CLEVELAND - APRIL 05: Josh Tomlin #43 of the Cleveland Indians pitches in the second inning of the game against the Boston Red Sox at Progressive Field on April 5, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

FINAL: How Sweep It Is! Indians Win Seventh Straight, Hold Off Mariners 6-4

Indians look to take some wins with them on the road

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Indians Use Big Early Lead To Garner Second Straight Sweep; Tribe Climbs To 7-2

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.

The Indians now head to Anaheim to take on the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game set, and will return to Cleveland starting Friday for a weekend match-up against the Baltimore Orioles.


Status-Quo: Tribe Maintains Five-Run Lead Heading To The Seventh

Jack Hannahan led off the fourth inning with his second homer of the year, Cleveland chased Erik Bedard after four, and the Indians lead Seattle 6-1 heading to the seventh inning in the Pacific Northwest.

After Hannahan’s blast put the Tribe up 6-0, Seattle mounted a threat in the bottom of the fourth. Chad Figgins walked and Adam Kennedy singled and the Mariners had runners at the corners with nobody out. But Josh Tomlin bore down and minimized the damage, striking out two and allowing a sacrifice fly to Justin Smoak for the first — and so far, only — Seattle run of the game.

Through six innings, Tomlin has allowed only two hits and two walks, offset by four strikeouts, as he continues the remarkable string of starts by the Indians that has spanned the entire length of the six-game winning streak, which is nine outs from being a seven-game run.

Erik Bedard worked four innings for Seattle, allowing all six runs on ten hits. David Pauley came on in the fifth and has slammed the door in his two innings of work.

But the chance of a victory for Seattle, the chance to avoid a seventh straight loss for the Mariners, might already have escaped through that now-slammed door.


Two-Out Magic And A Long Ball Are The Formula For Solid Tribe Lead Behind Tomlin

The Indians, who had to survive a nail-biter last night against the Mariners, seem determined to put this one to bed early today as the Tribe shoots for seven in a row.

An Asdrubal Cabrera homer in the first and five two-out runs since has Cleveland ahead of Seattle after three innings, 5-0, as Josh Tomlin cruises right along in his second start of the season.

With one out in the first, Asdrubal took Erik Bedard out deep to left, and, with two outs, Shelley Duncan scored Shin-Soo Choo from first to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

In the second, with two down and nobody on, Lou Marson doubled and scored on a double from Michael Brantley, who himself scored on the second RBI of the day from A. Cabrera, a single on which Cabrera was thrown out trying to take second after Brantley had already scored.

In the third, again with two outs, Orlando Cabrera plated Choo with a double which was misplayed by Ichiro Suzuki, allowing Choo to score from first. A wild pitch to the ensuing batter, as it turned out, would have scored the run anyhow, making all five of the Indians’ runs earned off of Bedard.

Josh Tomlin, meanwhile, has allowed only one hit and has K’d two Mariners on 35 pitches through three innings, dropping Tomlin’s ERA on the young season under to 0.90.

Life, after three innings on April 10 — is very good.


Here Is Your Indians' Lineup For Today's Game

Seattle’s lineup for this afternoon’s matchup with the Indians has not yet been posted, so it is not certain as of yet what Eric Wedge’s batting order will be against Josh Tomlin, but the Indians have announced their lineup against the MarinersErik Bedard.

Lou Marson will get the start at catcher and will bat ninth, while Carlos Santana will be the DH and bat fourth, giving Travis Hafner at least the beginning of the game off. The rest of the Indians’ batting order looks like this:

1. Michael Brantley (L) CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
4. Carlos Santana (S) DH
5. Shelley Duncan® LF
6. Orlando Cabrera® 2B
7. Matt LaPorta® 1B
8. Jack Hannahan (L) 3B
9. Lou Marson® C

Game-time is at 4:10 p.m. for the conclusion of this three-game set, in which the Indians have won a laugher (12-3) and a nail-biter (2-1).


Remember The Winning Streak At The End Of 2010? Cleveland Can Match It Today

At the end of the 2010 season, there was a time when the Indians were 62-91 and winning 70 games seemed to be an absurd hope. After all, eight wins in the last nine games would have been necessary.

The Tribe didn’t make it to 70, but they did run off a seven-game streak to get to the very cusp of the "goal" before falling short in the final two games.

