CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Last time out the Indians couldn’t hit Felix Hernandez over eight shutout innings.
Wednesday night at Progressive Field the team made up for that first outing and more, pounding Hernandez and sending him to an early shower as the Indians beat up the Mariners for a 9-3 win.
The victory was the third straight for the first-place Indians, who are now 21-16 on the season. The Mariners under the watchful eye of former Tribe manager Eric Wedge, fall to 16-23 on the year.
Every hitter in the starting nine for the Indians minus Casey Kotchman had a hit, with Shin-Soo Choo going for three hits in the leadoff spot, and two hits each for Jason Kipnis, Asdrubal Cabrera, Travis Hafner and Michael Brantley each putting up two hits.
Hafner slammed his 5th homer of the season, a historic shot that put him past Al Rosen for 8th spot on the Indians all-time list that made it 9-3 Indians in the 6th.
By then the damage against Hernandez was more than done. They scored four in the first after the M’s took a 1-0 lead on Ubaldo Jimenez.
They loaded the bases with two hits and a hit batter, and then after Hafner grounded out to tie the game, a passed ball allowed another run to score to make it 2-1.
Carlos Santana walked, and then while looking to steal second, the ball was thrown to left field, allowing Cabrera to score, and then the throw home got away from Jesus Montero, and Santana hustled all the way from second to score to make it 4-1.
The M’s made it 4-3 off Jimenez when Dustin Ackley hit a two-run homer in the 3rd. The Tribe bats continued to get shots off Hernandez, and put the game away with four runs in the fourth.
Kipnis doubled to deep left to score Choo to make it 5-3, and then Hafner doubled and Santana doubled, scoring two more runs to make it 7-3. Brantley rounded out the inning with another hit to drive out Hernandez to make it 8-3.
Jimenez wasn’t great, but did more than enough to earn his 4th win of the season. He went six innings, throwing 107 pitches, 69 strikes.
He allowed three runs, five hits, walked two and struck out four. It was much better than this poor outing last week in Boston.
The Indians also got good contributions from their bullpen, as Jeremy Accardo, Tony Sipp and Jairo Asencio threw the final three innings to take home the six-run win.
The series concludes at 12:05pm on Thursday.