DETROIT (AP) — Seattle rookie right-hander Bryce Miller shut down the Detroit Tigers for seven innings in a 5-0 victory Saturday that pushed the Mariners above .500 for the first time since they won on opening day.
“Wow, Bryce Miller continues to roll,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “I just am amazed at how calm this young guy really is. He’s under control all the time. Nothing really gets to him. Awesome outing today.”
Miller (2-0) allowed just three hits, two in the first inning, and struck out three while walking none. In three starts, Miller has given up just one run on seven hits while walking one and striking out 18 in 19 innings.
“We didn’t do anything against him,” Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said. “It was hard. He had good stuff. I thought he changed his attack plan a little bit. But everything across the board was in the strike zone. He was efficient. He was dominant. We had a couple balls hit hard, but when you look up there after six innings, 70 (pitches), whatever it was, three hits, zero runs, he was very effective.
“We hadn’t seen him before, and I can see why he’s off to a good start to his career.”
Two of the three hits Miller allowed came in the first inning.
“It took me a little bit to kind of get rolling and I noticed early everything wasn’t as sharp as it’s been the last couple weeks but they were really aggressive and swinging early,” Miller said. “So fortunately for me, I was able to go out and throw it over the plate early and they were getting themselves out.”
Spencer Torkelson said the Tigers ran into some bad luck and some good defense.
“He had a good fastball. He was filling up the zone. He was getting ahead,” Torkelson said. “But I really don’t think the box score is going to show how quality our at-bats were. We hit a lot of balls hard, right at guys.”
Miller is the second Seattle pitcher with a sub-1.00 ERA (0.47) through his first three career starts. Félix Hernández (0.86) in 2005 is the other.
“I’ve definitely seen some highlights,” said Miller, who turned 7 in 2005. “I wasn’t an avid watcher whenever he was in his prime. But it’s good company to be in.”
Jarred Kelenic hit a two-run home run in the third and Teoscar Hernández hit a solo homer in the fourth. They are tied for the team lead with eight.
“Big day for Teo, needed him to have one of those days,” Servais said. “He hit the home run, they finally hung one for him and he got on it. Big day for him and Jarred continues to roll along to a really nice start to the season.”
Kelenic’s home run came on the two-year anniversary of his major league debut.
Alex Faedo (0-1), making his second start of the season and first career appearance against the Mariners, allowed three runs on four hits while walking one and striking out seven. The seven strikeouts tied a career high.
The Mariners added two more runs in the ninth on Hernández’s RBI single, which scored Julio Rodríguez, and Chasen Shreve’s wild pitch, which scored Eugenio Suárez.
Seattle’s Ty France hit a single in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He and Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe are the only players with multiple hitting streaks of 10-plus games this season.
During Suárez’s first at-bat, Faedo’s pitch hit the ground, bounced off of catcher Eric Hasse’s glove and into Suárez’s arm. Unfazed, Suárez kicked the ball with his right foot a few times before grabbing it with his right hand and tossing it to the dugout.
Tigers RHP Matt Manning, who fractured his right foot on April 12, is following a throwing progression and is expected to start throwing off a mound in a couple of weeks. Mariners LHP Robbie Ray underwent Tommy John surgery and left flexor tendon repair 10 days ago and has just started the rehabilitation process.
The teams complete the three-game series Sunday, when Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (1-2, 3.79 ERA) opposes Tigers LHP Joey Wentz (1-3, 6.09).