SEATTLE – Nobody can say the Seattle Mariners’ puny offense hasn’t aided a pitcher in need. Saturday night, they helped a guy experience victory for the first time since June.
Not their own, mind you.
Cleveland Indians right-hander Mitch Talbot, who hadn’t won since June 27, held the Mariners to five hits and an unearned run over 6 2/3 innings of a 4-2 victory at Safeco Field.
Talbot, 9-11 with a 4.40 earned-run average, pitched only one clean inning but, against a team that has scored fewer runs than anyone in the major leagues, he escaped what trouble the Mariners threw at him.
The Mariners outhit the Indians 9-8 but, as they have all season, couldn’t string enough together to make a difference.
“I keep talking about putting ourselves in situations to score and that somebody will come up with a hit,” said Daren Brown, 11-13 since he replaced fired manager Don Wakamatsu.
The Mariners have won four of their past 11 games and have scored more than three runs only once in those games.
“We had nine hits. That’s a positive,” Brown said. “It’s just a matter of getting those hits with guys in scoring position and guys on base.”
Ichiro Suzuki, who finished with two hits and needs 24 to reach 200 for the 10th straight season, drove home Matt Tuiasosopo for the Mariners’ first run in the seventh inning. Russell Branyan hit a solo home run in the eighth.
By then, the Indians already had scored four runs off Mariners starter David Pauley. Travis Hafner’s single scored Shin-Soo Choo in the first inning, Asdrubal Cabrera and Choo each hit RBI singles in the third and Michael Brantley drove home the fourth run with a single in the fourth.
That’s all Talbot and three Indians relievers needed although the Mariners did, as Brown said, come within one big hit of changing the outcome.
With runners on first and second and two out in the seventh, the Indians brought in left-hander Rafael Perez, and Ichiro flared a single to right field to score Tuiasosopo with the Mariners’ first run. Perez then got Chone Figgins to ground out to end the seventh.
Branyan hit his 22nd homer this season in the eighth, followed by singles from Jose Lopez and Casey Kotchman that gave the Mariners a final chance. The Indians brought in left-hander Tony Sipp, and Josh Bard dropped a sacrifice bunt that put runners on second and third with one out.
Sipp struck out Michael Saunders and, after the Indians brought in right-hander Chris Perez, Tuiasosopo struck out looking for the third out.
E—A.Cabrera (9). LOB—Cleveland 6, Seattle 9. 2B—Choo (28), Marson (11), M.Saunders (10). HR—Branyan (22), off R.Perez. RBIs—Brantley (19), A.Cabrera (23), Choo (69), Hafner (42), I.Suzuki (35), Branyan (49). SB—Choo (17). S—J.Bard. RLISP—Cleveland 3 (LaPorta, A.Cabrera, Hafner); Seattle 5 (Jo.Wilson, Kotchman, Figgins, Tuiasosopo 2). RMU—Marson, Jo.Lopez, Tuiasosopo. GIDP—Jo.Lopez. DP—Cleveland 1 (Donald, A.Cabrera, LaPorta); Seattle 1 (Figgins, Kotchman).
|Talbot W, 9-11||62/3||5||1||0||1||6||94||4.40|
|R.Perez H, 10||1/3||4||1||1||0||0||12||3.76|
|Sipp H, 14||2/3||0||0||0||0||1||7||4.53|
|C.Perez S, 18-22||11/3||0||0||0||0||2||15||1.94|
|Pauley L, 2-7||6||7||4||4||3||5||91||4.42|
IR-S—R.Perez 2-1, Sipp 2-0, C.Perez 2-0. HBP—by Talbot (Jo.Wilson). T—2:38. A—25,108 (47,878).