Zunino’s homer lifts Mariners past Indians, 6-5
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Seattle Mariners received good news on all fronts Thursday.
Several hours after making two trades to help their run at an AL wild-card spot, the Mariners rallied for a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians on Mike Zunino’s two-run homer in the eighth inning.
The win, along with the acquisitions of outfielders Austin Jackson and Chris Denorfia, resulted in a lot of smiles in the Mariners’ clubhouse.
“We’ve played well all year,” said Dustin Ackley, who hit a two-run homer in the third. “We’ve put ourselves in a position to be in it at the end and to add a couple of good players will be big for us.”
Bryan Shaw (4-3) walked Kyle Seager to start the inning before Zunino, who also homered in Tuesday’s win, hit a 2-0 pitch into the left-field bleachers for his 17th home run.
“There’s a nice little porch over there in left,” Zunino said. “Just enough to get them over, that’s all I’m trying to do.”
Joe Beimel (3-1) pitched one-third of an inning while Fernando Rodney worked the ninth for his AL-leading 30th save.
The Mariners bounced back from a 2-0 loss on Wednesday in which they were held to three hits by Corey Kluber.
“The guy last night had Cy Young stuff,” said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. “Sometimes it’s not the hitters. Tonight we had some pitches over the plate and we took advantage of them.”
McClendon was confident there would be no carry over to Thursday’s game.
“We’ve been doing that all year,” he said. “We’ve been knocked down time and time again and we keep getting up.”
Carlos Santana drove in two runs for Cleveland, including a go-ahead RBI single in the seventh that broke a 4-all tie.
Ackley had a two-run homer for the Mariners while Jason Kipnis hit a two-run shot for the Indians. Both home runs came in the third when the teams exchanged three-run rallies.
Ackley’s homer was his first since May 11, a span of 234 plate appearances and gave Seattle a 3-1 lead. Robinson Cano hit his 400th career double in the third, and it scored a run.
Indians starter Zach McAllister, who hasn’t won since April 21, didn’t get through the fourth. He allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings.
Chris Young allowed four runs in 5 1-3 innings for Seattle.
Mariners: Right-hander Danny Farquhar was struck by a line drive in the right biceps off the bat of Chisenhall in the seventh. He fielded the ball and threw Chisenhall out, but was removed. McClendon said after the game he thought Farquhar was uninjured.
Indians: Left fielder Chris Dickerson (sore left knee) exited in the top of the third inning and is listed as day to day. Dickerson twisted his leg in the second while misplaying Kendrys Morales’ double. He was replaced by Mike Aviles.
Seattle left-hander Roenis Elias (8-8) faces Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen (11-3) in the opener of a three-game series Friday in Baltimore. Elias’ most recent start also came against the Orioles on July 27, taking a no-decision.
Cleveland continues its eight-game homestand Friday when right-hander Danny Salazar (3-4) takes on Rangers right-hander Jerome Williams (2-4). Salazar has won both of his starts since returning to the majors on July 22.
Seattle, which trails Toronto by three games for the AL’s second wild-card spot, made two moves to boost the league’s lowest-scoring offense. The Mariners acquired outfielder Denorfia from San Diego and then picked up Jackson from Detroit in a three-team trade that also involved Tampa Bay. Both are expected to join the team Friday in Baltimore.
Cleveland traded shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to Washington. The deal came a day after the Indians traded opening day starter Justin Masterson to St. Louis.
HELP AT THE TOP
McClendon is familiar with Jackson after being Detroit’s hitting coach for eight years. He said Jackson will bat leadoff. “Offensively, look at his numbers,” the manager said. “He’s good on top of the order, he steals bases, and he’s a veteran hitter. His teammates will love him.” Jackson is batting .270 with nine stolen bases.