Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners battled while allowing runners in all five of his innings in Seattle’s 10-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Monday.
He didn’t come away with the victory, but he contributed to the team’s first win of the season.
Iwakuma surrendered six hits with three walks and a hit batter, while striking out five.
Norichika Aoki, who got the start in left field and batted in the leadoff spot, also chipped in, going 2-for-5. His seventh-inning single knocked in a run.
Nelson Cruz’s fourth-inning solo blast helped the Mariners take a two-run lead, but moments later Iwakuma found himself in a jam with two out and a runner on second base. He walked the next batter, and that threw off his rhythm.
The Nos. 8 and 9 hitters each followed with run-scoring hits, and the score was tied at 2-2.
Iwakuma limited the damage by getting Texas leadoff man Delino DeShields to swing through a splitter for the third strike.
“In terms of starting out the season, it’s not bad,” Iwakuma said. “I was being too fine while attacking the hitters, but that made my pitch count go up. Next time out, I want to go right after them.”