Mariners 9, Indians 5

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CLEVELAND (AP)—As Seattle’s relievers were holding Cleveland in check, the Indians’ pitchers were giving Ichiro Suzuki and the Mariners every chance to rally.

Suzuki and Jose Lopez each hit two-run homers and Seattle turned a rash of wildness by Cleveland relievers into a 9-5 comeback win Thursday night.

The Mariners drew nine walks over the final 3 1-3 innings to overcome an early 4-0 deficit Thursday night.

“We put them in position to win,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s uncharacteristic of guys who are usually aggressive over the plate and throw strike one, strike two.”

The Indians led 5-3 after five innings but three Seattle relievers combined to throw 4 1-3 shutout innings, allowing five hits and no walks. The Mariners won the final two games of the three-game series at Jacobs Field.

“Our bullpen was big,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “The relievers gave our offense a chance to come back.”

Cleveland reliever Rafael Betancourt got out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the sixth by striking out Jeremy Reed to preserve the Indians’ two-run lead.

But Lopez hit a two-run homer off the right-hander with one out in the seventh to tie it at 5.

“I made a mistake and when you make a mistake you pay for it,” Betancourt said. “I couldn’t throw strikes. I walked a guy before that and it hurt me.”

Left-hander Scott Sauerbeck (0-1) then yielded a sharp single to Raul Ibanez and gave way to Guillermo Mota. Richie Sexson greeted the right-hander with a line double to left, sending Ibanez to third. Adrian Beltre was intentionally walked to load the bases, but Mota also walked Carl Everett to make it 6-5.

“Part of our game is being patient,” Ibanez said. “You work the count, a lot of things can happen.”

Kenji Johjima followed with a bouncer to third baseman Aaron Boone, whose throw home pulled catcher Victor Martinez off the plate. Sexson scored to give the Mariners a two-run lead.

Johjima added a two-run double in the ninth off Fernando Cabrera to make it 9-5. Reed then lined a ball off Cabrera’s right ankle. The right-hander made the play for the out, but left the game and was replaced by Danny Graves.

Cabrera said he “felt fine,” after limping off the field.

Julio Mateo (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the win, George Sherrill got two outs and J.J Putz gave up two hits over the final two innings.

Ronnie Belliard hit a two-run homer and Ben Broussard a solo shot off Seattle starter Felix Hernandez.

Ichiro’s two-run shot in Seattle’s three-run fifth got the Mariners within one but Belliard singled home a run in the bottom half to make it 5-3.

Jason Johnson, seeking to win his first two starts in a season for the first time in his 10-year career, gave up only two hits through four innings. After yielding three runs in the fifth, he issued his only three walks, all with two outs in the sixth. Johnson allowed three runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings.

Hernandez, pitching five days after his 20th birthday, struck out four, but gave up five runs and seven hits with four walks over 4 2-3 innings.

“He was all over the place, missing with his sinker and having no command of his fastball,” Hargrove said. “It was one of those games for Felix, but he kept battling and kept us in the game.”

Three straight singles gave the Indians a 1-0 lead in the first. Jhonny Peralta singled home Grady Sizemore, but Jason Michaels was thrown out at third on the play. Hernandez then struck out Travis Hafner and Martinez.


The largest walkup crowd in Jacobs Field history swelled attendance to 24,638—of which 8,510 bought last-minute tickets. … Johnson is 3-7 with a 5.15 ERA in 16 career outings against Seattle. … Johjima played with a sore right hand, hurt Wednesday night when he hit it on Michaels’ bat while following through on a throw back to the pitcher. … Suzuki went 4-for-7 over the final two games after breaking an 0-for-18 streak. He’s batting .356 (68-for-191) in his career against Cleveland. … Indians relievers have walked 23 in 32 1-3 innings this season.

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