CINCINNATI -- Five batters into the bottom of the first inning of Sunday's game against the Reds at Great American Ball Park, the Mariners found themselves down three runs. Starter Wade Miley had allowed three hits, hit one batter, and his only out came on a sacrifice fly.
As much of a struggle as those first five batters were, Miley reversed the course of the game over the next 5 2/3 innings by limiting the Reds to one run, enabling the Mariners to rally for a 5-4 victory and three-game sweep. Miley ended the day after six innings, allowing eight hits and the four runs, as he earned his fifth consecutive winning decision after dropping his first two decisions of the season.
"I just never got a feel, and I was having a hard time executing pitches," said Miley. "They got a little aggressive, which they should have when they saw I was leaving stuff out over the middle of the plate. It just kind of got out of hand. I was just trying to keep us close and was able to do that, fortunately. With our offense, it's pretty good odds in our favor if you can hold a team."
Sunday was the 11th time this season the Mariners have come back to win a game and the second time they did so in the series. They trailed 3-0 after five innings and 3-1 after six before rallying for an 8-3 win Friday night.
Miley has gone at least six innings in eight of his nine starts this season, including tossing the staff's lone complete game. Sunday, he turned the ball over to the bullpen trio of Nick Vincent, Joaquin Benoit and Steve Cishek. They retired the final nine Cincinnati batters in order to complete a 5-1 road trip for the Mariners.
"Wade Miley hung in there," manager Scott Servais said. "It was kind of rough in the first inning. He kind of forgets who exactly he is. He's got to pitch. He's got to go back and forth. He got a lot of fastballs in the first inning, but he made adjustments. He got us through six, and our bullpen was outstanding."
Catcher Steve Clevenger didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while warming up in the bullpen.
"It was real good command in the bullpen," Clevenger said. "We were going to go sinkers away, but he was just up at the beginning of the game and he couldn't find it. We started going to other stuff and then he found it later in the game."
The Mariners got two runs back for Miley in the top of the third inning, but Adam Duvall hit a 457-foot solo home run to left-center field to restore a two-run lead for the Reds. That is all they would get against the left-hander, though.
"You just have to go out there and compete," Miley said. "You try not to think about mechanics. It's about how am I going to get them out. It was one of those days where I had to battle and get outs. That's what we went after."
Kevin Goheen is a contributor for MLB.com based in Cincinnati. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.