SEATTLE (AP) — The Mariners’ relievers came through with a solid night after a roadtrip that saw the bullpen taxed beyond its limit due to injuries in the starting rotation.
Mike Montgomery, Edwin Diaz and Steve Cishek combined to throw four shutout innings in relief to preserve Nathan Karns’ first win ion nearly a month as Seattle hold on for a 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
Montgomery struck out four and allowed just one hit in 2 1/3 innings in relief of Karns (6-2). Diaz finished off the eighth inning and Cishek got the last three outs for his 17th save of the season.
“It was really huge for us,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Huge for them. Get their confidence back and feel good about holding onto a lead which looked like it was slipping away from us there a little bit.”
Seattle had lost six straight before returning home on Friday. Two of the losses came in extra innings, including Thursday’s 5-4 defeat at Detroit where the bullpen had to make an emergency spot start after Adrian Sampson was scratched during warmups with an elbow injury. The Mariners had to make six roster moves on Friday to add a starter and two bullpen arms due to the overuse and injuries from the trip.
“Our bullpen has been throwing really well,” Cishek said. “Even in Detroit, one of our starters goes down and we hold it close. You see (Montgomery) come back too. He’s been throwing the ball well lately and just to see him bounce back from a couple outing earlier it was awesome, especially against that ball club.”
Karns gave up four runs and five hits in five innings for his first victory since May 30. He walked two and struck out three.
“I thought he was really sharp the first couple innings,” Servais said. “He struggled a little bit the last couple times out. A couple good innings then he kind of runs into trouble and struggles to get through it and that’s when the pitch count goes crazy on him.”
Dae-Ho Lee drove in two runs and Leonys Martin had three hits.
The Mariners loaded the bases against Mike Leake (5-5) in each of the first two innings. Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz each singled with two outs in the first and Kyle Seager walked to load the bases. Lee delivered a grounder into right field to drive in Cano and Cruz. Adam Lind followed with a single to center to score Seager to make it 3-0.
In the second, a hard ground ball from Cruz got away from third baseman Jhonny Peralta to drive in a run. Seager’s potential double-play grounder was mishandled by Matt Carpenter as another run scored to make it 5-0.
Matt Holliday had an RBI single in the third and Almedys Diaz clubbed a three-run homer to left in the fifth to pull the Cardinals to 5-4.
Leake couldn’t get out of the fourth inning for St. Louis. He allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits with two walks, a lone strikeout and a wild pitch in 3 1/3 innings.
“I wasn’t locating it well all night,” Leake said. “They had a pretty good approach tonight. They came out and attacked early. I couldn’t get in a groove to counteract it. They did a good job.”
After retiring the first eight batters of the night, Karns allowed a hit to Kolten Wong and walked Carpenter and Diaz to load the bases. Holliday singled to center to get the Cardinals on the board.
Carpenter hit a one-out double off Cishek in the ninth inning, but Diaz and Holliday couldn’t bring him home to tie the game.