Sands' homer leads Cleveland to 4-3 win over Seattle
SEATTLE (AP) Jerry Sands arrived on Thursday, sat around Friday and delivered for Cleveland when he finally got his opportunity on Saturday.
His reward could end up being a trip back to the minors.
''I was ready to play since I got here and whenever they called my number I was ready to get in there and help this team,'' Sands said.
Sands hit a two-run homer, his first of the season, David Murphy added a pinch-hit RBI single, and the Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 4-3, assuring at least a split of the four-game series.
Sands, called up from Triple-A Columbus on Thursday, homered on a 1-2 pitch from Seattle starter Roenis Elias (2-2) in the second inning, driving the ball into the Mariners' bullpen in left field.
Sands' promotion came when Carlos Santana was put on the paternity list. Santana is expected back in the lineup for Cleveland on Sunday.
''That's the second time now he's made an immediate impact,'' Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. ''That's a big, strong kid and when he gets a hold of one; that's what we had him here for this weekend.''
Murphy added his fourth RBI this season as a pinch-hitter, dropping a broken-bat single over the Mariners' drawn-in infield in the sixth inning, but equally important were key outs from Cleveland's bullpen.
Reliever Nick Hagadone got key outs in the seventh and eighth, including striking out Kyle Seager with the bases loaded to end the seventh. Cody Allen got the final four outs for his 11th save.
Hagadone started the at-bat to Seager with a cutter he's been working on and finished him off with a curveball out of the zone.
''It's a new pitch for me. I just started throwing it and just started getting the confidence to throw it in bigger situations and more counts than just 0-2 or something like that. It's been a big help in keeping the hitters off balance.''
Cleveland's Shaun Marcum (2-0) lasted just 5 1/3 innings, but did enough to get his second victory in his fourth start. Marcum allowed five hits, but struck out five and gave up only Cano's homer.
Elias was pulled with one out in the sixth after giving up a double to Brandon Moss to put runners at second and third. Elias allowed only five hits but struggled with his control, walking a season-high four, two of whom scored. The 5 1/3 innings pitched was his shortest outing of his seven starts.
Murphy then greeted reliever Tom Wilhelmsen with a broken-bat RBI single.
Robinson Cano, back in the lineup after missing two games with an inner ear infection, homered for the first time since April 14, lining a two-run shot in the third inning. It snapped a string of 171 plate appearances without a homer for Cano, tying the longest streak of his career.
Dustin Ackley added an RBI single in the seventh.
''We had opportunities tonight, we just couldn't get it done,'' Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Cleveland got a trio of important defensive plays, starting in the first inning when Yan Gomes threw out Austin Jackson trying to steal second. Seager was later thrown out by Michael Brantley trying to go from first-to-third on a single and Murphy ran down Seth Smith's drive into the right-center gap with one on in the ninth.
Indians: Santana will rejoin the team and be in the lineup Sunday after staying in Cleveland following the birth of his daughter earlier this week.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton will be completely shut down from any throwing for two weeks dealing with a strained tendon in the middle finger of his left hand. Paxton was wearing a small splint on the finger and can do conditioning, just no throwing, until he's re-examined.
Indians: Danny Salazar (5-1) will make his first career start against Seattle. He is currently sixth in the American League in strikeouts and has the highest strikeouts per nine innings ratio (12.04) in baseball.
Mariners: J.A. Happ (3-1) hasn't lost in his last seven starts, but also does not have a victory since May 9. Happ allowed three earned runs in six innings last time out against Tampa Bay.