Cruz Deals Tribe a Rare Defeat with Walk-Off Blast in Ninth; Mariners 3, Indians 1
Bob Toth | On 23, Sep 2017
For the second Friday in a row, the Cleveland Indians have had little fun.
The Indians had little answer for Seattle right-hander Erasmo Ramirez, who struck out ten and set down 18 straight after Cleveland’s lone run, and the Mariners offense staged a walk-off win on a two-run shot by Nelson Cruz off of Cody Allen in the ninth.
Trevor Bauer was on the mound for the Tribe as both starters kept the opposition at bay through several innings before the Indians took the lead in the third. Giovanny Urshela led off the inning and got four straight fastballs before jumping on a changeup from Ramirez, sending the pitch up and over the wall in left for his first home run of the season.
Bauer had to work around trouble in the third and fourth innings. He walked Guillermo Heredia to start the third but erased him on a double play. Cruz singled with one down in the fourth, but Bauer would pick him off attempting to steal second.
The Indians did not have another base runner against Ramirez after Urshela’s homer in the third. Bauer continued to work around jams, stranding a pair in the sixth after back-to-back two-out singles by Mitch Haniger and Robinson Cano by getting Cruz to pop out to second.
After the repeated threats, the Mariners finally cashed in on an opportunity in the seventh. Kyle Seager opened the inning with a double to right. Yonder Alonso singled to right to advance Seager to third. Jay Bruce’s mishandled the ball, allowing Seager to continue on from third to tie the game at one. A fly out and a double play ended the inning, but the score was now tied at one.
Bauer would remain on the mound through the bottom of the seventh. Joe Smith took over for the eighth and got a pair of groundouts and a strikeout, sending the game to the top of the ninth.
Ramirez was done after eight, turning the game over to Edwin Diaz. He got Francisco Lindor to pop out to short before walking Austin Jackson. He recovered to get a force out at second base from Jose Ramirez and a foul out by Edwin Encarnacion to end the inning.
Allen came on for the ninth, but quickly gave up a single to right to Cano. After throwing three straight heaters to Cruz, the league’s leading RBI man added two more to his tally with a shot to right-center to give the Mariners a much-needed walk-off win on his 36th long ball of the season.
The Indians (96-58) and their 14-game road winning streak came to an end with the defeat, just their second loss in the last 29 games. The Mariners (75-79) kept their slim playoff hopes alive, with a wild card elimination number sitting at five, five games in back of the Minnesota Twins. The win ended the team’s six-game losing streak.
Bauer worked seven innings in the no-decision, giving up a run on five hits with three walks and six strikeouts on 116 pitches. Ramirez took an even tougher no-decision, giving up one run on only three hits with ten strikeouts in eight innings.
Carlos Carrasco and rookie Andrew Moore will take the mound in game two of the three-game series. Carrasco will look to extend his personal four-game winning streak. He allowed four runs his last time out in a win over Kansas City last Saturday. Moore, a 25-year-old right-hander, is making his eleventh appearance of the year for the Mariners.
First pitch from Safeco Field is scheduled for 4:10 PM ET.
Photo: Stephen Brashear/Getty Images