Ibanez, Mariners beat Indians 4-3 in 10 innings
CLEVELAND (AP)—If it’s August, watch out for Raul Ibanez.
Ibanez upped his average for the month to .398 by singling in the go-ahead run to spark Seattle’s two-run 10th inning, giving the Mariners a 4-3 win over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
“It feels good anytime you can help the team win,” Ibanez said. “We’ve been battling. I like the way we’ve been doing that.”
The Mariners have the worst record in the American League, but have won the first two games of this series from the Indians, who had won 10 in a row.
Cleveland’s latest loss featured the ejection of manager Eric Wedge for arguing a call in the top of the 10th that led to an important insurance run for the Mariners.
Seattle manager Jim Riggleman liked the way his team responded after seeing the lead get away.
“Nobody quit,” he said. “Guys went out there and kept competing.”
Ichiro Suzuki, who had three hits, walked to start the 10th off Jensen Lewis (0-4). After a force play, Adrian Beltre’s single moved Jeremy Reed to third. Ibanez, who is 43-for-108 this month, singled through the right side on a 1-1 changeup, scoring Reed.
“I don’t think the pitch was up,” said Ibanez, who was 3-for-5. “I hit it in the right place where nobody was standing and it worked out.”
This is not the first time he’s come alive with a great August. Last season, he hit .374 with nine homers for the month.
“Raul Ibanez is probably one of the most underrated players in the game,” Lewis said.
The inning also featured some controversy. Jose Lopez followed with a ground ball to the left side that was heading toward shortstop Jhonny Peralta, but instead appeared to hit Beltre in the chest. Beltre was called out and Lopez was credited with an infield single. Wedge argued that Beltre intentionally slowed up so the ball would hit him and the play should have been ruled a double play. He was ejected by third base umpire Fieldin Culbreth after a lengthy discussion.
“It should have been an automatic double play,” Wedge said. “They didn’t see it that way.”
Riggleman wasn’t convinced.
“I’ve never seen that call (a double play) before,” he said.
Jamie Burke followed with an RBI single, which turned out to be a big run since the Indians rallied again. Grady Sizemore led off the 10th with a double off Sean Green and scored on Jhonny Peralta’s two-out single. Randy Messenger replaced Green and retired pinch-hitter Victor Martinez on a ground ball for his first save.
A strong outing by starter Jarrod Washburn, along with Tug Hulett’s first major league home run, had the Mariners on the verge of a win, but Putz couldn’t close it out. Ryan Garko started the ninth with a single and Choo homered into the Indians’ bullpen in center field on a 3-2 pitch.
Washburn held the Indians to three hits and struck out eight in 6 2-3 innings in nearly breaking his personal five-game losing streak. Washburn hasn’t won since July 27.
It’s getting a little frustrating,” he said of his winless streak. “We won the game. That’s all that matters.”
Hulett homered to lead off the third.
Cleveland starter Anthony Reyes allowed one run in seven innings.
Washburn had lost five straight starts coming into the game, and had a 6.75 ERA in August. In this one, he took control, recording six strikeouts in a span of seven batters at one point. Washburn recorded his 1,000th career strikeout when he fanned Garko in the fourth. The left-hander struck out the side in that inning.
Beltre’s sacrifice fly in the eighth made it 2-0.
Martinez, who returned to the lineup Friday after missing two months because of elbow surgery, didn’t start Saturday. Wedge said he will play first base or be the designated hitter Sunday. … Wedge’s ejection was his fourth of the season. … Sizemore doubled in the first, becoming the first player in Indians history to hit 30 homers and 30 doubles while stealing 30 bases in the same season. … Hulett is the son of former major league infielder Tim Hulett. … Riggleman said five or six players will be called up when the rosters can be expanded Monday.