SEATTLE – Doug Fister had no time to regain his footing.
Disaster struck so quickly and severely for the Mariners pitcher in a 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night that Fister looked almost relieved to be taken out of the game. Fister was 32 pitches into that inning when manager Daren Brown mercifully pulled the plug, having watched his starter yield four runs and hits to six of the seven batters he faced.
It’s been a while since Fister was shelled this hard and this fast, with his losses usually coming as a result of no offense.
That wasn’t the case this time as a towering two-run homer to right field by Russell Branyan, off Indians starter Josh Tomlin in the third inning, helped stake Fister to a 3-0 lead. The crowd of 17,269 at Safeco Field had no indication of what was about to happen, having watched Fister retire 15 in a row after a single by Michael Brantley to lead off the game.
But Brantley and a trio of ex-Mariners proved Fister’s undoing in a four-run sixth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera, Luis Valbuena and Shin-Soo Choo – who hit a two-run homer to put things away for good in the ninth – all came through for the Indians in the sixth.
After a leadoff single by Valbuena, Brantley singled with one out, and former M’s shortstop Cabrera also singled to load the bases.
Up stepped Choo, yet another former Mariner, traded away by ex-general manager Bill Bavasi in 2006. Choo unloaded on a Fister pitch for what looked like a possible grand slam before the ball one-hopped off the center-field fence at its base.
All three runners scored to tie the score.
Fister tried to get out of it, but couldn’t, as Travis Hafner lined a ball to right field to bring Choo home. Jayson Nix followed with a single on Fister’s 35th pitch of the frame.
E—J.Nix (12). LOB—Cleveland 7, Seattle 4. 2B—Choo (27), I.Suzuki (25). HR—Choo (16), off J.Wright; Branyan (21), off Tomlin. RBIs—Choo 5 (68), Hafner (41), F.Gutierrez (52), Branyan 2 (48). SB—Crowe (15). CS—I.Suzuki (8). SF—F.Gutierrez. RLISP—Cleveland 4 (Crowe, Hafner 2, Valbuena); Seattle 1 (Langerhans). GIDP—Jo.Lopez. DP—Cleveland 1 (A.Cabrera, Valbuena, J.Brown).
|Tomlin W, 3-3||6||7||3||3||0||5||93||4.14|
|Sipp H, 13||2||0||0||0||0||4||23||4.58|
|C.Perez S, 17-21||1||0||0||0||0||1||8||1.99|
|Fister L, 4-11||51/3||7||4||4||0||3||95||3.85|
IR-S—Olson 2-0. HBP—by Tomlin (A.Moore). PB—A.Moore. T—2:37. A—17,269 (47,878).