February 15, 2019

MLB Story
By Gethin Coolbaugh, The Sports Xchange
Publish Date: May 20, 2016 10:26:02 PM

Kipnis, Kluber lead Indians over Red Sox

CINCINNATI -- It's not much of a secret. The strategy for beating the Cincinnati Reds these days is to keep the score close until you can take a crack at their struggling bullpen.
"You look at scouting reports coming into a series," said Seattle Mariners manager Scott Servais. "They've struggled, no doubt. They've got a lot of injuries and dealing with some things over there. I'm concerned about our club keeping it close and giving us a chance late."
On Friday night, the Mariners executed that strategy well.
Dae-Ho Lee homered and also had a two-run single during a four-run seventh inning as Seattle rallied for an 8-3 victory in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Great American Ball Park.
Four relievers combined to allow seven runs in three-plus innings in what's been a recurring theme for the rebuilding Reds.
"This really is an execution-level of play," manager Bryan Price said. "Guys have to give a competitive effort for us to win games we should win. I don't want to hear how hard they're working. I want to see results."
Friday's game was delayed 45 minutes due to rain.
Seattle's offense sputtered for six innings before erupting for seven runs in the final three frames.
Zack Cozart hit his fifth home run for Cincinnati (15-26) which has lost 11 of 13 meetings with the Mariners.
Right-hander Dan Straily shutout the Mariners on three hits through five innings. But, the pitches began to pile up for Straily and Seattle finally broke through in the sixth.
With Cincinnati leading 3-0, Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch and later scored on Kyle Seager's double.
"He was wonderful," said Price, of Straily. "He was really good. He battled in the sixth inning. We thought he might be losing it, but he had to get (Chris) Iannetta, and he made some good pitches to end the inning."
A tremendous diving grab in center by Billy Hamilton on Adam Lind's liner prevented a bigger sixth inning by the Mariners. "He's a difference maker on defense," said Price.
Straily greeted Hamilton with a hug and a smile before heading into the dugout after allowing a run and four hits through six.
"I didn't have my best stuff," Straily said. "I worked with what I had to get as deep into the ballgame as I could. I've got to work on cutting down my pitch count early in the game to I can go deeper into the game."
Straily was done after 110 pitches and the game was turned over to the Reds bullpen, which owned a 6.48 ERA coming in.
"It was a little slow going offensively," said Servais. "We didn't get much going against Straily early on. (Starting pitcher Hisashi) Iwakuma kept us close enough where we could put something together."
And, the Mariners did just that.
Blake Wood (3-1) walked Seth Smith with the bases loaded to make it a one-run game in the seventh. Tony Cingrani hit Cano to force home the tying run.
It was the 10th blown save in 14 opportunities for the Reds.
Lee capped the rally with a clutch hit to drive in two runs putting Seattle ahead 5-3.
"He has a really good approach at the plate," said Servais, of Lee. "He knows we need a single with the bases loaded, not a home run. He squared up a fastball and took it the other way."
In the ninth, Nelson Cruz hit his 250th career homer and Lee added a solo shot to cap the scoring for Seattle (24-17).
Iwakuma (2-4) allowed three runs over six innings to earn the victory despite battling with his command much of the night.
"Today was a different game," Iwakuma said, via an interpreter. "We didn't start on time and it kind of threw off my routine. I was fighting myself. I made some adjustments during the game and it paid off."
NOTES: Reds RHP Tim Adleman was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique which caused him to leave Thursday's start in the fourth inning. ... The Reds recalled OF Steve Selsky from Triple-A Louisville on Friday. He struck out as a pinch-hitter in the sixth in his big-league debut. ... Mariners minor league RHP Jose Luis Santiago was suspended 76 games Friday for testing positive for a banned substance. ... The Mariners' .846 winning percentage against the Reds is the fourth highest in major league history since 1900, minimum 10 games

All Times Eastern