Tribe Beats Mariners, Takes Over 1st Place
Continuing their incredible start to the season, the Indians dispatched of the Seattle Mariners last night 9-5, led by an assault of 13 hits from the offense and six strong innings from Cliff Lee.
The 3-4-5 guys in the Tribe lineup combined to go 8 for 11, with 2 home runs, 2 doubles, 5 RBI’s, 6 runs, and 2 walks. Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner hit back-to-back home runs in the 5th inning, extending the Indian lead to 6-0 and essentially ending the day of Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn, who had won five straight games at Jacobs Field. Hafner is now hitting .423 on the season, and has 5 home runs in the teams first six games.
Just as hot as Pronk is Victor Martinez. Victor was 3 for 3 with a walk, a double, and 2 RBI’s. He raised his average to .444 on the season. Ronnie Belliard also added a two run single in the seventh, boosting the Tribe lead to 9-3. Belliard also made several outstanding plays in the field, as he returned from a two game absence due to a calf injury, and spared us all from having to watch any more of Ramon Vasquez.
Lee was solid as a rock on the hill for the Tribe, looking very much like the Cliffie of 2005 that finished third in the Cy Young voting. Lee went six innings, allowing just four hits and a walk, and striking out eight Mariners. The Indians got three innings of shaky relief from Fernando Cabrera, Scott Sauerbeck, Matt Miller, and Rafael Betancourt … who surrendered three runs to Seattle in the final three innings before finally finishing off the Mariners, who fell to 3-5 on the season.
The Indians now find themselves at 6-1 on the young season, and alone in first place in the Central for the first time in nearly four years. Gil Meche and Paul Byrd take the hill tonight for game two of this series, slated to begin at 7:05 PM.