Carrasco’s Streak Ends as Mariners Rout Tribe; Mariners 12, Indians 4

Carlos Carrasco’s ten-game winning streak dating back to last season came to an early and ugly end on Saturday afternoon as the Seattle Mariners used four home runs to rout the Cleveland Indians in a 12-4 final.

With the Mariners following the Indians’ efforts from Friday night with a notable home run display of their own, they ended a five-game streak this year between the two clubs of games decided by one run. Seattle improved to 15-11 on the season with the victory and are now 4-2 against the best team in the AL Central. The Indians, meanwhile, fell to 14-11 with the loss, but remain atop the division with a three and a half game lead over the Detroit Tigers at the end of the ball game.

The Mariners began their assault right away, putting up three runs before some fans had found their seats. Taking a similar approach with Carrasco as they had the night before against Corey Kluber, Seattle was aggressive early in counts while the Indians starter had some trouble with location. Dee Gordon sent the second pitch of the afternoon into left field for a leadoff single and after Carrasco missed on the first two way in on Jean Segura, the third pitch was driven to the seats in front of the bullpens for a two-run shot. After falling behind Robinson Cano, the count eventually evened up before the star second baseman flied deep to right, where Tyler Naquin made the catch. Two pitches later, another ball was sailing through the skies as Nelson Cruz blasted a solo shot to center to make it 3-0. Kyle Seager sent Bradley Zimmer deep into center field before he reeled the ball in for the second out and Mitch Haniger struck out swinging to end the inning, with the M’s on top 3-0.

Seager – Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Indians took a different approach at the plate against Mariners starter Mike Leake, working deep in the count without having anything to show for it in the first. Carrasco struck out the side in order in the second, and then his offense got to work at the plate.

With one down in the inning, Edwin Encarnacion drew a walk. Yonder Alonso singled to center and the pair moved up on a slow roller to third from Roberto Perez. Naquin singled off of Leake’s glove, scoring Encarnacion on a lucky two-out infield hit, but Zimmer struck out with runners on the corners to strand two big runners in a 3-1 game.

After the better second inning from Carrasco, there was hope that he had found his place on the mound, but things escalated quickly again in the third. He hit Gordon with a pitch to start the inning. Gordon picked off second base (the first of his career against the Indians) and moved to third on a single to right by Segura. Cano sent the next pitch to deep left, where Michael Brantley made the catch but had no chance of throwing out the speedy Gordon as the score advanced to 4-1. Segura stole second and moved to third on the bad throw from Perez that got past both Jason Kipnis and a diving Francisco Lindor at second, and the error proved costly as Cruz sent a rocket past Lindor into left to make it 5-1.

The Indians went down in order in the home half of the third and Carrasco remained in the dugout after 64 pitches while also dealing with back issues. Zach McAllister relieved, but provided little of it as the Mariners ripped the game wide open with a five-run frame. With one out, David Freitas was granted first base on the first pitch of his at bat on catcher’s interference. Gordon doubled to right-center, moving the catcher to third. Segura singled to left, scoring Freitas with ease and Gordon with a little more effort as Perez could not handle Brantley’s throw to the plate, making it a 7-1 game. Cano added another with a double to deep left center, scoring Segura with the eighth run. After Cruz flied to right, Seager continued his dominance at the plate in Cleveland, clearing the playing surface with a two-out, two-run home run to right to make it a 10-1 shellacking.

Cleveland would respond with a pair of runs in the home half, as Brantley singled off of Leake and got to jog the rest of the way around the bases two batters later as Alonso hit a two-run home run deep to center, cutting the Mariners lead to 10-3 with a homer in his third straight game.

Relievers Jeff Beliveau, Matt Belisle, and Dan Otero would stop the bleeding for a moment, holding the Mariners scoreless from the fifth through eighth innings, stranding three base runners and retiring eight straight at one point. The Indians bats struggled again in the cold weather, however, and could not chip away enough at the sizeable advantage afforded Leake. Their last big inning came in the sixth, Leake’s last of the game, as Jose Ramirez ended an 0-for-23 mark against the Mariners this season with a leadoff single to right. He moved to third on a double by Brantley and, after a strikeout by Encarnacion, Alonso came through again, this time with a sacrifice fly to drive in Ramirez. With a runner still at second, Perez struck out on three straight pitches to end the rally.

Seattle’s bullpen held down the Tribe from there, retiring the side in order in the seventh and eighth. The Mariners added two more runs in the ninth off of Otero, as Cruz led off the frame with a double, his pinch-runner Ben Gamel moved to third on a one-out grounder, and scored with ease on a two-run home run to center by Ryon Healy to make it 12-4.

Chasen Bradford walked Perez in the ninth with two outs, but otherwise had an easy ninth, striking out the final two outs of the ball game in garbage time.

LEAKE FIXED

Leake, coming off of a disastrous eight-run, 12-hit effort his last time out against the Chicago White Sox, looked much improved on the mound in six innings of work for Seattle on Saturday. He did allow four runs on six hits, but he had the luxury of pitching with a big lead. He struck out six batters and walked one, throwing 98 pitches in his afternoon to win his third game of the season and his second in as many games this year against the Tribe.

Gordon and Perez – Jason Miller/Getty Images

COOKIE CRUMBLES

Carrasco’s day got off to a rough start but after he appeared to settle down some on the mound, he exited the game with a back injury after slipping on the dugout steps.

“I fell a little bit, so my back got a little bit stiff right there,” Carrasco commented after the loss. “I felt a little bit different. I couldn’t throw my fastball. I think it was like 88-90, kind of stiff a little bit.”

Carrasco had put up good numbers this season after a rough season debut against the Mariners to open the season in March. He had allowed just four runs over his last four starts, but Seattle made sure to attack him early and often on Saturday. He lasted just three innings and was charged with five runs (four earned) on five hits with a walk, a hit batter, and four strikeouts. Just 36 of his 64 pitches were called strikes as he struggled with location, failing to get an out on the ground while also throwing just seven first pitch strikes to opposing hitters.

TOP HEAVY

The top of the lineup for the Mariners did the majority of the work on the afternoon. The first four hitters (Gordon, Segura, Cano, and Cruz/Gamel) combined to go 10-for-17 with a walk, eight RBI, and nine runs scored. Cruz had four hits, including his fifth homer of the year (and third off of Cleveland) and two runs batted in. Segura had a three-hit game with his second homer of 2018, and he and Gordon each crossed home plate three times in the win.

ONE MORE TIME

The Indians will look to pull back to even on their eleven-game homestand in the series finale with the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Josh Tomlin (0-3, 9.24 ERA) will take the ball for the Tribe, looking to put up a better showing than his most recent start on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs, when he allowed four home runs and five runs total on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings of a 10-3 loss. The Mariners will counter with left-hander Marco Gonzales (2-2, 4.37). The 26-year-old southpaw threw a gem in his last start, striking out eight batters in six scoreless innings of five-hit baseball in a win over the White Sox.

First pitch from downtown Cleveland is scheduled for 1:10 PM ET.

Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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