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Segura homers, drives in 4 in rout of Indians

Seattle goes deep twice in 1st; Cruz finishes 4-for-5 with HR
April 28, 2018

CLEVELAND -- Jean Segura's impressive first month has been lost a bit among strong starts by some of his teammates, but the Mariners shortstop was not to be overlooked on Saturday as he led the way in Seattle's 12-4 blowout of the Indians at Progressive Field.Segura went 3-for-5 with a

CLEVELAND -- Jean Segura's impressive first month has been lost a bit among strong starts by some of his teammates, but the Mariners shortstop was not to be overlooked on Saturday as he led the way in Seattle's 12-4 blowout of the Indians at Progressive Field.
Segura went 3-for-5 with a home run, tied his career high with four RBIs and scored three times as Seattle handed Indians standout Carlos Carrasco his first loss of the season.
While Mitch Haniger's hot April has garnered considerable attention along with the addition of Dee Gordon and continued excellence of Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz in Seattle's 15-11 start, Segura quietly has hit .300, scored a team-leading 20 runs, knocked in 20 RBIs and stolen five bases from his No. 2 spot in the lineup.

The 28-year-old shortstop got plenty of help Saturday as Cruz went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs. Kyle Seager and Ryon Healy added two-run homers as well, and the Mariners jumped on Carrasco and reliever Zach McAllister for a 10-1 lead in the first four innings and cruised to their highest-scoring game of the season.
"Jean had an outstanding day," said manager Scott Servais. "I think all the guys. It's not like one guy has to carry the load on this ballclub. We've seen what Mitch Haniger can do. Nelson Cruz had a huge day today. Robbie has been our most-consistent guy all year.
"And those two guys at the top of the lineup, with Dee and Jean have been able to do, they get on base, steal some bases, we put some pressure on them, we pick up runs to add on. We have a good thing going offensively right now."

Segura led off for Seattle last year, but has dropped to second behind Gordon this year and said he's seeing more fastballs with pitchers worrying about the speedster ahead of him. Gordon went 2-for-4 with a double and scored three times as well.
"For me, this is the best lineup I've ever played with in my career so far," said Segura, in his seventh year in the Majors. "When you look at Mitch hitting sixth, he's [second in] the league in RBIs and [third] in home runs. That tells you how good our lineup is."

Mike Leake (3-2, 6.48 ERA) allowed six hits and four runs over six innings to pick up the win. Carrasco (4-1, 3.08 ERA) lasted a season-low three innings for the Indians. The 31-year-old right-hander had been 10-0 with a 1.59 ERA in 13 starts since his last loss on Aug. 22, 2017.
"He's one of the toughest pitchers in the league," said Cruz. "It's just one of the things in baseball you can't explain why, but we find a way to score runs. We have a pretty good lineup, also. We can hit the ball gap-to-gap, and it makes it difficult for pitchers."
The Mariners are 6-3 on their current road trip, which wraps up Sunday, and are 4-2 against the American League Central-leading Indians with one game remaining in their season series.

The Mariners' last four games had been one-run decisions and they're 10-4 in games decided by two runs or less, so getting a rare runaway victory was welcome.
"That was a lot of support," said Leake, who is now 9-1 with a 3.30 ERA over his last 14 starts with four or more runs scored by his team. "It definitely helps when you can go out and get a lead like that. You can go more in an aggressive mode and take your chances."
The Mariners wasted no time setting the tone in this one as Segura and Cruz jumped on 94-mph fastballs from Carrasco for first-inning home runs and a quick 3-0 lead. Carrasco had allowed just one homer and four runs over 29 1/3 innings in his previous four starts, but fell behind both Segura and Cruz and paid the price. Segura's shot, on a 2-0 pitch, was projected at 410 feet by Statcast™. Cruz hit his even further, driving a 1-0 fastball 428 feet to dead center for his fifth homer of the season.

Gordon stole his 10th base of the season in the third inning, taking second after being hit by a pitch and eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Cano. Gordon leads the AL with his 10 steals and became the first Mariner to record 10 in a calendar month since James Jones had 12 in June 2014.

Cruz's four hits were all rockets, ranging from an exit velocity of 109.4 mph on his first-inning homer to 116.9 mph on a sixth-inning single. He also had a 114.8-mph single in the third and a 114.1-mph double in the ninth. Cruz became the only player since Statcast™'s introduction in 2015 with three batted balls of 114-plus mph in a game and just the second with four batted balls of 109-plus mph, joining Giancarlo Stanton (May 7, 2015). But two of Stanton's balls were outs that day, so Cruz is the only player with four base hits of 109-plus. What does the baseball sound like coming off Cruz's bat from the on-deck circle?
"Like an explosion," said Seager.

"It's amazing how hard he hits it when he gets on top of the ball and backspins it like that. It's not comfortable, especially if you're playing infield in when Nelson Cruz is at the plate." -- Servais
The Mariners close out their 10-game road trip with Marco Gonzales (2-2, 5.56 ERA) on the mound in Sunday's 10:10 a.m. PT series finale at Progressive Field. The 26-year-old lefty has pitched 10 2/3 innings with three runs and 16 strikeouts while walking just one over his last two starts. The Indians counter with right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-3, 9.24 ERA).

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB