M’s make it six out of seven
SEATTLE – The 28,084 at Safeco Field Friday night saw the twin oddities of a 7-6-3 double play and an Endy Chavez home run.
They also saw something that for a time this year might have seemed unusual but is now beginning to become the norm – another Mariners win.
Chavez scored two runs, one coming on his first home run since May 30, 2013, to lead Seattle to a 3-2 victory over the Indians.
It was Seattle’s sixth win in its last seven games, and third of four on this homestand. And with it, the Mariners again moved to a season-high-tying six games over .500.
It was a game in which the Mariners never trailed after Chavez, who has given new life to Seattle’s leadoff spot the last few weeks, opened the game with a single and came around to score with two outs.
It was Chavez who then gave Seattle some breathing room with a one-out solo home run to right in the seventh on the 111th and final pitch from Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer that made it 3-1.
Chavez was 2 for 4 with two runs scored and is now 8 for 16 on the homestand, with Seattle going 16-9 in games in which he has appeared.
On the mound, the Mariners got just enough starting pitching from Chris Young, who allowed one run on four hits before leaving after five.
From there, a bullpen that entered the game with a 2.64 earned-run average for the season that is on a pace better than the famed 2001 team’s 3.04 that is a franchise best, bent a little but didn’t break.
Fernando Rodney, the last of four relievers, gave up a run on two hits in the ninth. But he got Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out to end the game, getting Rodney his 22nd save in 24 chances.
After Cleveland tied the score in the third, the Mariners got it back with one run in the fourth on a two-out single by Brad Miller that scored Michael Saunders.
The inning felt like a lost opportunity, though, after Mike Zunino lofted a high fly to left that looked headed for his 12th home run of the season, with Logan Morrison on first after a single.
Cleveland center fielder Michael Brantley, though, leapt to keep the ball in the park as Morrison rounded second. Brantley quickly got the ball in to shortstop Cabrera who fired to first baseman Carlos Santana to double up Morrison.
Saunders, though, followed with a single to start a rally that gave the Mariners the lead for good.
Young entered the game allowing opponents to hit just .173 in seven outings at Safeco Field – only three pitchers in the majors were allowing a lower average at home.
He wasn’t as sharp Friday night as he has usually been, with the Indians hitting a number of balls hard in his five innings, three going for doubles.
But Young got the key outs when he needed them – helped by a couple of line drives that fortuitously found their way into Mariner gloves – to leave with a 2-1 lead, having thrown 91 pitches.
Joe Beimel, Danny Farquhar and Charlie Furbush kept Cleveland scoreless the next three innings, though not before a minor scare in the eighth, when the Indians got runners on second and third with two outs. Furbush got a ground out from Lonnie Chisenhall to end the threat.
Rodney gave up a one-out single by Nick Swisher in the ninth, and then a two-out single by Michael Bourn that made it 3-2. But the arrow came out after he retired Cabrera.