Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Travis Hafner was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and paid immediate dividends with a grand slam as part of a seven-run seventh inning, as the Cleveland Indians handled the Seattle Mariners, 9-1, in the finale of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Michael Brantley cracked a two-run homer and Jayson Nix chipped in with a solo shot for the Indians, who had dropped six of seven coming into the contest.
Tony Sipp (2-2) was credited with the win for working a perfect top of the seventh. Indians starter Justin Masterson, a loser of three of his previous four starts coming in, threw six shutout innings, allowing one hit and six walks while striking out three.
Franklin Gutierrez provided the only offense with an RBI single for Seattle, which had won six of eight entering the series finale.
Felix Hernandez (8-10) was the hard-luck loser for giving up six unearned runs on six hits. The big right-hander, who tossed eight shutout innings and fanned 13 in a victory over Oakland on Tuesday, walked four and struck out seven.
Starting pitching dictated the first four innings before Seattle mounted a threat in the fifth. Casey Kotchman doubled off Masterson for the first hit of the game leading off the fifth and the Mariners proceeded to load the bases with one out. However, Ichiro Suzuki lined out to first and Chone Figgins was retired on a bunt attempt to first base that ended the inning.
In the home fifth, Lou Marson reached with a two-out double to break up Hernandez’s no-hit bid, but was left stranded when Brantley bounced out to third.
Each side stranded a runner in the sixth, and Sipp took over for Masterson in the seventh and retired the side in quick order.
Cleveland then opened the scoring with seven two-out runs in the bottom portion. After Hernandez set down the first two batters, Figgins’ throwing error at second base allowed Luis Valbuena to reach and opened the flood gates. Marson followed with a base hit that put runners on the corners, and Brantley’s sharp single to center brought in the first run of the game.
Asdrubal Cabrera chased in another with a double to right-center and after Shin-Soo Choo was walked intentionally, Hafner cracked a 2-1 sinker over the wall in right-center to make it 6-0. Sean White entered and served up a solo shot to Nix.
Gutierrez got the Mariners on the board with a two-out infield single in the eighth. However, Brantley’s two-run homer into the right field seats in the bottom half increased the Tribe’s lead to 9-1.
Chris Perez worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to polish off the victory.
Cleveland optioned outfielder Jordan Brown to Triple-A Columbus prior to the game to make room on the roster for Hafner…Cleveland won six of 10 against Seattle last year…Despite the loss, the Mariners won their first road series since June 29-July 1 against the New York Yankees.