Lee (2-2, 3.31 ERA) is 5-0 with a 3.79 ERA in six career starts against Seattle. He beat the Mariners on April 11 by allowing two runs and four hits over six innings in a 9-5 victory.
Lee lost in his last outing, an 8-6 defeat to the Chicago White Sox on Monday. He gave up five runs and a season-high 10 hits over five innings, failing to reach the sixth inning for the first time this season.
The left-hander is still searching for his victory on the road, where he is 0-1 with a 3.44 ERA in three outings. He’s 3-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four career outings at Safeco Field.
Lee will be supported by baseball’s highest scoring offense. Cleveland (16-14) has scored 198 runs after opening the series with a 9-4 victory on Friday.
Ronnie Belliard had an RBI single to trigger a five-run rally in the eighth inning. Belliard is 7-for-16 with six RBIs in four games against Seattle this season.
Designated hitter Travis Hafner went 1-for-4, but failed to homer for the first time in five games. Hafner scored his major league-leading 34th run in the eighth inning.
Seattle (12-19) dropped its fourth straight despite the return of slugger Richie Sexson in the lineup. Sexson missed Thursday’s loss to the White Sox due to a bruised left heel and was hitless in four at-bats.
Ichiro Suzuki snapped a 0-for-16 slump with a triple in the ninth inning.
The Mariners still are looking to use manager Mike Hargrove’s new closer-by-committee approach. Closer Eddie Guardado has three blown saves this year.
“I see where everyone says Eddie’s been demoted,” Hargrove said. “Well, we want to get him back to where he was before. Right now, he’ll be used in setup roles. But we want him to be the closer. We’re a better club if he’s our closer.”
Seattle starter Joel Pineiro (3-2, 4.26) notched his first complete game of the season in his last start, scattering nine hits in an 8-2 victory Monday against Minnesota. Pineiro had yet to last past the seventh inning.
The right-hander felt run support was a key to the outing.
“Once we got that eight-spot up there, I felt a little more relaxed,” Pineiro said. “I knew I had to throw strikes early in the count and get some ground balls. That’s what happened.”
Pineiro is 2-2 with a 7.29 ERA against Cleveland in seven career appearances, including six starts.