SEATTLE – Kyle Seager had three hits, Mike Zunino drove in the go ahead run for the second straight night, and the surging Seattle Mariners won their eighth straight with a 4-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night.
Playing without ailing manager Eric Wedge for a second straight game, the Mariners took advantage of defensive miscues by the Indians and received solid pitching to extend the longest current win streak in baseball. The last time Seattle won nine straight games was in 2003.
Seager had an RBI double in the first, an inning that was kept alive by a Cleveland error. He singled and scored the tying run in the third and Zunino came through with a two-out RBI off Cleveland starter Zach McAllister (4-6) later in the inning to give Seattle the lead.
Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez and a pair of relievers made the one-run lead stand up. Ramirez (1-1) pitched 5 2/3 innings, before giving way to Yoervis Medina, who threw 2 1/3 innings allowing just one hit. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save of the season thanks to an unlikely double play.
Mark Reynolds singled on the first pitch of the ninth from Wilhelmsen. Drew Stubbs came on to pinch-run and went racing to third on Lonnie Chisenhall’s single up the middle to put runners on the corners with no outs.
Yan Gomes chopped to third base and Seager immediately threw to second to get pinch-runner Mike Aviles. Stubbs started to break for home and Nick Franklin threw to the plate. Stubbs was caught in a run down and eventually tagged out by shortstop Brad Miller. Wilhelmsen then struck out Michael Bourn looking to end it.
The Mariners believed they would have Wedge back in the dugout a day after he went to a local hospital following dizzy spells during batting practice. But doctors kept Wedge for one more night while more tests were run to try and determine a cause. Bench coach Robby Thompson improved to 2-0 as the Mariners fill-in manager.
The Indians have dropped four of five following the All-Star break.
Cleveland was fundamentally shaky and helped Seattle score twice because of miscues. The Mariners got an unearned run in the first inning after All-Star Jason Kipnis booted a routine grounder from Kendrys Morales that kept the inning going. Seager then lined an RBI double.
Raul Ibanez and Morales both had consecutive doubles leading off the third – Ibanez just missing his 25th homer by a few feet – to pull the Mariners within 3-2. After Morales was thrown out at the plate, Michael Saunders lined Seattle’s third double of the inning to put runners on second and third with two outs and Seager scored on McAllister’s wild pitch to tie the game at 3. Zunino then capped the inning with a two-out RBI single to score Saunders.
Zunino had a solo homer on Monday night that proved to be the winning run in a 2-1 victory.
Ramirez gave up a two-run homer to Gomes in the second, but allowed only one baserunner past first base the rest of the night. The big inning for Ramirez was the third when the Indians had runners on the corners and two outs and got Reynolds to weakly ground out.
McAllister was making his first start since June 2 after spending more than a month on the disabled list with a sprained middle finger on his pitching hand.