Swept Out of Seattle, Tribe Loses Eighth in a Row; Mariners 3, Indians 1
By Mike Brandyberry
When you are losing, it is so tough to find a win. When you are winning, everything seems to go your way.
That was the story of a tightly contested game Wednesday afternoon when the Mariners bested the Indians, 3-1. Each team had opportunities to score and each had well pitched games, but a close call went Seattle’s way and the Mariners were able to capitalize and sweep the Tribe. The defeat for the Indians is now their eighth in a row, while Seattle wins their eighth straight.
Michael Saunders gave the Mariners an early lead in the bottom of the first inning when he hit a solo home run to right field to give Seattle an early 1-0. It was Saunder’s third home run in the series, the other two coming in the first game.
Hisashi Iwakuma, meanwhile, kept working out of jams and derailing the Indians’ offense. In the first four innings, the Tribe was able to muster five hits, putting at least a runner on base each inning, however, the Indians grounded into three double plays in four innings. The ground ball was able to keep Iwaskuma safe and a hit away from allowing a run.
Cleveland finally tallied a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. With an out in the inning, Shin-Soo Choo walked and Carlos Santana dropped a bloop single in over shortstop to put runners on first and second with one out. Choo and Santana advanced a base each on a double steal while Michael Brantley struck out.
Iwakuma’s day was done after five and two-third innings and Oliver Perez was brought on face Casey Kotchman. With the Tribe thirsty for a base hit and to find a run, Kotchman chopped a dribbler up the third base line that no one could make a play on. The 80-foot base hit plated Choo and tied the game at one.
Iwakuma pitched five and two-third innings, allowing six hits while walking three and striking out five. He was charged with the Indians run in the sixth inning.
The Indians had a chance to take the lead in the inning with Kotchman and Santana on the corners. Ezequiel Carrera worked a walk to load the bases, but Jack Hannahan struck out swinging to end the inning with the game still tied.
Meanwhile, McAllister settled down and gave the Indians as good of an outing as a Tribesman has provided in recent weeks. The home run to Saunders in the first inning was his lone blemish and the tall, right-hander scattered three hits over six innings and 98 pitches, including retiring nine in a row at one point. He also walked three while striking out five.
Cleveland had a chance to take the lead in the top of the eighth inning when Choo singled to right field off Carter Capps. Once Santana flew out to right field, Charlie Furbush was summoned to face Brantley. Choo stole second base before Brantley worked a walk. Furbush was removed after Brent Lillibridge was announced as the pinch-hitter for Kotchman. Stephen Pryor (3-0) entered and made short work of Lillibridge, striking him out, before getting Carrera to pop out to shortstop and strand two runners on base.
Seattle would make the Tribe’s flight home sleepless in the bottom of the eighth and take advantage of the missed opportunities by Cleveland. Vinnie Pestano (3-1) entered the game and allowed Kyle Seager to hit a double with one out. The call was a close play, with the ball beating the runner, but Cabrera’s lethargic tag was too late. Indians Manager Manny Acta received his first ejection of the season arguing the call.
With an out in the inning, Pestano walked John Jaso to set up the force play before striking out Jesus Montero. However, the Mariners found the two-out hit the Indians couldn’t when Eric Thames doubled down the right field line to score both Seager and Jaso to give the Mariners a 3-1 victroy.
Tom Wilhelmsen worked a scoreless ninth inning for Seattle, earning his 19th save of the season and sweeping the Tribe out of Seattle. It is the Indians’ 21st loss in their last 25 games.
The Indians return home after the game for an off day on Thursday before opening a ten game homestand on Friday. The Tribe will take on C.C. Sabathia (12-3, 3.56 ERA) and the New York Yankees on Friday night, the first of a three game series. Cleveland counters with Corey Kluber (0-2, 6.27 ERA)
Photo: AP Photo/Elaine Thompson