Today, at Safeco Field in Seattle, the Indians will try to match that streak in games that actually mean something more than a cosmetic, feel-better number.

Josh Tomlin, who was brilliant against Boston on Tuesday (but then, who hasn’t looked brilliant on the starting staff as of late?) gets the call this afternoon as the Indians look for their second straight sweep, and to remain alone atop the AL Central.

Tomlin (1-0, 1.29 ERA) allowed only three hits and a run in seven innings against the Red Sox,, and will have a tough act to follow in his second start after Justin Masterson, in HIS second start yesterday, won for the second time and worked into the seventh before Rafael Perez let Masterson’s inherited runner score, for the only tally against Masterson in a 2-1 win over Seattle.

The Mariners will send out Erik Bedard, who missed all of 2010 after multiple shoulder injuries. Bedard (0-1, 5.40 ERA) allowed five runs — three earned — and four hits in five innings against a pretty potent Texas Rangers’ lineup in Arlington. The ERA might look high after only one start, but the venue where that start took place has been known to inflate some numbers, so don’t expect — hope for, but don’t expect — similar numbers from the Tribe.

Cleveland, with their win last night, retained its one-game lead over the White Sox and the Royals, who both also won yesterday. The Indians have not been alone in first place, before this marvelous early-2011 run, since May of 2008.

Seattle, on the other hand, has lost six straight, and already trails Texas by five full games in the West.

Look for today’s lineups in a subsequent update, and updates throughout the game, as Indians’ fans get out the brooms for the second time in four days — let’s hope that there will be a chance to use those brooms again.


Indians Vs. Mariners Score: Mistakes Doom Mariners In 2-1 Loss To Indians

The Cleveland Indians are finding new, inventive ways to win baseball games.  Yesterday the Tribe used a 10-run 4th inning to put the Seattle Mariners to bed.  Tonight, it was great pitching followed by timely hitting - and a huge mistake by the Mariners - to win their 6th straight game 2-1 at Safeco Field in Seattle.

A night after having 10 hits in the 4th inning alone, the Tribe could only muster 7 hits, but they got the hits when they needed them.  Again it was the 4th inning for the Tribe, when they scored both runs and took advantage of a huge throwing error by former Indian Milton Bradley in left field.  

After Asdrubal Cabrera singled to left field, Shin-Soo Choo followed with a single of his own.  After a ground-out by Carlos Santana moved the runner to 2nd and 3rd, the Mariners intentionally walked Travis Hafner to load the bases.  That's when the fun started.  Orlando Cabrera hit a routine sacrifice fly to Bradley in left field.  Asdrubal Cabrera tagged and scored easily to give the Indians their first run.  Instead of throwing the ball to the cut-off man, however, Bradley looked to be throwing the ball to third base.  No one was there and the ball sailed towards the Indians dugout.  Mariners pitcher Doug Fister tried to stop it but ended up kicking the ball into the dugout allowing all the baserunners to advance.  That meant Shin-Soo Choo was allowed to score giving the Indians the deciding run.

Right now everything is going the right way for the Indians and they are taking advantage of it by piling up the wins in April.

After going nearly twenty decisions without a win from 2009-2010, Justin Masterson won his 2nd decision of the season going 6.1 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits while striking out 9.  Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp and Chris Perez went 2.2 innings to protect the lead with Chris Perez picking up his third save of the season.

Doug Fister fell to 0-2 for the Mariners, who have now lost six straight games. Fister went six innings, gave up six hits and one earned run.

The series concludes Sunday afternoon with Josh Tomlin set to face Eric Bedard at 4:10PM et.


PREVIEW: First-place Indians Look For Sixth Straight Win Tonight In Seattle

When the Indians beat the Seattle Mariners last night, 12-3, and the Tampa Bay Rays rallied for five in the ninth to beat the White Sox 9-7, Cleveland found itself alone atop the AL Central, a full game up on Chicago and the Kansas City Royals and two up on the Twins and the Tigers.

Cleveland will try to make the most of the rarefied air and win their sixth straight game tonight at 9:10 when they take on the Mariners in the middle game of their three-game weekend set in the Pacific Northwest.

