Game #9 – Cleveland Indians (4-4) vs. Seattle Mariners (6-5)
By Matthew Van Wormer
Early on, it looks as if the Cleveland Indians will be road warriors. After scuffling through their first five games of the season at home, winning just one, they hit the road and swept the Kansas City Royals to get back to .500. They also scored 32 runs in the three games, marking the first time in club history that the Indians scored eight or more runs in their first three road games of the season.
Now, the Tribesmen head to the great northwest to take on a Mariners team that has won their last two. The Mariners have been a “feast or famine” team so far in 2012. They’ve won games by scoring lots of runs but have already been shutout or held to one run three times.
Taking the mound for the Mariners tonight is, former Indian, Kevin Millwood (0-0, 1.50 ERA). Millwood will be making his second start of the season after taking a no-decision against the Rangers in a game where he threw six innings, giving up just one run while striking out seven and walking three. He gave up just one run but the offense waited until Millwood was out of the game to take the lead as the Mariners won, 4-3.
Justin Masterson (0-1, 2.77 ERA) will hit the bump for the Indians, looking to bounce back from a very rocky start against the White Sox. After striking out 10 and looking dominant in his first start of the season against the Blue Jays, Masterson only K’d two against Chicago and gave up five runs, although only three were earned. Masterson was 1-0 in two starts against the Mariners last year, striking out 16 hitters in 14.2 innings.
The most important thing for the Tribe to do is take the bats from Kansas City to Seattle with them. The hitting explosion was extremely exciting for the club and we saw some mammoth home runs off the bats of Shelley Duncan and Travis Hafner. The bullpen, however, was very shaky, especially Saturday when they blew a seven run lead and caused the game to go to extra innings.
Stay up late and enjoy the Tribe tonight as they go on-air at 10:10 locally on Sports Time Ohio, WTAM 1100 and WEOL 930.
Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Michael Brantley, CF
2. Jason Kipnis, 2B
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Carlos Santana, C
5. Travis Hafner, DH
6. Shelley Duncan, LF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Jason Donald, SS
Seattle Mariners Starting Lineup
1. Chone Figgins, LF
2. Dustin Ackley, 2B
3. Ichiro Suzuki, RF
4. Justin Smoak, 1B
5. Kyle Seager, 3B
6. Jesus Montero, C
7. Michael Saunders, CF
8. Brendan Ryan, SS
9. John Jaso, DH
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images