Indians 6, Mariners 1 at the Peoria Sports Complex

Notable

The game featured just 7 ½ innings of baseball with Cleveland being short on relief pitching for the day. But the pitchers who did go out there shut down Seattle hitters for six innings.

The Mariners didn’t score until the seventh inning when Taylor Trammell drove in Seattle’s only run with a line drive to the right-center gap, scoring Jordan Cowan from first base. Trammell was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Seattle tallied seven hits in the game.

Julio Rodriguez notched one of those hits, smoking a 94-mph fastball off lefty Anthony Gose into center field for a single in the fifth inning. Per Trackman data, the ball had an excellent velocity of 113 mph, which was harder than any ball hit by the Mariners during the 2020 season.

Right-hander Erik Swanson gave up a two-run homer in the fifth inning while Jaime Schultz also surrendered a pair of runs in the sixth.

Player of the game

From a statistical standpoint, Yusei Kikuchi has had better games. But the lefty showed that his velocity increase from last season was no fluke. Kikuchi consistently hit 95-96 mph with his fastball in his two innings of work. His only run allowed came with two outs in the first inning. He issued a two-out walk after getting up 0-2 on to Jake Bauers and then gave up a double to Josh Naylor, who had a pair of hits in the game. Kikuchi came back with a scoreless second inning with a pair of strikeouts.   

Quotable

“I thought his stuff was really sharp, very aggressive. He was kind of amped up a little bit in the first inning. I was happy with the way he threw the ball. It was a good outing. It was a step in the right direction. We’ll keep building volume on him.” — manager Scott Servais on Yusei Kikuchi.

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On tap

The Mariners will travel to Sloan Park in Mesa face the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. The Mariners have re-slotted their starting rotation, pushing lefty James Paxton back a few days based on expected innings for the game. Instead, right-hander Ljay Newsome will get the start for Seattle.

Given Paxton’s history, the initial reaction was an injury to the lefty when the rotation was changed.

“We’ll probably move Pax back a day or two,” Servais said. “Pax is completely healthy. We are just shifting things around and lining up our rotation a little bit. But there is absolutely nothing wrong health-wise with Pax.”

Also scheduled to pitch for Seattle are right-handers J.T. Chargois, Nick Furon, Vinnie Nittoli and Jimmy Yacabonis and lefty Aaron Fletcher. The Cubs will start right-hander Zach Davies. First pitch is set for 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will be televised by ESPN and broadcast live on Mariners.com and delayed on ESPN 710-AM.