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Taijuan on: Mariners ride 11-K gem vs. Tribe

June 9, 2016

SEATTLE -- Taijuan Walker threw eight scoreless innings and catcher Chris Iannetta cracked a pair of homers and drove in four runs as the Mariners topped the Indians, 5-0, on Wednesday night for their second straight win over the American Central leaders at Safeco Field."It was just being more intense

SEATTLE -- Taijuan Walker threw eight scoreless innings and catcher Chris Iannetta cracked a pair of homers and drove in four runs as the Mariners topped the Indians, 5-0, on Wednesday night for their second straight win over the American Central leaders at Safeco Field.
"It was just being more intense and having that edge, just going right after them with the fastball and keeping it the whole game," Walker said after picking up his first win since April.
Walker got his first win in his last seven decisions with a dominant three-hit performance. The 23-year-old walked none and tied a career high with 11 strikeouts to improve to 3-6 with a 3.48 ERA.
"He beat us with velocity, and then he'd throw a split that came off the same angle as his fastball," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I'm not sure what he's doing with these other teams, but he's just really impressive. We've seen him four times and tonight might have been the best. It was a dominating performance."

Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco, in his second start since coming off the disabled list following a hamstring issue, allowed five hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings, but two of the hits were Iannetta homers. Iannetta added an RBI double in the seventh in a three-hit night.
"I thought he threw the ball well. Early on, he was kind of feeling for it a little bit, but he settled down nicely," Indians catcher Chris Gimenez said. "Really, unfortunately for us, two bad pitches kind of decided our night. At the same point, you've got to tip your cap to Iannetta. He did what he should do with a hanging slider. He put some good swings on it, and two balls went a long way."
Carrasco's night marred by two mistake pitches
The Indians still hold a 2 1/2-game lead in the AL Central at 32-26, thanks to Wednesday losses by the Royals and Tigers. The Mariners (33-26) picked up a game in the AL West, now trailing the Rangers by three and having won four of their last five games at Safeco.

Taijuan in command: The only time the Tribe threatened Walker was in the fourth when Rajai Davis and Jason Kipnis led off with singles, the first hits of the game off the righty. The runners moved into scoring position on a balk by Walker, but he stranded them by retiring Francisco Lindor on a foul popup and Carlos Santana on a flyout to right before striking out Lonnie Chisenhall on a 96-mph heater that left Chisenhall slamming down his helmet in disgust.
"We were trying to keep the runner close and he got a little off balance with Ketel Marte coming in behind Davis at second," Seattle manager Scott Servais said of the balk. "It happens. But he didn't back down. He just dialed it up."

Battery power: Walker got all the support he needed from his backstop. After Ketel Marte led off the third inning with a single, Iannetta jumped on a first-pitch changeup for his fifth home run of the year and first since May 13, with the ball carrying just over the glove of leaping left fielder Davis for a 2-0 lead. Iannetta then unloaded a 456-foot blast into the upper deck in left in the fifth to give him just the second two-homer game of his career, the other coming in 2011 with the Rockies.
"The catcher was OK tonight, too," Servais said. "It was a great night for Chris to catch a ballgame like that and then swing the bat the way he did. I'm excited for him. This is one of those nights that doesn't happen too often." More >

The old Gold Glover:Franklin Gutierrez brought back memories of his outfield glory days when he crashed into the right-field wall to haul in Juan Uribe's deep drive for the final out of the seventh inning. Walker tipped his cap to the 2010 AL Gold Glove winner, who has been limited to spot duties in right field the past two years after dealing with his ankylosing spondylitis nerve condition.
"His instincts in the outfield have always been great," Servais said. "Obviously he doesn't move quite like he did a few years ago before he got hurt, but his routes, his feel for the outfield and where he's at on the wall … great catch. Fun to see."

Chamberlain returns: Indians reliever Joba Chamberlain, activated off the DL before the game, came on in the eighth to pitch for the first time since May 21. He hit Seth Smith, the first batter he faced, with a pitch, and Robinson Cano followed with a double to right. Smith came home on Kyle Seager's RBI groundout. Chamberlain threw first-pitch balls to four of the six batters he faced, including an intentional walk to Adam Lind. More >

"It's something I have to figure out, what really triggers it. I kind of figured it out, so hopefully I keep going with it. If I keep it right there every start, I feel like I should be pretty good." -- Walker, on dialing up his intensity

Walker apparently enjoys pitching against the Indians. He's 4-0 with a 0.32 ERA (one earned run in 28 innings) in four starts in his career vs. the Tribe, compared to 13-17 with a 4.40 ERA in 48 games against all other Major League teams.
"If you've seen his numbers against us, I think he's 4-0 with a point-four or something like that," Gimenez said. "Sometimes guys have a team's number and teams have guys' numbers. That's just the way it works"
Lind beat out an infield dribbler against a defensive shift with one out in the second inning. Shortstop Lindor, playing between first and second, flipped to first with an underhand glove toss. The Indians challenged the safe call and it was overturned after a brief review.

Indians:Josh Tomlin (8-1, 3.54 ERA) will get the start for Cleveland in Thursday's 10:10 p.m. ET series finale at Safeco Field, where the right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA in five career starts, including his first career shutout in a 5-0 victory on June 28, 2014. In his last start, Tomlin allowed one run on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of a 7-1 victory over Kansas City.
Mariners:Nathan Karns (5-2, 4.23 ERA) closes out the four-game series against Cleveland in Thursday's 7:10 p.m. PT game. The 28-year-old right-hander is coming off his worst start of the season, allowing eight hits and seven runs in four innings in a 10-4 loss at Texas.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [

@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.