Karns, who was demoted to the bullpen earlier in the week, was credited with a three-inning save, the first of his career, Saturday against the Orioles. Karns gave up a two-run homer in the seventh inning but that was about all he allowed. He struck out two and walked none. He likely will make his way back to the rotation at some point but for now he gives the Mariners a decent long-relief option.
Karns, who has a 4.56 ERA and 1.45 WHIP, was demoted to the bullpen Tuesday, the Seattle Times reports. Karns has struggled most of the year, allowing at least four runs in three of his last five starts. He has 84 strikeouts in 81 innings (9.33 K/9), but also has a 4.22 BB/9. With Wade LeBlanc pitching well in his Mariners debut and Taijuan Walker returning from injury, the Mariners can afford to give Karns a rest in the bullpen. Manager Scott Servais said the move is not permanent but didn't give a timefrrame for how long Karns will be out of the rotation.
Karns (6-2) allowed four runs on five hits, struck out three and walked two in a 5-4 victory over the Cardinals on Saturday. He was cruising right along with a five-run lead, but he gave up a one in the third and then a three-run homer in the fifth. Karns has allowed nine runs on 12 hits, including two homers in his last 10 frames. He now has a 4.56 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 84 strikeouts in 81 innings. His next start will be Saturday against Baltimore.
Karns allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts over five innings in a no-decision Monday against Detroit. Karns has now gone five innings or fewer in each of his four June starts thus far. While he has struck out at least five in each of those outings, he has been wild, with 15 walks already this month. Karns has seen his ERA jump from 3.43 at the end of May to 4.38 after this start. If he can't rein in his control, short starts like these are going to remain the norm.
Karns struck out eight while allowing two runs on four hits and two walks in five innings Wednesday against the Rays. He received no decision in what turned out to be a 13-inning loss. It's disappointing to see Karns last just five innings, and longevity's been a big problem for him this season, but he still managed to post his second-highest strikeout total in 2016. Karns' control was obviously much better in this one than it had been in the consecutive five-walk outings preceding it, and he's gone four starts without surrendering a homer, so there are still positive signs here; he just needs to get more efficient, which can be a tall order for a guy who lacks overwhelming stuff.