Mariner tailspin continues in Miami

MIAMI — The losing continues for the Seattle Mariners. But they did at least manage to avoid being no-hit.

Dustin Ackley broke up a perfect game bid from Miami starter Henderson Alvarez in the sixth inning with a single to end that possibility.

But didn’t stop Alvarez from shutting down and shutting out the Mariners in a 7-0 win at Globe Life Park. It was the Mariners’ fifth straight loss.

Alvarez, who threw a no-hitter on the final day of the 2013 season against the Detroit Tiger, was sharp and efficient He got Seattle hitters to pound the ball into the ground in at-bat after at-bat. He gave up two hits, struck out four and didn’t walk a batter. He needed just 90 pitches for the shutout and registered 16 ground-ball outs.

Mariners’ manager Lloyd McClendon knows exactly how good Alvarez can be. He was the hitting coach for the Tigers’ team that was no-hit to end last season.

Using a mid-90s fastball, a slider and solid change-up, Alvarez was perfect through five innings with only the hard-hit ball being a line out to right field from Abraham Almonte in the fourth inning. Otherwise, the Mariners mustered little.

Ackley led off the sixth inning with a sharp line drive single. But he was quickly erased on the base paths when Mike Zunino grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.

Zunino came up with a double in the ninth inning for the other hit of the night.

And that was it. The Mariners had nothing else.

Roenis Elias gave the Mariners a servicable start, despite some command issues. Elias, a native of Cuba, was excited to pitch in Miami so close to his native country. He had several friends and relatives watching.

But he wasn’t as sharp as in past outings. He never worked a clean inning. The Marlins picked up a run in the third inning on Casey McGehee’s RBI single. They added another in the fourth on a passed ball when Zunino had a fastball bounce off his glove and roll to the backstop, allowing Adeiny Hechavarria to score.

Still, the Mariners trailed just2-0 going into the sixth inning. But Alvarez came up with a two-out, broken-bat bloop single to left field to score a run off Elias to make it 3-0. Elias then walked Christian Yelich and left a fastball up that Marcell Ozuna hit over the fence for a three-run homer to make it 6-0. It was a whole lot of insurance runs for a pitcher that didn’t need them.


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