Lee’s consecutive scoreless innings streak ended at 27 on Wladimir Balentien’s three-run homer in the seventh. It raised his ERA from 0.28 to 0.96, still lowest in the majors.
Lee was pulled after the homer, the only runs and he allowed in six innings. The left-hander has given up four earned runs in 37 2-3 innings in his five starts.
Franklin Gutierrez drove in three runs on an RBI single in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth.
Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn (1-4) allowed six runs in 4 1-3 innings for his third straight loss.
After Gutierrez made it 3-0, the Indians put it away with a five-run fifth. Victor Martinez and Casey Blake had RBI doubles, Gutierrez drove in two with a single and Jason Michaels added a sacrifice fly.
Lee struggled to a 5-8 record and 6.29 ERA last season. He was sent to Triple-A Buffalo in July and left off the Indians’ postseason roster. Lee had to win the fifth starter’s spot over Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers in spring training.
Lee is 6-1 in nine career games against Seattle.
DH Travis Hafner, in a 7-for-51 slump, didn’t play for the Indians. … Ichiro threw out Casey Blake at the plate in the fourth inning. … Martinez hosted twin brothers from Honduras at the game. The Duarte-Fuentes brothers, Jose Alfredo and Jose Luis, were burned in an accident in their home when they were six months old. The brothers, now 15, had surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in December. By winning an online fan vote as the Indians’ MVP last season sponsored by Continental Airlines, Martinez was awarded frequent flyer miles and donated them to the twins, who had follow-up surgery at the Clinic last week. … Balentien and C Jeff Clement were called up from Triple-A Tacoma before the game. OF Brad Wilkerson and INF Greg Norton were designated for assignment.