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Swanson shines in first Major League win

Ohio native rookie stifles Indians, allows just one hit in six scoreless innings
May 5, 2019

CLEVELAND -- Mariners rookie Erik Swanson will never forget his first MLB win, both for what happened on the field and in the clubhouse. The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday, then was given a beer and condiment bath by his teammates following Seattle’s 10-0 victory over

CLEVELAND -- Mariners rookie Erik Swanson will never forget his first MLB win, both for what happened on the field and in the clubhouse.

The right-hander carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning Sunday, then was given a beer and condiment bath by his teammates following Seattle’s 10-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.

Box score

“I was picking some ketchup out of my ears courtesy of [third baseman] Dylan Moore,” Swanson said, laughing as he recalled his chauffeured ride in a laundry cart into the shower. “The celebration was greasy. A little greasy, but it was cool.”

Swanson (1-3, 4.94 ERA) held Cleveland hitless for 5 2/3 innings before Jose Ramirez delivered a sharp double to right field. He finished with a career-high 106 pitches over six innings, allowing a lone hit and three walks in his fifth big league outing.

The 25-year-old is the No. 9 prospect in the organization, per MLB Pipeline, and was acquired in a four-player trade with the Yankees on Nov. 19, 2018, that sent left-hander James Paxton to New York.

“Swanny was great, and this should be a big confidence builder for him,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said, his jersey soaked from the postgame party. “He’s had a good run so far for us, coming over to a new organization.

“We’ve always known that his fastball is a separator, but the key was he was able to get his changeup going; both his changeup and his slider were on today.”

Swanson threw 69 fastballs, 28 changeups and nine sliders, according to Statcast. He only drew five swinging strikes and had 28 pitches fouled off, but kept the Indians guessing throughout.

“Early on, he had good ride on his fastball, so he was kind of beating us and we were having trouble getting on top of it,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “You could see him gaining confidence. He started throwing a good changeup, which really gave us fits.”

An Ohio native, Swanson grew up in the Cincinnati suburb of Terrace Park. Both of his parents, along with more than a dozen friends, were on hand to watch his first big league appearance in the Eastern Time Zone.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder fed off their energy in retiring the first 10 batters of the game, and was well aware that the Indians didn’t have a hit as he headed to the mound in the sixth.

“I knew I had it, but I wasn’t thinking about that too much,” Swanson said. “After the back-to-back walks [in the fourth], I just tried to attack the zone and get some contact, and Ramirez got that one pretty good later on.”

Swanson was followed by Brandon Brennan, Mike Wright and Zac Rosscup, who went one inning apiece to complete a two-hit shutout that snapped Seattle’s losing streak at six.

By taking the finale of the three-game series, the Mariners avoided falling to .500 for the first time in 2019, prompting them to let off some steam in the clubhouse before boarding a flight to New York.

“It’s been a long week,” Servais said. “We’ve lost some close games and haven’t played that well, so we needed it. I feel great for Swanny and I’m happy for our team.”