Iwakuma fans season-high 11, Mariners top Phillies

Associated Press
Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws a pitch in the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
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Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma throws a pitch in the first inning of an interleague …

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma struck out a season-high 11 batters in eight scoreless innings to lead the Mariners to a 5-2 victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

The Mariners, who scored two runs in the first, have won 11 of their past 14.

"We had the lead early, which is big for me, for my pitching, because I'm all about pitching to contact," Iwakuma said through an interpreter.

Iwakuma (12-6) was masterful while allowing four hits and no walks. Since July 1, he is 7-2 with a 1.63 ERA, 65 strikeouts and four walks in 72 innings over 10 starts.

"He was outstanding," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "He commanded all of his pitches. He was in and out, up and down. Did a tremendous job for us."

The Phillies, who have scored three runs or less 65 times this season, got just one batter to second base against Iwakuma.

The Mariners needed three pitchers in the ninth to preserve the victory. The last of the trio, Fernando Rodney, came on with two outs and the tying run at the plate and struck out Cody Asche to record his 36th save in 39 opportunities.

"We have a strong belief in our bullpen, so I was able to watch the TV very calmly," Iwakuma said.

Asked if he was tempted to let Iwakuma pitch the ninth, McClendon said, "No, no."

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