Indians-Mariners Preview

Looking to put an ugly series behind them, the Cleveland Indians

open a road trip in a place where they have enjoyed plenty of


The Indians hope to end their four-game overall losing streak

and notch a sixth straight victory at Safeco Field on Thursday

night in the opener of a four-game set with the Seattle


Both teams have been well out of contention for quite some time,

with the Indians (53-80) using the remainder of the season to get

experience for younger players. Those players got quite a lesson

earlier this week as Cleveland got swept by the Chicago White Sox

in a three-game set in which the Indians were tied or ahead in the

eighth inning of every contest.

“It was a tough series,” manager Manny Acta said after

Thursday’s 6-4 loss. “I hope we can learn from it.”

The Indians start this seven-game road trip in Seattle, where

they have won five straight games and 18 of their last 25. However,

the only Cleveland regulars still with the team that played in last

season’s trip to Safeco Field are Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner

and Shin-Soo Choo.

Hafner is hitless in six at-bats since he went 8 for 12 with

five doubles in a three-game stretch. The veteran slugger is

batting .377 since the All-Star break.

“He’s been swinging the bat really good the whole second half,”

Acta told the Indians’ official website. “He’s fresher now after

resting his shoulder and he’s driving the ball with more authority.

Right now, he’s giving us that big bat in the middle of our


Seattle (52-81) has scored a major league-low 431 runs, and has

totaled 13 while losing four of the first six games of its 10-game


Doug Fister (4-10, 3.73) will get the ball for Seattle for the

series opener. The right-hander pitched very well Saturday, giving

up one run in seven innings, but got charged with a 1-0 loss to


“Everything felt pretty good,” Fister told the Mariners’

official website.

This is Fister’s second start against Cleveland. He yielded

three runs over 6 1-3 innings of a 4-3, 11-inning loss on the road

Aug. 22, 2009.

Indians rookie Josh Tomlin (2-3, 4.08) allowed three runs over

five innings Friday to earn a 15-4 win over Kansas City. The

right-hander, who had gone 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA over his previous

three outings, beat the Royals despite issuing a season-high four


Tomlin is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in three road starts. He has never

faced the Mariners.