Mariners wrap up 10-game trek at Indians
CLEVELAND — After a bizarre game on Saturday, in which Cleveland fell behind by three runs in the top of the first inning and scored four runs in the bottom of the first for a 4-3 victory, the Indians and Seattle Mariners will conclude their series Sunday afternoon at Progressive Field.
Sunday’s game will be the finale of a 10-game, 11-day, three-city road trip for the Mariners, who continue to be plagued by a flurry of injuries. On Saturday, Seattle placed right-hander Evan Scribner on the disabled list with a strained flexor, bringing the number of Mariners currently on the disabled list to seven.
Seattle is 4-5 on the trip, winning two of three games in Detroit before coming to Cleveland where they have split the first two games with the Indians.
“We get a chance to win another series tomorrow,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais following the loss Saturday. “That’s our goal, to keep winning series.”
Seattle did get designated hitter Nelson Cruz back in its lineup Saturday. Cruz, who missed Friday’s game with a tight hamstring, homered in the first inning, giving the Mariners two of their three runs and one of their three hits in the game.
Seattle will send right-hander Chase De Jong (0-1, 5.79) to the mound Sunday. It will be De Jong’s third major league appearance and his first career start. De Jong will be the second Mariners pitcher in three days to be facing the Indians for the first time in his career. Ariel Miranda beat Cleveland 3-1 Friday night.
Josh Tomlin (1-3, 9.33) will start for the Indians. He did not get a decision in his one start against the Mariners last year, giving up two runs and nine hits with four strikeouts and no walks over 6 1/3 innings.
In six career starts against Seattle, Tomlin is 4-1 with a 3.32 ERA. He has pitched 40 2/3 innings, striking out 37 with just five walks in those six starts. Tomlin, who led the American League last year in fewest walks per nine innings (1.0), has allowed two or fewer walks in 35 consecutive starts.
Tomlin, however, is off to a shaky start this season. His only win was an 11-4 victory over Minnesota on April 18, in which he pitched six innings and gave up three runs. In his other three starts, against Arizona, the White Sox and Houston, Tomlin has an 11.66 ERA.
The Indians’ offense continues to be led by third baseman Jose Ramirez and shortstop Francisco Lindor, who are hitting .333 and .303, respectively. Ramirez has been hot since the start of the season.
He had a big two-run double in the first inning of Saturday’s game. Ramirez has 21 RBIs, which ranks among the league leaders. That’s the most RBIs through Cleveland’s first 23 games of a season since Juan Gonzalez had 26 in 2001.
“He’s just a good hitter,” said Indians manager Terry Francona of Ramirez. “When he first came up, a lot of people thought he was just a utility player, but he’s a middle-of-the-order bat.”
To replace Scribner on the roster, the Mariners recalled outfielder Boog Powell from Triple-A Tacoma, where he was hitting .261 with no home runs and four RBI in 46 at bats.