Seattle (49-52) at Cleveland (44-56)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Cleveland, OH
Temp: 36° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Jul 28, 2006
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The Seattle Mariners swung a trade with the Cleveland Indians for first baseman Ben Broussard, a deal they hope will help them end to their stay at the bottom of the tight AL West Division.

Just two days later, those teams open a three-game series at Jacobs Field on Friday, with Broussard having a chance to make his Mariners debut—as well as explore some unfamiliar territory in his former home stadium—as Seattle (49-52) takes on the Indians (44-56).

“It’s one of the most bizarre things, I’ve never been in (the visitors’) clubhouse,” said Broussard, who hit .321 with 13 home runs and 46 RBIs in 88 games with the Indians. “It’s kind of strange when you get traded. But things weren’t going that well for us in Cleveland. I’m excited. I’m hoping I can come in and help out.”

Broussard, acquired along with cash for minor league outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named, struggled at times in the field with Cleveland, but will serve exclusively as the designated hitter against right-handers for Seattle.

“He’s simply an upgrade to the left-handed side of the DH,” Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. “It’s a good deal and the timing is good.”

That, however, means Broussard may find himself out of the starting lineup Friday. Eduardo Perez, also acquired from the Indians on June 30, will likely get the start at DH with left-hander Jeremy Sowers (2-3, 5.12 ERA) taking the mound for Cleveland.

The Mariners also designated Carl Everett for assignment Wednesday as they try to gain ground in the division. They are in last place, but trail AL West-leading Los Angeles by three games.

Seattle has been playing well recently, however, beating Toronto 7-4 on Wednesday for its fourth win in five games. The Mariners took two of three from the Blue Jays to win their second straight series.

Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson homered Wednesday while Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-3 and stole his 28th consecutive base, tying the single-season club record set by Julio Cruz in 1981.

Felix Hernandez (9-8, 4.76) hopes to get that type of run support when takes the ball for Seattle. The right-hander gave up four hits, two runs and two walks Saturday while striking out six over seven innings of a 5-2 victory over Boston.

The 20-year-old Hernandez struggled in his only start against the Indians on April 13, allowing seven hits and five runs over 4 2-3 innings, and failed to receive a decision in a 9-5 win. He will need a better performance against Sowers, who is coming off his first career shutout.

The Indians left-hander scattered four hits and one walk while striking out four in an 11-0 victory over Minnesota on Saturday. He became the first Indians rookie to pitch a shutout since Billy Traber one-hit the New York Yankees on July 8, 2003.

“I stood a little taller,” said Sowers, who will make his first start against the Mariners. “That helped me get a better angle on some pitches. I had good balance and was able to keep the ball down.”

Sowers’ victory was just one of five for Cleveland over its last 18 games. The Indians lost 4-1 to Detroit on Wednesday to drop their fifth straight series.

Cleveland is excited about the arrival of Choo, who hit .323 with 13 home runs and 48 RBIs for Triple-A Tacoma this year. The left-handed hitter is expected to join the team right away and start in right field against right-handed pitching.

“This player is a good complement to this club and the club we hope to build in the future,” Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said. “This is a guy who has hit every single place he’s been.”

The Mariners placed Chris Snelling on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with an injured left shoulder, just a day after recalling the outfielder from Tacoma.

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Starting Pitchers

F. Hernández SEA vs. J. Sowers CLE
12-14 Record 7-4
4.52 ERA 3.57
176 K 35
60 BB 20
1.34 WHIP 1.19