Field Level Media
Mar 31, 2023
Ty France hit an opposite-field, three-run homer with one out in the eighth inning as the Seattle Mariners opened the season with a 3-0 victory against the visiting Cleveland Guardians on Thursday night.
Seattle's Paul Sewald (1-0) pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and fellow right-hander Andres Munoz worked the ninth for the save, getting Josh Bell to ground out with two runners on to end the game.
Cleveland's James Karinchak (0-1) got two quick strikes on J.P. Crawford leading off the bottom of the eighth before being called for a pitch-clock violation. That seemed to unnerve Karinchak, whose next pitch sailed to the backstop.
On a 3-2 pitch, Crawford checked his swing and plate umpire Mark Carlson checked with third base ump Brennan Miller to see if Crawford swung. Miller ruled Crawford hadn't, giving him a base on balls. Guardians manager Terry Francona argued to no avail that Crawford had fouled off the pitch, and replays showed it was a foul ball.
After Julio Rodriguez flied out, Kolten Wong was hit by a pitch. France then hit a 1-1 offering down the right field line and just over the fence. France, who also doubled, finished 3-for-4.
The starting pitchers, Cleveland's Shane Bieber and Seattle's Luis Castillo, battled through six scoreless innings.
Castillo allowed one hit and no walks while striking out six.
The Mariners had one hit in each inning against Bieber's but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position against him and stranded four at third base. Bieber didn't walk a batter and fanned three.
Castillo retired the side in order in the first two innings before Will Brennan led off the third with a liner back to the mound. The ball appeared to glance off Castillo's pitching hand before grazing the right side of his head and then rolling behind second base for an infield single.
Mariners manager Scott Servais and the training staff hurried to the mound to check on Castillo, who threw a couple of warmup pitches and then gave a thumbs-up.
Bieber got a scare of his own in the fourth inning as Cal Raleigh hit a one-hopper off the pitcher's left heel that caromed toward third base for an infield single. Francona and the Guardians' trainer came to the mound even though Bieber tried to wave them off. The right-hander continued.
The game time was 2:14.
--Field Level Media