SEATTLE (CBSMiami) – The 13th start of Ariel Miranda’s major league career was his best.
The 28-year-old Cuban threw seven shutout innings, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz hit first-inning homers, and the Seattle Mariners cruised to a 6-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday.
Seattle earned its fourth victory in a row after a 2-8 start to the season.
A Christian Yelich fourth-inning single was Miami’s only damage against Miranda until the third time through the order, and Yelich’s solo homer in the ninth inning accounted for the lone Marlins’ run of the night.
Miranda (1-1) tossed 97 pitches, striking out five while walking none and allowing just four hits. It tied Miranda’s longest start as a Mariner, and he never before had an outing of more than six innings in which he held the opposition scoreless.
“He was really in control of the game the whole night,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He had a little hiccup there in the sixth … but he got through it. Happy for him. He’s throwing the ball really well — against a team, the middle of their lineup is tough. They can really swing the bats.”
Mariners starters have gone at least seven innings and allowed one run or fewer in three of the past four games.
For the first time this season, Cano and Cruz hit back-to-back homers. Jarrod Dyson walked to lead off the game, and Cano hit a 441-foot laser beam into the center-field seats. Cruz followed with a shot that landed not 30 feet away to give the Mariners an early 3-0 lead.
“Robbie absolutely crushed the ball,” Servais said. “Cruz said he didn’t get it all, but that’s Nelson Cruz. I think Taylor Motter got it all, the one he hit (in the fifth inning). It’s great to see those guys get it going. That’s what drives the train is the middle of our lineup.”
Leonys Martin went the opposite way with a single to lead off the fourth. He stole second, got to third on an error and scored on Jarrod Dyson’s bloop double into left field. Cano then got his third RBI with a double off the wall in left-center.
Former Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki grounded out in all three trips to the plate but made a leaping grab at the wall in left field in the eighth that drew a roar from the crowd. He was greeted with multiple standing ovations and chants “Ich-i-ro” through his at-bats, plus during a pregame ceremony honoring his 3,000th career hit, a milestone he reached last season.
“It’s been so long,” Suzuki said through his translator. “I could have been forgotten. For them to do that for me, I’m very thankful. It kind of reaffirms that this is a special place.”
Marlins starter Tom Koehler (0-1) lasted just four innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and walking three. He did pitch around some damage, striking out the side in the homer-riddled first inning, and he left the bases loaded in the third.
Jose Urena relieved Koehler after the fourth inning and finished the game. If not for a Taylor Motter blast into the left field bleachers that capped Seattle’s scoring in the fifth inning, he would have completed four clean frames.
Motter’s home run was Seattle’s only hit off Urena, who struck out two while throwing 53 pitches.
“Jose kind of saved us there,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s not what we’re looking for to start the trip, but not having to use anybody else out there was about the only silver lining pretty much the whole night.”
By The Sports Xchange