Valbuena homer caps comeback
CLEVELAND — Luis Valbuena wanted to show his former team what he could do.
Valbuena homered with two out in the 11th inning to give the Cleveland Indians a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Valbuena lined a 2-0 pitch from right-hander Randy Messenger (0-1) over the right-field wall for his seventh homer to cap Cleveland’s comeback. The Indians trailed 3-0 after one inning.
“I knew it was going,” said Valbuena, a 23-year-old infielder from Venezuela who was acquired from the Mariners in a December trade. “I don’t try for home runs. I try to hit with a lot of good contact.
“I wanted to make a good impression on (the Mariners). I was running the bases like I was on air.”
Messenger, who has pitched parts of five seasons in the majors, came up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day. Messenger, 28, entered with a 4-11 record in 161 career games.
“You’d like to be able to get guys back in a situation where it’s not so critical.” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “A game goes along and you get into extra innings and you use who you have to use.”
Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went 0 for 5 with a walk, ending his 12-game hitting streak and keeping him 12 hits short of 2,000 for his career. Four Seattle pitchers held the Indians hitless over 6 2/3 innings until Valbuena connected.
•The Mariners optioned right-hander Chris Jakubauskas to Triple-A Tacoma and purchased the contract of Messenger from Tacoma.
Jakubauskas has been bothered by soreness in his right shoulder, leaving the Mariners short a reliever.
Jakubauskas was 6-7 with a 5.28 ERA in 32 games, including eight starts.
Wakamatsu said Jakubauskas will return to Seattle with the team after today’s game, throw in the bullpen Monday and then report to Tacoma.
Indians 4, M’s 3 (11)
E—M.Saunders (1), Choo (6). LOB—Seattle 10, Cleveland 6. 2B—Jo.Lopez (32), M.Sweeney 2 (11). HR—Branyan (30), off Laffey; Hafner (12), off Fister; Valbuena (7), off Messenger. RBIs—Branyan 2 (75), Hafner (34), Valbuena (20), A.Marte (7). CS—Hall (1). S—Langerhans. SF—A.Marte. RLISP—Seattle 5 (F.Gutierrez, I.Suzuki, Branyan, Johjima, Hall); Cleveland 4 (Jh.Peralta, Choo, A.Cabrera, Sizemore). RMU—Sizemore, LaPorta. GIDP—A.Cabrera, Jh.Peralta. DP—Seattle 2 (Hall, Jo.Lopez, Branyan), (Jo.Lopez, Jo.Wilson, Branyan).
|M.Lowe BS, 6-7||1 2/3||0||0||0||0||0||23||3.23|
|Messenger L, 0-1||2/3||1||1||1||0||0||9||13.50|
|R.Perez W, 2-2||1/3||1||0||0||0||0||6||7.96|
IR-S—M.Lowe 2-1, Jo.Smith 1-0. HBP—by Fister (Shoppach), by Kelley (Shoppach). WP—C.Perez.
T—3:20. A—28,942 (45,199).
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