SEATTLE — Indians left-hander T.J. House threw one bad pitch to Robinson Cano.
When Felix Hernandez is throwing for the opposing team, one bad pitch can be enough to lose a ballgame.
Cano hit a two-run homer off House in the sixth inning, and the Indians managed just one hit Sunday in a 3-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Hernandez allowed one hit in eight innings — a single by Lonnie Chisenall in the fifth — and struck out nine. Fernando Rodney earned his 23rd save with a perfect ninth inning.
“I thought T.J. was really good,” manager Terry Francona said. “On a lot of nights, we are out here bragging about his outing. Because of the way Felix Hernandez threw, any mistake makes it really difficult to win that game.”
After a shaky first inning when he got out of a bases-loaded jam, House (0-2) settled in and retired 13 of the next 14 batters.
Michael Saunders led off the sixth with a chopper up the first base line that House fielded and threw past first baseman Nick Swisher and up the right field line. Saunders took third on the error and brought Cano to the plate. House left a pitch over the plate for Cano, who ended an
0-for-14 skid with a drive into the right-field seats.
“He is a good hitter. I made a bad pitch and he hurt me on it,” House said. “I hurt myself there making that error and then giving up that two-run homer to Cano. I’ve got to do better than that.”
Cleveland’s hitters couldn’t provide any support against Seattle’s ace. Chisenhall’s chopper through the infield was all they could muster against Hernandez (10-2).
“If (Cano) makes a spectacular play right there, it’s a no-hitter against us,” Chisenhall said. “Fortunately, he didn’t. We weren’t able to get anything going.”
Hernandez didn’t give up a hit through the first four innings, with a walk to Michael Brantley giving Cleveland its only baserunner.
“I think they were sitting on my changeup with two strikes. We struck out a lot of people with the fastball,” Hernandez said.
“The command of the fastball was really good. Mixed it up with my breaking ball for a strike and changeup was good, too.”
Cano singled to lead off the eighth and scored on a single from Mike Zunino to give the Mariners an insurance run.
Cleveland pitchers had their streak of 15 consecutive scoreless innings snapped on Cano’s homer.