Santana’s walk-off in 11th gives Indians win
CLEVELAND (AP) — Carlos Santana didn’t mind the postgame pounding he took from his teammates Thursday. In fact, he enjoyed it.
Santana was greeted by his enthusiastic teammates after the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 6-5 on his RBI single with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning.
“I didn’t care if I got hurt or not,” he said. “They were hitting me everywhere, but I feel great. I’m so happy.”
Santana’s clutch hit capped a two-run 11th. He was mobbed by his teammates in a celebration that spilled onto the outfield grass after Cleveland won its fourth straight.
The comeback was the Indians’ second of the day. The Mariners led 4-0, but Cleveland scored a run in the seventh and Jose Lopez hit a three-run homer off Steve Delabar that tied it in the eighth. Even though Seattle scored a run off Joe Smith (4-1) in the top of the 11th, the Indians still felt confident.
“Everyone in the dugout said, `Let’s get two, we can do it,'” said Indians manager Manny Acta.
Michael Saunders’ run-scoring double in the top of the inning gave Seattle a 5-4 lead, but closer Brandon League (0-3) extended his startling lack of success against the Indians. League has blown seven saves in nine chances in his career against Cleveland, including two this season.
“You don’t get to closers very often,” Acta said. “The guys were pretty confident since we had done it before against him and we could do it again.”
League, who is 2-5 and has allowed 17 earned runs in 16 2-3 innings lifetime against Cleveland, took full blame for the loss.
“My control was just absolutely unacceptable today,” he said after walking three and allowing two hits while retiring only one batter. “I was issuing free passes, and when I did get the ball over the plate, it was right down the middle.”
Lopez drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a wild pitch. After Shin-Soo Choo struck out, Jason Kipnis walked. Asdrubal Cabrera’s single to right tied it.
Aaron Cunnigham, batting for Travis Hafner, walked to load the bases. Santana lined a 3-2 pitch to center for the winning hit.
Hafner was hit on the side of the right hand by a pitch from Charlie Furbush in the ninth inning. He walked slowly to first, but remained in the game after talking with Acta and a team trainer. Hafner went to the on-deck circle in the 11th, but knew he wouldn’t be able to hit because he couldn’t grip the bat.
“It got swollen up,” he said. “I iced it up. I think there’s definitely a chance I can play (Friday). I saw the doctor and everything checked out good.”
Hafner, who said he didn’t have X-rays, has been hit by a pitch 80 times in his career, a club record.
The Mariners, who have lost four straight, are 1-6 on their 10-game road trip and are 1-12 away from home since April 28.
The Mariners wasted a strong outing by right-hander Hector Noesi, who allowed one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.
Delabar came on to start the eighth with Seattle holding a 4-1 lead. He walked Santana leading off, but retired the next two hitters. Casey Kotchman’s double to right moved Santana to third. Lopez then hit a 2-0 pitch off the railing above the 19-foot wall in left field to tie it at 4. The big moment was almost spoiled when he forgot to touch first as he rounded the bases.
“I was watching the ball,” Lopez said. “I knew I missed it so I ran back right away and touched it.”
Lopez, who played for the Mariners from 2004-10, started at third base in place of the injured Jack Hannahan. He committed a fielding error that led to an unearned run in the fifth and grounded out weakly to the mound with the bases loaded to end the fourth.
The Indians’ first run came on Cabrera’s seventh-inning single.
Ryan broke an 0-for-17 slump with an RBI single in the sixth and drew walks in the third and fifth when the Mariners scored their first two runs. His two hits raised his average from .137 to .153.
Seattle has been outscored 40-19 on the road trip.
Zach McAllister starting again in place of the injured Josh Tomlin, allowed four runs in 5 2-3 innings.
McAllister was called up from Triple-A Columbus on Saturday when Tomlin went on the disabled list with a sore right wrist. McAllister got the loss that night in Boston, allowing four runs in seven innings.
Tomlin, who hasn’t pitched since May 7, will undergo a second MRI on the wrist Friday.
Hannahan missed his fourth straight game with lower back soreness. The Indians said an MRI revealed mild back inflammation and Hannahan is day to day.
Indians left fielder Johnny Damon singled in the fourth and moved into a tie with Tony Perez for 55th place on the all-time career hits list with 2,732.
Ackley extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a first-inning single.
NOTES: Seattle LF Mike Carp, who was a late scratch Wednesday with a stiff right shoulder, started at DH and was hitless in two at-bats. He sprained the shoulder in the season opener in Japan and spent four weeks on the DL. … Jesus Montero, who committed a costly throwing error Wednesday, didn’t start, but pinch-hit for Carp in the eighth. … The Mariners complete their road trip with three games in Colorado. RHP Kevin Millwood faces RHP Alex White on Friday. … Cleveland used seven pitchers in the win while Seattle used six. … The Indians open a three-game home series against Miami on Friday. RHP Justin Masterson meets RHP Carlos Zambrano.