CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – All season long the Indians have had good success against former Cy Young award winners, but even they couldn’t predict Sunday how well they would hit against Mariners starter Felix Hernandez.
Hernandez, who was a lifetime 6-4 with a 2.09 ERA in 13 starts vs Indians, was rocked for six runs in five innings, as the Tribe beat up the M’s again with a 6-0 win.
The victory is the fourth in a row for the streaking Indians, and they are now a season-high eight games over .500 at 25-17.
The offense hero vs Hernandez was Michael Brantley, who came off a day off Saturday to rap an RBI single in the first, and then in the second slammed a three-run homer to put the Tribe up 5-0.
Hernandez lasted just five innings, he gave up six runs, five earned on eight hits. He walked two and struck out eight.
The Indians bats once again did a good job running up the pitch count, as Hernandez was already at 58 pitches after two innings with the Tribe up 5-0.
While Hernandez was struggling, Indians ace Justin Masterson was thriving against the Mariners, again extending a scoreless inning streak.
The Tribe hurler threw 106 pitches in going seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 11 batters, one shy of his career-high.
Left-handed hitters went just 3-for-17 (.176) vs Masterson on the day. Masterson moves to 4-0 lifetime vs the Mariners.
Rich Hill and Joe Smith threw the final two innings for the Indians, holding Seattle in check to secure the shutout for the team and Masterson.
With the series already won with Sunday’s win, the Tribe will look for the four-game sweep over Seattle Monday with a 12:05pm start.
Scott Kazmir (2-2, 5.33) goes for the Tribe vs Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1, 1.84) for Seattle.