Mariners 12, Indians 7

Tremors from a major earthquake didn’t do any structural damage

to Progressive Field.

However, the Indians’ playoff hopes developed a few more

cracks.

Anthony Vasquez won his major league debut with a ton of run

support and fellow rookie Dustin Ackley had three RBIs as the

Seattle Mariners split a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, taking the

second game 12-7 over the sinking Indians, who failed to build off

an emotional win earlier.

Losing for the fifth time in six games, the Indians fell six

behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central. The Tigers won 2-1 at

Tampa Bay.

Cleveland has dropped 4 1/2 games in the standings in five days,

a startling slide that the Indians better stop soon.

”I’m not counting myself,” manager Manny Acta said when asked

if his team was in danger. ”I’m just trying to win ballgames. Wake

me up when we’re completely out of it mathematically.”

At the rate his team’s going, that might be sooner than

later.

Vasquez (1-0) was one of five first-year players in Seattle’s

starting lineup for Game 2, but whatever the Mariners lacked in

experience, they made up for with quality swings while scoring five

runs in both the third and fourth innings off Zach McAllister

(0-1), recalled between games by the Indians for the spot

start.

”We got exactly what we didn’t need,” Acta said of McAllister,

tagged for 10 runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings. ”It’s

disappointing, but that’s what you get when these kids come up. You

never know what you are going to get. … We just didn’t pitch the

way we’ve pitched all season.”

The Indians won the opener with typical dramatic flair – a

walk-off, three-run homer by Shin-Soo Choo to snap a four-game

losing streak and keep pace with the Tigers. However, Cleveland

couldn’t keep its momentum, fell behind 10-2 in the fourth inning

in the nightcap and are back to .500.

In the second game, Kusoke Fukudome and Choo hit solo homers and

Jack Hannahan had a career-high four hits for Cleveland, which went

3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.

”We kept battling, but we were in too big a hole to get out of

it,” Acta said.

Choo’s three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth in the opener

gave the Indians a 7-5 win, just hours after the ballpark was

briefly shaken by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in

Virginia.

The temblor swayed the upper deck and press box and chased away

a few frightened fans.

”My first thought was, ‘That’s weird, I can’t move this

seat,”’ said Tim Hammond, who attended the game with his wife and

three kids. ”I thought it was the wind. I know the stadium is made

to move, but I didn’t know what was moving it. I was thinking maybe

they blew something up on that movie set. A lot of people got up

and were like ‘We’re out of here.”’

Choo’s shot into the seats in left field quaked the ballpark

again, giving the Indians their sixth walk-off win by a homer and

15th victory in their final home at-bat this season. Choo almost

didn’t play for the second straight game following the birth of his

daughter, Abigail, but he arrived 90 minutes before the first pitch

and hit the final one from Brandon League (1-5) over the wall.

The shot pumped up the Indians. It wasn’t long before they were

deflated.

The Mariners, who have been the wrong end of too much

game-ending drama this season, took the suspense out of the second

game early.

In the second game, Mike Carp hit a two-run homer, rookie

Trayvon Robinson had four hits and Kyle Seager homered for the

Mariners. Seattle’s Jeff Gray worked out of trouble in the eighth

and finished for his first career save.

Seattle manager Eric Wedge was proud of his team’s resiliency

following the Game 1 heartbreaker.

”That’s what we do,” Wedge said. ”We had to come back from

that. We’re playing a team that’s in the mix and our kids are

playing good baseball.”

The Indians closed within 10-4 in the fourth, 10-6 in the sixth

and were within 12-7 with the bases loaded and one out in the

eighth. However, Gray got Carlos Santana to pop out before

shattering Shelley Duncan’s bat on a liner to third to escape the

jam.

Fukudome hit his first AL homer in the second inning, a shot

into the seats in right.

It was Fukudome’s first homer since coming to Cleveland in a

July 27 trade from the Chicago Cubs, and when he got back to the

dugout his teammates playfully ignored him before rushing over to

offer their congratulations. That was about all the fun the Indians

had as the last-place Mariners handed them another costly loss.

”A long day for a split,” Acta said.

Notes: The Indians will sending McAllister back to Triple-A

Columbus and recall 2B Cord Phelps before Wednesday’s game. …

Indians OF Grady Sizemore did some agility training on the field

between games as he rehabs from a bruised knee that has had him on

the DL since July 18. The club is hoping Sizemore can come back and

help them next month. … The teams will wrap up their series with

another matinee as Felix Hernandez (11-11) faces Josh Tomlin

(12-6). It will be Hernandez’s 200th career start – all with

Seattle. … The Indians hosted their second annual

”Puppypalooza,” allowing fans to bring their dogs into the

ballpark. More than 600 mutts and purebreds paraded around the

field before the game without incident. … Vasquez is the 10th

Seattle pitcher to make his major league debut this season. … To

make room for McAllister, the Indians optioned INF Luis Valbuena to

Columbus. He went 0 for 3 in opener and batted just .125 in 11

games.