The Indians’ thoughts almost turned to Anaheim too quickly today, when — after jumping to a 6-0 lead in the fourth — Cleveland let Seattle have a breath of life, but the Tribe survived two homers in the late-going from the Mariners, Tony Sipp and Chris Perez were again lights out, Josh Tomlin improved to 2-0, and the Tribe improved to 7-2 on the season and held onto sole possession of first place in the AL Central with a 6-4 win over Eric Wedge’s Mariners.
In the early going, Cleveland scored almost at will, beginning with an Asdrubal Cabrera homer in the first as part of a two-run rally, adding two more in the second and single runs in the third and fourth — the run in the fourth courtesy of a home run off the bat of Jack Hannahan.
Tomlin kept the Mariners at — well, at bay — until the seventh, when Ryan Langerhans hit a two-run shot that drew Seattle within 6-3. Tomlin (2-0, 2.63 ERA) retired his last batter in the frame before giving way to Chad Durbin, who immediately gave up a long ball to Michael Saunders. A single followed and Durbin was relieved by Rafael Perez, who retired Ichiro Suzuki on a liner to center to preserve the two-run cushion at 6-4.
As he has done so consistently in this early-season, Tony Sipp came on in the eighth and set Seattle down one-two-three, taking the game to the closer in the ninth.
For the second day in a row Chris Perez set Seattle down in order in the bottom of the ninth, the game ending on a long fly ball out off the bat of Luis Rodriquez, and the Indians had maintained their one-game lead over the Royals and the White Sox, both of whom were winners today.
Josh Tomlin, in 6 2/3 innings worked, allowed three runs — all earned — on only three hits, with three strikeouts and two walks. Seattle starter Erik Bedard (0-2, 9.00 ERA) lasted only four innings, surrendering ten hits and all six runs.
Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-5 on the game and drove in a pair of runs. Shin-Soo Choo had two hits, raising his average to .200, while Orlando Cabrera also had two hits and elevated his average to .375. Besides Hannahan’s RBI on his homer, Shelley Duncan and Michael Brantley each drove in a run for The Good Guys.