CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – The Indians saw some excitement for the first time out of Nick Swisher hitting in the number two spot, but the rest of their offense could have used some of ‘Seattle’s Best’ coffee in a lackluster 2-1 setback to the Mariners.
Swisher was moved from the fourth spot to the second by manager Terry Francona, and in his first at-bat of the night off Mariners starter Aaron Harang, he clubbed his 10th homer of the season to deep center to give the Indians an early 1-0 lead.
That was it for the offense, as Harang shut down the Tribe offense to the tune of seven innings, allowing a run on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts.
Harang came into the game with a 4-8 record and a ERA of 5.38, but didn’t allow an Indians hit after the fourth inning till Michael Brantley doubled with one out in the 9th.
With the Tigers win over the White Sox 7-3 Monday night, the Indians are back to trailing Detroit by 2.5 in the AL Central as they wake up Tuesday.
The Indians got more solid starting pitching, as Ubaldo Jimenez started for the Tribe, and gave up two runs, both solo homers that put Seattle up 2-1 for good.
Kendrys Morales homered to deep right to tie the game in the fourth inning to make it 1-1, and then catcher Mike Zunino, who had just one homer all year, went deep in the fifth to make it 2-1.
The winning homer came on an 0-2 fastball, and it cost Jimenez who just couldn’t keep the ball in the park.
Jimenez went 5.2 for the Indians, allowing the two runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts. He falls to 7-5, but actually drops his ERA down a few points to 4.49.
The Indians didn’t get a hit from the fourth when Carlos Santana doubled till the 9th when Brantley doubled off M’s closer Tom Wilhelmsen.
He went to third on the second out when Santana grounded to second, and then Wilselmsen put Jason Giambi on with a walk on a 3-2 pitch, setting up Lonnie Chisenhall.
The Indians 3B flew out to right to end the game, giving Wilhelmsen his 22nd save, and putting the Mariners at 47-52, extending their season-high winning streak to seven.
The loss drops Cleveland to 52-48, and in their four games since the All-Star break they are 1-3, with the only win coming Sunday in the finale vs the Twins.
Tuesday night at 10:10 the Indians and M’s go at it in game two of the four-game set. Zach McAllister makes his return off the DL for the Indians against Erasmo Ramírez making just his second start for Seattle.