EVERETT — Snohomish County residents who root for the Seattle Mariners are getting downright spoiled this summer.
On Monday Seattle reliever Steve Cishek got the start for the Everett AquaSox and became the fifth Mariners pitcher and sixth Mariners player overall to do a rehab stint with the AquaSox, who fell 7-0 to the visiting Salem-Keizer Volcanoes before 1,520 fans at Everett Memorial Stadium.
“It feels pretty good,” said Cishek, who has been on the disabled list retroactive to Aug. 2 with a partially torn labrum in his hip. “I was just trying to make some mechanical adjustments. Overall I thought my command was pretty decent today. I got ahead of guys and that was my goal.”
Cishek allowed two hits, including a two-out RBI bloop double to Gio Brusa that scored Manuel Geraldo. He recorded all three outs via strikeout. Fourteen of the 17 pitches he threw were strikes and he fanned Heath Quinn and Ryan Howard on impressive sliders.
“(The slider) felt good coming out of my hand so I thought I might as well stick with it with certain guys,” Cishek said. “It paid off with a couple of strikeouts.”
Geraldo led off the first with a line drive to left and stole second. With two outs Brusa fought off a pitch that dropped between left fielder Jose Leal, center fielder Eric Filia and shortstop Donnie Walton. Brusa, hustling all the way, wound up on second base as Geraldo scored.
That turned out to be the only run the Volcanoes needed as Cishek took the loss. The Northwest League North Division second-half leading AquaSox fell to 12-6 in the second half and 30-26 overall. Salem-Keizer improved to 7-11 and 24-32.
Cishek was originally slated to pitch again Wednesday, but said he wasn’t certain that was still the case. He was initially placed on the disabled list when an MRI revealed the injury following back-to-back outings in which he blew a save and suffered a loss for the Mariners.
“I think I was shortening up my stride a little bit and getting into some bad habits,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to do now, that it feels pretty good right now, is I’m trying to get back to where I was to start the season, just driving the ball down in the zone and that’s what I went out and did today. I threw some good sinkers down to these guys so I’m just going to try to keep that up.”
The Volcanoes added another run in the third inning against Matt Festa when Bryan Reynolds’ sacrifice fly scored Kevin Rivera.
Salem-Keizer made it 3-0 in the sixth. Heath Quinn led off with a double and scored all the way from second when Everett right fielder Dimas Ojeda lost track of the outs after catching Ryan Howard’s fly ball, turning it into a sacrifice fly.
The Volcanoes broke the game open with four runs in the top of the ninth against reliever Dillon Moyer. The big blow was a two-out, bases-clearing double by Reynolds.
Filia had to two hits including a double and was the only Everett player with more than one. Festa struck out six and allowed two runs in six innings of relief of Cishek.
The five-game series concludes tonight at 7 at Everett Memorial Stadium. Tim Viehoff (0-2, 3.07 ERA) will start for the AquaSox agaisnt Salem-Keizer’s Mac Marshall (1-5, 5.80).
For the latest AquaSox news follow Jesse Geleynse on Twitter @jessegeleynse.