The Indians and Mariners engaged in a typical Safeco Field game. Lots of pitching, very little hitting, and a game largely played in front of friends and family. The Indians closed out their nine-game road trip by going 1-8, after going 0-9 on their previous road trip. Their latest loss, a 3-1 defeat, was a game mired by missed opportunities and more frustration.
The Tribe blew a good chance in the first inning and it set the tone for the rest of the game. Asdrubal Cabrera drew a one-out walk and Shin-Soo Choo followed with a single.to push Cabrera into scoring position. As Carlos Santana has done so many times this season, he failed with a runner in scoring position, striking out for the second out. Michael Brantley flew out to center to end the inning. Again, like the Indians starters have done so many times this season, after the Tribe blows a chance or gets a lead, they give up runs. Michael Saunders hit a Zach McAllister pitch out of the ballpark for the first run of the game. It was Saunders's third home run of the series, 14th of the year, and it allowed him to double his home HR output in this series.
After that, McAllister settled in nicely. Unfortunately, Seattle right hander Hisashi Iwakuma was also pretty comfortable all day. Changing speeds and keeping Indians hitters off balance, Iwakuma held the Tribe without a run until the sixth. The Indians had chances, scattering six hits and walking three times against the Japanese right hander. The big problem for the Indians was that they hit into three double plays against Iwakuma. With McAllister sailing along, a lot of zeroes went up on the scoreboard from the second through the fifth.
The Indians tied the game in the sixth. Choo walked with one out and Santana followed with a bloop single to left. Brantley struck out, but the Indians successfully completed a double steal during the at bat to put runners at second and third. Casey Kotchman continued his recent hot stretch with a chopper that just stayed fair down the third base line to drive in Choo and tie the game. Ezequiel Carrera walked to extend the inning and put runners on the corners, but Jack Hannahan struck out to end the inning.
McAllister wasn't overly sharp, but he did give the Indians six innings of three-hit ball. He allowed just the one run on the solo home run and walked three to go along with four strikeouts. He turned it over to Joe Smith, who worked a scoreless seventh. The chinks in Vinnie Pestano's armor popped up again in the eighth. Kyle Seager reached on a hustle double to right center, sliding in safely on a bang-bang play that got Manny Acta ejected when he went out to support Asdrubal Cabrera who immediately argued the call. With Seager on second, the Indians elected to walk Saunders. Pestano struck out Jesus Montero, but then gave up a double to Eric Thames, who has killed the Indians in this series with a couple of home runs and the big two-run, tiebreaking double in Wednesday's game.
The Indians didn't even sniff a rally in the ninth against Tom Wilhelmsen and dropped their eighth consecutive game. Vinnie Pestano took the loss, his first of the season. Stephen Pryor recorded his third win in 13 appearances for the Mariners. The Indians are now 54-70 on the season, while the Mariners, winners of eight straight, can actually see the .500 mark now, as they improved to 61-64.
Stat of the Day: Today marked the 17th time that the Indians have scored just one run in a game. They're 1-16 in those games.
Player of the Game: Zach McAllister. Not a hard call here.
Tomorrow's Game: The Indians have a day off to head back home before facing the Yankees on Friday.