Kipnis 10th Inning Walkoff Lifts Tribe; Indians 6, Mariners 3

Dollar dog night. Fireworks. A walk-off home run. Tribe fans had a lot to celebrate Friday night at Progressive Field as Jason Kipnis hit a walk-off three-run home run in the 10th inning and the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 6-3 in front of 34,282.

Drew Stubbs worked a two-out walk in the 10th. With Michael Bourn up to bat, Seattle left-handed reliever Lucas Luetge threw to first in an attempt to pick off Stubbs. But the speedy Stubbs had already made his move and easily beat the throw from first to second. Bourn followed with an infield single, and Kipnis brought the house down.

“You just have to be patient with good players and it’s paying off in huge dividends,” Francona said about Kipnis. “He’s not just getting hits, he’s getting big hits and he’s driving the ball out of the ballpark. He’s running the bases. He’s doing everything.”

Prior to Bourn’s single in the 10th, the Seattle pitching staff had retired 15 straight batters.

Ubaldo Jimenez turned in another strong performance for the Tribe, striking out a season high nine batters over five innings.

“He should feel good about himself. He’s backing up each start. There’s life to everything. He should feel very good about himself,” said Francona.

Vinnie Pestano (1-0, 2.00) pitched a scoreless tenth to pick up the win in his first game back from the disabled list after missing the past two weeks with elbow tendinitis

Cleveland got on the scoreboard in the second inning. After a leadoff walk to Nick Swisher, Carlos Santana crushed a double off the right field wall to give the Indians runners on second and third with no outs. Jason Giambi followed with a deep sac fly to right to score Swisher and give Cleveland a 1-0 advantage. Santana came around to score on a Brandon Maurer wild pitch to Michael Brantley to make it 2-0.

Seattle threatened in the third with back-to-back singles by Brendan Ryan and Michael Saunders, but Jimenez got a double play ball and ground out to escape the jam.

Both teams got a scare in the third when Kipnis attempted to steal second with a head first slide. His head caught the right shin of Ryan, who fell to the ground. Both players were down for a few minutes, but returned to the game.

In the fourth inning, a Kendrys Morales solo shot to deep right cut the Tribe’s lead in half. It was Morales fifth home run of the season.

The Tribe got that run back in the fifth on a Stubbs one-out solo home run to right – his third.

Those three Tribe runs meant nothing though as Seattle made it a brand new ballgame in the sixth. After Jimenez gave up a leadoff single to Justin Smoak, Terry Francona called on Rich Hill to face Seattle slugger Raul Ibanez. Last year’s postseason hero for the New York Yankees welcomed Hill to the game by driving his first pitch over the right field wall to knot the game at 3-3.

Ibanez’s home run resulted in a no decision for Jimenez, who was charged with 2 earned runs on 7 hits, 9 strikeouts, and 2 walks in 5 innings of work.

Rich Hill returned to the mound in the seventh and recorded one out before walking Seager. Cody Allen relieved Hill and retired the next two batters to end the inning.

Allen returned to the mound in the eighth and gave up a leadoff single to Ibanez. Former Indian Kelly Shoppach sacrificed to the pitcher to move Ibanez to second with one out. Bryan Shaw relieved Allen and retired Endy Chavez and Ryan to keep the game tied.

Charlie Furbush relieved Seattle starter Brandon Maurer, who got better as the game went on. In 6 innings of work, the 22-year-old righty gave up 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out 6 and walking 4.

Carter Capps relieved Furbush with two-outs in the eighth to face Cabrera, who he struck out swinging. The hard throwing Capps returned to the mound in the ninth and retired the side before giving way to Luetge who gave up the Kipnis blast.

Chris Perez pitched a scoreless ninth.

The Indians are 20-0 when leading after the sixth inning.

Game two of this four game series is Saturday at 1:05pm ET. Zach McAllister (3-3, 2.68 ERA) will start for the Indians, with Joe Saunders (3-4 5.51 ERA) pitching for the Mariners.

Photo credit: AP Photo / Mark Duncan

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