SEATTLE (AP) Switching around the rotation gave Seattle rookie Bryce Miller an extra day of rest and more time to fret about his last start, when he failed to make it out of the third inning.
“I had eight days to think about the last one in Texas, so I felt like I haven't thrown in a month,” Miller said. “But yeah, it was good getting back out there, getting back on track and feeling good.”
Miller and two relievers combined on a one-hitter, Ty France, Eugenio Suárez and Tom Murphy homered, and the Mariners opened an important six-game homestand with an 8-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Monday night.
Following a disappointing 2-6 trip that saw Seattle fall 10 games back in the AL West, the Mariners rediscovered a winning formula of strong starting pitching and a few big swings.
“The road trip was tough, but what can you do about it now?” France said. “Just got to keep moving forward and got just under 100 games left, so gotta make the most of them.”
Miller was superb, throwing six innings and allowing only Nick Fortes’ home run with two outs in the fifth. Ty Adcock pitched two innings of relief in his major league debut, and Gabe Speier worked the ninth to finish the one-hitter.
Miller (4-3) rebounded from his previous two starts in which the rookie was badly knocked around by the Yankees and Rangers to the tune of 19 hits and 15 earned runs. The 24-year-old right-hander again relied mostly on spotting his fastball, but mixed in just enough sliders to keep the Marlins off balance.
Miller struck out six and walked three and said one of the keys was adjustments made throwing his cutter at a higher velocity.
“That was kind of what I worked on this week. I had two bullpens and I felt really good with it going into the game, and all game it felt really good,” Miller said.
Miami’s Luis Arraez went hitless in four at-bats as his batting average dipped to .391. Arraez was hitless for the second time in his last 17 games, and for the 11th time this season.
“(Miller's) got a good fastball. We knew that going in," Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. “But we just couldn't get on top of the fastball and do any damage with it.”
Miller was provided support from the outset - and a chance to pitch with the lead. The Mariners scored six runs with two outs in the first two innings combined, highlighted by Teoscar Hernández’s RBI double in the first and France’s three-run homer in the second.
“Getting the runs early certainly helps. I’d love to see it here on a consistent basis,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We’re capable of doing it. We’ve seen us do it before, but it takes a really disciplined approach every night.”
Bryan De La Cruz’s error in left field later in the first inning allowed Hernández to score, and Julio Rodríguez’s RBI single in the second set the stage for France to hit his sixth homer of the season. Suárez hit a solo shot in the fifth, and Murphy added a solo homer in the eighth.
All of Seattle’s early offensive damage came off Miami starter Jesús Luzardo, who lasted just four innings in his shortest outing of the season. Luzardo (5-5) allowed five earned runs, six hits and struck out three.
The one hit was a season low for the Marlins and just the second time in franchise history their only hit was a home run. The previous came on June 26, 2008, versus Tampa Bay in a 6-1 loss.
Seattle placed RHP Penn Murfee on the 15-day injured list with right elbow inflammation. Murfee was removed from Sunday’s game at the Los Angeles Angels after feeling discomfort in his pitching arm. Murfee missed 29 games in May and early June with the same issue. Seattle selected Adcock from Double-A Arkansas to take Murfee’s spot and transferred LHP Robbie Ray to the 60-day IL.
Marlins: RHP Edward Cabrera (5-4, 4.29 ERA) won his second straight start in his last outing, allowing one run and two hits in five innings against Kansas City.
Mariners: RHP George Kirby (5-5, 3.50) looks to rebound after getting battered for 11 hits and five runs in 3 2/3 innings in his last start against San Diego.
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