Justin Masterson (1-0, 1.29 ERA), who gave the Indians their first win of the season last Sunday against the White Sox, thereby igniting a streak that has seen every member of the rotation except for Fausto Carmona and Mitch Talbot get a victory in their turn — Carmona, of course, getting a no-decision in the 1-0 victory over Boston on Thursday and Talbot pitching into the fifth and not eligible for the victory in a win over the Red Sox — will get the start for The Good Guys against Seattle’s Doug Fister (0-1, 3.18 ERA), who gave up three runs — two earned — in 5 2/3 innings worked against Oakland on April 3 in a 7-1 A’s victory.

Fister comes in with a career mark of 9-19 in 40 games, all but one of which have been starts. Fister gives up a long ball about once every ten innings, but will be hard-pressed against an Indians’ offense that broke out with a ten-run, ten-hit fourth inning last night, and saw a solo homer from Asdrubal Cabrera in the first and a three-run blast from Travis Hafner in the fourth before the offense relaxed.

Seattle is in danger of falling far behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West before the season is two weeks along. Already the Mariners are four and-a-half games back of Texas, and — with the Rangers having been to the World Series last year — Seattle has to know that Texas is not a flash in the pan.

The 17-hit attack last night raised the Indians’ team batting average from .264 to .289, in another example of how fluid stats are early in a season.

That is not to say that we aren’t all hoping for a repeat of last night, maybe getting that average up over .300.

After all, when your team is on a five-game roll and is in first place, whether it be April or whether it be September — it is a time to dream, and begin to consider, even if tentatively…a miracle season.


Indians Vs. Mariners Score: Tribe Bats Stay Hot In 12-3 Win

The Cleveland Indians are in first place in the American League Central. Sure, it is only the first week of the season, but after two seasons of miserable baseball Indians fans need something to grab on to.

Travis Hafner homered and drove in four runs as the Indians piled up 17 hits in beating the Seattle Mariners 12-3 at Safeco Field. It was Seattle’s home opener, but the Indians weren’t in the mood to let the fans or the home team celebrate.

Cleveland took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Asdrubal Cabrera’s second home run of the year. It stayed that way until the 4th inning when the Indians used 10 hits to score 10 runs, blowing the game wide open.

The beneficiary of all those runs and hits – Carlos Carrasco – went six innings for the win. Carrasco allowed just one run on four hits with six strikeouts.

Jason Vargas took the loss for Seattle who has lost five straight games after winning their first two of the season. For the Indians, it was their fifth straight win after two losses.


Indians Score 10 Runs In 4th Inning, Lead Seattle Mariners 11-0

Travis Hafner hit a 3-run home run as the Cleveland Indians pounded out 10 hits in a 10-run 4th inning giving the Tribe a 11-0 lead in Seattle against the Mariners. Much like the Indians opener which saw the home team fall behind the Chicago White Sox 14-0, the Indians jumped all over the Mariners in the 4th, starting the inning with 6 straight hits.

Carlos Santana had two hits in the inning while Travis Hafner was 2-2 with a home run and 4 RBI for the Indians who continued to score even after former manager Eric Wedge went to his bull pen to try and stem the tide.

The Indians led 6-0 when Santana singled to right to make the lead 8-0. Hafner followed with a no-doubt-about-it blast to right field off the facing of the upper deck. The home run was proof-positive that Hafner is back to being ‘Pronk’, and his two hits tonight have raised his batting average to .409.

Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco is continuing an impressive string of starting pitching for the Indians going 4 innings so far allowing just two hits and striking out four.


Starting Lineups For Friday, April 8, In Seattle

Here are the lineups for the Indians’ game tonight against the Seattle Mariners, as Cleveland helps Seattle open its home season.

For Manny Acta’s Tribe, here are your starters against Jason Vargas:

1. Michael Brantley (L) CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera (S) SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo (L) RF
4. Carlos Santana (S) C
5. Travis Hafner (L) DH
6. Orlando Cabrera® 2B
7. Austin Kearns® LF
8. Matt LaPorta® 1B
9. Jack Hannahan (L) 3B

Eric Wedge’s Mariners will counter with this lineup against Carlos Carrasco:

1. Ichiro Suzuki (L) RF
2. Chone Figgins (S) 3B
3. Milton Bradley (S) LF
4. Jack Cust (L) DH
5. Justin Smoak (S) 1B
6. Miguel Olivo® C
7. Adam Kennedy (L) 2B
8. Brendan Ryan® SS
9. Ryan Langerhans (L) CF

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