line out to Romero in right and Zobrist grounded out to Cano. … Who is this kid? James Jones laced a 95-mph fastball (on an 0-2 pitch) the opposite way for a leadoff double to left. Romero, on a hit-and-run, advanced Jones to third on a groundout to first, and Cano battled back from 0-2 to drive in Jones with a soft groundout to first. Hart struck out looking. Mariners 1, Rays 0.