Traber proved he’s a quick study Thursday night, tossing five-hit ball for seven innings as the Indians defeated the Mariners 3-0 Thursday night.
Traber (6-6) rebounded from his worst start, stopping Seattle with a variety of slow breaking pitches in much the same manner as Moyer did in a 2-1 win.
“Sure, I watched him,” Traber said. “He just baffles guys and frustrates them, one thing I need to do.”
Traber struck out five, walked two and was not upset at being taken out after making only 83 pitches.
“Why wouldn’t I want Dave and Danys in there?” Traber said, emphasizing he wanted a team win more than a personal shutout.
Coming back from a start in which he allowed six runs and five hits over two innings Friday in a 10-3 loss at Texas was satisfying, too.
“There are no excuses like saying ‘It was one of those days,’ “ Traber said. “There are always reasons. Did I prepare well enough before that start? I tried to do a better job of that and got a result tonight.”
Freddy Garcia (9-12) lost for the sixth time in seven starts, but had his best outing in more than a month. The right-hander gave up two runs and six hits while striking out seven without a walk in 6 1-3 innings.
“He pitched well,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said, adding that he was impressed at how the right-hander has overcome the pressure of constant trade talks and rumors of his being sent to the bullpen.
“He’s pitching with his back to the wall before he even goes out there,” Melvin said. “I give him credit, he had a nice performance.”
Garcia is 0-6 with a 9.61 ERA in his last seven outings. He also was coming off his shortest outing this season in which he surrendered seven runs and seven hits over 1 2-3 innings Friday to the White Sox.
“Yeah, I did better because I pitched more than two innings,” Garcia said. “But I gave up two home runs and it cost us the game.”
He has not won since June 24, when a 6-4 victory over Anaheim gave him victories in six consecutive starts.
“I feel bad about it, but it happens sometimes,” Garcia said. “If they asked me to move to the bullpen, I would do what I have to do to figure this out.”
Traber continued to alternate good and bad starts. The left-hander improved to 2-1 in four starts since tossing a one-hitter over the Yankees on July 8. That gem came after he allowed seven runs and 11 hits in 2 2-3 innings to Kansas City.
Three of Seattle’s hits off Traber never left the infield, including two bunts.
“He gave us a different look every time,” Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez said. “His location was great and he kept us off balance.”
Third baseman Casey Blake helped Traber with two diving stops to take away hits. In the third inning, he went to his left to take a hit from Willie Bloomquist. With a runner on second in the fourth, he robbed Randy Winn with a backhanded grab behind the bag.
“You don’t practice plays like that,” Blake said. “You just trust your instincts. Sometimes you get lucky.”
Gerut gave Cleveland the lead by hitting his 14th homer over the wall in right-center leading off the fourth.
Hafner made it 2-0 by leading off the fifth with his seventh homer, 419 feet into the Indians’ bullpen in center.
Cleveland added an unearned run off Arthur Rhodes in the eighth.
Seattle fell to 27-12 against left-handed starters this season. … The Mariners are 34-21 on the road, second-best in the AL away from home to the Yankees’ 37-22. … Indians OF Milton Bradley went 2-for-4 and is hitting .360 (9-for-25) in August. … Hafner went 4-for-10 with two homers and five RBIs in the three-game series. … Cleveland shut out the Mariners for the first time since Sept. 4, 1992. … The Mariners were blanked for the sixth time thisyear.