The Cleveland Indians look to improve on the best home record in baseball Monday against the Seattle Mariners in the first of four makeup dates of the postponed series from the first week of the season.
A storm in the Cleveland area postponed the April 6-9 set and forced the Indians to play a home series against the Los Angeles Angels at Milwaukee’s Miller Park from April 10-12.
The April 7-8 games will be played at Jacobs Field on June 11 and Aug. 30, respectively. The April 9 game will be played in Seattle on Sept. 26 as part of a doubleheader.
Monday was a scheduled off day for both clubs. Cleveland (26-15) will be in Kansas City on Tuesday to start a nine-game road trip, while Seattle (19-20) heads to Tampa Bay to continue its 10-game road stretch.
“They know we’re going to have to make those games up and they’re all aware that most of them are going to be on off days,” said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge, whose team has won five of six games and is percentage points ahead of Detroit for the AL Central lead. “It’s just something you roll with.”
Seattle manager Mike Hargrove, though, wasn’t pleased when the makeup dates were announced earlier this month. The Mariners lost 2-1 at San Diego on Sunday for their fourth loss in five games.
“I think it puts a burden on us that we shouldn’t have to have,” Hargrove said. “I’m not sure they could have done anything that would have been fair to all the parties.”
Cleveland won 5-3 over Cincinnati on Sunday to take two of three against their intrastate rivals. At 16-4, the Indians are off to their best home start since the 1995 club began 18-4 and went on to reach Cleveland’s first World Series in 41 years.
The Indians, however, are 14-3 at Jacobs Field and 2-1 at Miller Park.
“We haven’t played at home as much and I think the guys appreciate being here,” Wedge said.
The left-hander allowed one run and five hits in eight innings of a 7-1 win over Minnesota on Wednesday, in his first start since suffering his lone loss on May 11 at Oakland.
“Hopefully, I can keep it going,” said Sabathia, who is 4-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 10 starts against Seattle.
Peralta has hit safely in six straight games and is batting .417 (10-for-24) with three homers and seven RBIs during the span. He is hitting .351 (27-for-77) with three homers and 11 RBIs in 21 games against Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 Sunday for the Mariners, who were held to three or fewer runs for the fourth time in five games. Suzuki has hit in 13 straight games while batting .473 (26-for-55) during that span, with seven straight multihit games.
Suzuki has fared well against Sabathia, hitting .429 (15-for-35) with three homers, two doubles and a triple.
Cha Seung Baek (1-1, 5.16) will take the mound for the Mariners. Baek allowed three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings in Seattle’s 5-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday.
The right hander allowed five runs - one earned - in five innings while taking the loss in his only start against the Indians on Sept. 8, 2004.