Mariners-Indians Preview

The Cleveland Indians are showing why they have the potential to

be a solid offensive club.

Hoping to continue their recent success at the plate, the

Indians try to match a season high with their fourth straight win

Thursday against the visiting Seattle Mariners.

Since scoring a run apiece in the last two of a three-game skid

at Boston, Cleveland (21-16) has totaled 19 and recorded 32 hits

while winning three in a row. Travis Hafner homered and drove in

three runs while Shin-Soo Choo added three of the Indians’ 14 hits

in a 9-3 rout of the Mariners on Wednesday.

This is Cleveland’s most productive offensive stretch since also

scoring 19 runs during a three-game winning streak May 2-4.

Choo, 6 for 13 in the last three games since moving to the

leadoff spot, has batted .429 (12 for 28) in his last seven games

against the Mariners at Progressive Field.

“He’s one of our key guys in our lineup,” manager Manny Acta

told the Indians’ official website. “In order for us to go

anywhere, he needs to produce. That’s how important he is to our

lineup.”

The Indians hope to continue to hit and give scheduled starter

Zach McAllister (1-1, 4.15 ERA) more support than in his last

outing.

Set to make his third start during his second stint with the

Indians in 2012, McAllister has allowed four runs in each of his

first two outings. The most recent came with eight strikeouts over

seven innings of a 4-1 loss at Boston on Saturday.

In his only previous appearance against the Mariners, McAllister

was roughed up for 10 runs and nine hits in 3 1-3 innings of a 12-7

home loss Aug. 23.

The Mariners (16-23), however, have recorded four runs and 18

hits during a three-game skid. They’ve failed to score more than

three runs in each of their five defeats over the last six

contests.

Second baseman Dustin Ackley homered and had three of the six

hits Wednesday for Seattle, which has averaged 2.2 runs while

losing 11 of 12 on the road. The Mariners are 6 for 78 (.077) with

runners in scoring position during that stretch.

While Ackley has batted .333 with two home runs during a 12-game

hitting streak, teammate Brendan Ryan is in the midst of a 5-for-56

slump and 0 for 16 in his last five contests.

After ace Felix Hernandez was tagged for eight runs in 3 2-3

innings Wednesday, the Mariners hope Hector Noesi (2-4, 6.32) can

end his road struggles when he faces Cleveland for the first time

in the finale of the two-game set.

The right-hander allowed five runs and two homers in seven

innings of a 6-2 loss at New York on Saturday to fall to 0-3 with

an 8.27 ERA in four road starts. Despite Noesi’s problems away from

home, manager Eric Wedge continues to be pleased with his young

pitcher’s progress.

“This kid is going to be a heck of a pitcher, and it’s been good

to watch him learn each and every time he goes out there,” Wedge

told the Mariners’ official website.