And Elias kept throwing it effectively, using the pitch 41 times
and getting eight of his career-high 10 strikeouts with it in seven
innings of a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Thursday night
at Yankee Stadium.
"Early on, when he was throwing it for strikes, he was able to throw
for it a strike and put guys away," Zunino said. "At that point, you
have to go to it, but he was able to throw the fastball enough for
strikes too to keep the guys off the curveball. He threw everything
else so they just couldn't sit on it. I thought that was a big job
done by him."
Former New York second baseman Robinson Cano continued to get booed
by Yankees fans but drove in two runs.
Shortstop Brad Miller added an RBI single and center fielder Michael
Saunders highlighted a three-hit night with a run-scoring double as
the Mariners equaled a season high with their third straight win and
posted their fourth consecutive victory in New York.
But the biggest development for the Mariners was Elias dominating in
his Yankee Stadium debut after coming out of nowhere in spring
training to make the team nearly four years after defecting from
"The best I've seen him," Zunino said. "He's a guy that definitely
feeds off a lot of energy and what better place to do it at.
Probably last two or three starts, he's been feeling really
confident with the breaking ball along with the changeups. With him
being able to go along and do that today, it shows how good he is."
Elias allowed two runs (one earned) and six hits, but his night got
off to a shaky start when he allowed a leadoff home run to center
fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on his fastball. Then Elias began pumping in
curveballs to Yankees hitters on a night where he threw first pitch
strikes to 21 of the 27 hitters he faced.
"After the first couple of innings went by, that's when I felt more
comfortable and started taking control," Elias said through an
Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said, "I thought he was pretty good.
He commanded the strike zone with his fastball and his breaking ball
was exceptional. That's a veteran lineup, a tough lineup to go
through. He needed to make quality pitches to be successful tonight
and for the most part I thought he did that."
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Elias became the second
opposing pitcher in the last 45 seasons to strike out at least 10 in
his Yankee Stadium debut. He also was the 12th rookie pitcher in
franchise history to have a double-digit strikeout game.
"He says he's been through a lot in his life already so far," Zunino
said. "When it comes to baseball, it's all fun for him. He's a loose
guy with a lot of confidence, so it's one of those things where he
goes out and feeds off the energy and he's a guy that can rise up to
the occasion and I think he showed it."
He fanned Ellsbury and shortstop Derek Jeter twice on curveballs
while using the pitch to strike out designated hitter Alfonso
Soriano, third baseman Yangervis Solarte, left fielder Brett Gardner
and second baseman Brian Roberts.
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"He was good," New York right fielder Carlos Beltran said. "Anytime
you've never faced a guy, you don't know what you're going to get
from him. He was able to pitch in and out. We basically couldn't do
nothing against him."
Elias also was aided by double plays in the second and third inning
while getting a lunging grab by third baseman Kyle Seager in the
seventh against Gardner. Of Elias' 110 pitches, 73 were strikes.
Reliever Yorevis Medina pitched a perfect eighth and Fernando Rodney
allowed a two-out single to pinch-hitter Ichiro Suzuki in the ninth
but struck out Gardner for his sixth save of the season.
New York right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (2-3) was not as ineffective as
he was Friday in a 13-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim,
allowing four runs (three earned) and seven hits in six innings.
"He didn't pitch horribly tonight," New York manager Joe Girardi
said. "I tonight was an improvement. I think it's a step in the
Besides Ellsbury's home run, catcher Brian McCann had an RBI single
for the Yankees, who struck out 12 times.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead on Cano's double to right field corner with
one out in the first, but New York tied it on Ellsbury's leadoff
The Mariners scored an unearned run in the third when Miller reached
on Jeter's fielding error at short and took third on a single by
Saunders before scoring on Cano's groundout. Seattle scored twice
with two outs in the fourth on Miller's RBI single and a ground-rule
double by Saunders.
NOTES: The Yankees honored Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Wolff before
the game for having the longest career by a broadcaster in the
Guinness Book of World Records. During a 75-year career, the
93-year-old Wolff has called Don Larson's perfect game in the 1956
World Series and the 1958 NFL title game between the Giants and
Colts. ... Jacoby Ellsbury's home run was New York's first leadoff
homer since Derek Jeter on Aug. 21, 2012, at Chicago. ... Seattle is
expected to activate RHP Hisashi Iwakuma from the disabled list to
start Saturday. Iwakuma has not pitched this season after suffering
an injury to his right middle finger during an offseason workout.
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