The Indians’ streak of solid pitching finally came to an end, as the Mariners beat up Trevor Bauer and the Tribe in a 9-3 loss that cost Cleveland the series and set Seattle up for a potential sweep on Thursday. Bauer was disappointing, lasting just 3.2 innings and allowing six runs on four hits and five walks. The Mariners sent Taijuan Walker to the mound, where he continue to mystify Indians’ hitters throughout six strong innings, allowing eight hits and two walks, but only one run. Bauer had five strikeouts, while Walker had six.
It was over early for the Tribe. Bauer walked Mike Zunino to lead off the third inning, and after getting two outs, he gave up back-to-back walks to Austin Jackson and Robinson Cano to load the bases. Kyle Seager made it 4-0 in favor of the Mariners with his second grand slam of the season. Seattle added on in the fourth inning, when Dustin Ackley singled to left field and Brad Miller walked to put runners on first and second for Logan Morrison. Morrison doubled to center field, scoring both runs.
In the fourth inning, Walker allowed back-to-back singles to David Murphy and Yan Gomes to lead off the inning, and Murphy was able to score on what should have been an inning-ending double play off the bat of Michael Bourn. Gomes was out at second, but Bourn was safe on an error because Walker failed to catch the ball while covering first base.
The game stayed at 6-1 until the seventh inning, when the Mariners scored again. With one out, Cano reached on a throwing error by shortstop Mike Aviles. Reliever Austin Adams gave up a pair of RBI doubles to Seager and Seth Smith, then allowed Mark Trumbo to hit an RBI single to right field, giving Seattle a 9-1 advantage.
The Indians managed to score in both the eighth and ninth innings, but it was far too little to help their cause. With Joe Beimel pitching, Brandon Moss doubled to start the eighth inning, advancing to third on a single off the bat of Murphy. Zach Walters grounded out, but still managed to get the run home to make it 9-2. The final run of the game came in the bottom of the ninth inning, when Aviles singled and Jason Kipnis doubled, setting rookie Giovanny Urshela up for his first major league RBI – even if it came on a ground out.
Urshela’s first RBI was a good moment, and two of his four at-bats have ended in very good plays that could have been hits. Moss, Murphy and Aviles each had a pair of hits, and Kipnis had a hit and a walk. Excluding Adams, the bullpen performed well – Nick Hagadone, Ryan Webb and Bryan Shaw combined for 3.1 innings of shutout baseball, with Webb allowing one hit and Shaw walking two. Another positive was an outfield assist from Michael Brantley, who threw Zunino out as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
With 10 runners left on base, it’s no wonder the Tribe didn’t win. They were just 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position, which is unsustainable on a competitive team. Bauer’s habit of walking people finally caught up to him, which was inevitable, but a surprise in this game was how poorly Adams pitched – he’s done well for the Tribe this year, but on Wednesday, he allowed three runs on five hits with just one strikeout.
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Check It Out
– Bauer’s ERA jumped from 2.94 to 3.53 after this game, pulling him off of the AL leaderboards. He had been one of the Top 15 starters in ERA, but not after tonight’s disaster.
– On Thursday, Seattle will try to pull off a sweep behind J.A. Happ. Happ is 3-1 with a 3.31 ERA, and the left-hander has struck out 49 batters in 65.1 innings. He’ll face Shaun Marcum, the Tribe’s fifth starter and most unpredictable pitcher. Marcum is 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA, and he has 25 strikeouts in 26 innings. After a stellar debut, Marcum had a rough outing against Texas, but he’s steadily improved in each of his starts since then. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep improving against the Mariners, especially since he already has one win against them this season.