Sat May 15 8:11am ET
It looks like the new kid is going to be all right.
Jarred Kelenic, Seattle's most highly highly anticipated hitting prospect to come up since Alex Rodriguez (1994) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1989), homered for his first major-league hit Friday night, doubled twice and drove in three runs as the host Mariners snapped a five-game skid with a 7-3 victory against Cleveland.
The four-game series continues Saturday night at T-Mobile Park.
"It was nice to get that offense going. We had a rough stretch the past four or five games and what Kelenic provided was huge," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He's going to be fun to watch. Sometimes one player can make a difference, with the emotion and excitement he can bring on a daily basis."
After going 0 for 4 in his debut Thursday, Kelenic struck out in the first inning Friday against Indians right-hander Aaron Civale, who won his first five decisions of the season before taking the loss against Seattle.
Kelenic hit a 403-foot homer to right-center field in the third -- "It was a no-doubter," Servais said -- and legged out a double in the fifth off Civale and added a run-scoring double in the seventh off right-hander Phil Maton.
"It's always a double out of the box, I think that's the way the game is supposed to be played," said Kelenic, who received a beer shower from teammates after the game.
Servais also told the story of a foul pop-up caught by third baseman Kyle Seager early in the game. Kelenic charged in and called for the ball before the veteran Seager waved him off.
"Jarred's not going to slow down for anybody, not going to stop," Servais said. "Youthful enthusiasm is a really good thing.
"He's gifted, no doubt about it. He's got power but also great rhythm at the plate. There was a lot to be excited about with his family here and a big win for the team."
Indians right-hander Triston McKenzie (1-1, 4.94 ERA) is scheduled to start Saturday against Mariners left-hander Justus Sheffield (2-3, 4.91) in a matchup of former Cleveland first-round picks -- Sheffield was selected in 2014 and McKenzie in 2015. Neither has faced the opposing team before.
McKenzie won his most recent start, pitching five scoreless innings in a 4-0 decision at Kansas City on May 6. McKenzie allowed two hits, walked four and struck out five.
"Probably the farthest (McKenzie) has gotten us into a game, and he kept them off the scoreboard," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "(He) gives up a first-batter hit and then, other than some walks, really kept them off the bases."
McKenzie said after that start that he needs to do a better job of attacking hitters.
"Just making sure (that), as well as attacking the top of the zone, I was attacking the bottom of the zone too," McKenzie said. "I felt like I gave up a hit early ... and then that kind of locked me in, and then instead of focusing on trying to strike guys out, (I was) making sure I let my defense work behind me."
--Field Level Media
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