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Josh Bard's First Career Slam Is Catalyst In Mariners' Thumping Of Indians

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Josh Bard’s first career grand slam capped a five-run fifth inning, helping the Seattle Mariners pummel the Cleveland Indians, 9-3, in the second of three games at Progressive Field.

Bard had a season-high four hits, scoring twice for the Mariners, who won their first road series since June 29-July 1 against the Yankees. They had lost their last four series away from Safeco Field.

Russell Branyan and Casey Kotchman also homered, as Seattle recorded its highest offensive output since scoring 15 runs on May 21. Jason Vargas (9-5) lasted seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks while fanning four.

Jayson Nix homered and drove in two runs for the Indians, who have lost six of seven. Asdrubal Cabrera added two hits and a run scored in defeat.

Mitch Talbot (8-10), who was activated off the disabled list earlier Saturday, gave up six runs — four earned — on eight hits and three walks in four-plus innings to receive the loss.

The Indians scored twice in the fourth to tie the game, but the Mariners answered with five in the fifth with help from a pair of big swings.

Branyan put Seattle back in front right away, hammering a Talbot offering over the wall in left-center. Jose Lopez followed with a single, and the next two batters both reached on errors by the third baseman Andy Marte, loading the bases.

Hector Ambriz came in from the bullpen to relieve Talbot and immediately gave up a grand slam to Bard, which put Seattle ahead, 7-2.

Kotchman increased the Mariners’ lead in the sixth with a two-run shot off Ambriz.

Nix’s solo shot in the bottom of the sixth accounted for the final margin.

Ichiro Suzuki singled leading off the game, moved to third on a Chone Figgins base hit and scored when Branyan grounded into a double play, giving Seattle an early lead.

The Mariners added to their lead in the fourth. Talbot retired the first two hitters, but a double, walk and single loaded the bases for Suzuki, who walked in an 11-pitch at-bat to force in a run for a 2-0 advantage.

The Indians, though, answered with two in the home half. With a runner on second and two outs, Nix sent an RBI double to left. Two batters later, a single from Marte plated Nix for a 2-2 game.

Talbot had been out since July 30 with a back strain…The Mariners improved to 4-1 under new manager Daren Brown…Bard’s career-high in hits is five, done once…Vargas has won three consecutive starts.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.