By Mike Brandyberry
The Tribe struck first when Michael Brantley flared a single to center field, followed by a Carlos Santana walk and a two-out base hit to left field by Travis Hafner. The base hit spotted Masterson with a 1-0 lead before taking the mound.
However, the Mariners began their offensive outburst in the bottom of the third inning when Brendan Ryan walked and John Jaso hit a two run home run to put Seattle up 2-1. The Mariners would follow by plating six more runs in the fourth inning.
Masterson seemed to lose control when he loaded the bases, then walked Ryan. Jaso was hit by a pitch and Chone Figgins hit a sacrifice fly. The Mariners had extended the lead to 5-1 without getting a base hit to drive in a run. After Dustin Ackley walked, Ichiro Suzuki and Justin Smoak each singled home runs and Masterson’s evening was done, allowing eight runs in three and two-thirds innings.
Nick Hagadone, just recalled from Columbus, relieved Masterson and pitched an inning and one-third. Hagadone was one of the final cuts in spring training and could hopefully help stabilize what has been a shaky bullpen early this season.
The Tribe answered right back with a big inning of their own in the top of the fifth inning. Jack Hannahan led off the inning with a double to right center field, Jason Donald singled up the middle and Brantley grounded to Ryan but he booted the ball and everyone was safe while Hannahan scored. Kipnis took an outside pitch to left field to move everyone up a base and load them up.
Shin-Soo Choo singled up the middle scoring two and Santana issued the big blow with a three run home run. Kevin Millwood would not record an out in the fifth inning. Santana’s home run lead a quick comeback, making the score 8-7 Seattle. The homer also kept the Tribe’s streak alive of hitting a home run in every game this season.
Still in the fifth inning, Shelley Duncan would walk, Casey Kotchman doubled and after Hannahan walked, Donald would hit a sacrifice fly to score Duncan and the Tribe had tied the game at eight. Donald had two hits and two runs batted in, filling in for Asdrubal Cabrera who was placed on the bereavement list due to the death of his grandfather.
It would take until the top of the seventh for the Tribe to take the lead. Hafner singled and Duncan walked to start the inning. After Kotchman and Hannahan each struck out, Donald singled home Hafner to take the lead, 9-8.
After Hagadone settled down Masterson’s mess, Rafael Perez, Joe Smith and Vinnie Pestano each worked scoreless innings before Chris Perez slammed the door in the ninth inning. The tough Bullpen Mafia looked to be back in effect.
In the ninth, Donald took a bad hop off the mouth. While it looked bad, all reports indicate he is ok and will play Wednesday evening when Derek Lowe (2-0, 1.98 ERA) will take on Jason Vargas (1-1, 3.44) at 10:10 ET.
Photo: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images