Eric Thames just put the Mariners back in front 3-1 with a two-out, two-run double to right field in the bottom of the eighth. Kyle Seager got the rally going with a one-out double to right center, barely beating the throw in to second base. Seager switched hands in mid-slide and that saved him, causing shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to tag him late after he’d already touched the bag.
Cabrera didn’t like the call and Cleveland manager Manny Acta came out to argue and was ejected. An intentional walk to John Jaso put two on before Jesus Montero struck out.
But Thames came through once again. The Mariners have only five hits today,but are three outs away from victory.
2:52 p.m.: We’re all tied up 1-1 heading to the bottom of the seventh. The Indians finally scored in the sixth when Shin-Soo Choo walked, Carlos Santana singled and both pulled off a double-steal on a strikeout. Oliver Perez replaced Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound and Casey Kotchman then dribbled a ball up the third base line that Kyle Seager hoped would roll foul. But the ball held up in the infield grass for an RBI single.
Zach McAllister somehow made it through six innings while allowing just the run after a 30-pitch opening frame. Helps when you throw only 68 pitches the next five innings.
1:19 p.m.: Michael Saunders hit his fourth home run since Sunday to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. The first-inning blast came in a 30-pitch inning by Zach McAllister, who has actually been the best pitcher the Indians have had of late.
Cleveland hasn’t made many mistakes in this series, but messed up big in the second when, with a runner on first and none out, Ezeqiel Carrera popped up a bunt attempt. It dropped in front of catcher Jesus Montero, who threw to first base for one out, then to second base to get lead runner Casey Kotchman — who had stood paralyzed between bases waiting to see whether the bunt would drop in or not.
On a side note, Manny Acta is supposed to be a sabermetrically-inclined manager. Why the heck is he bunting in that situation in the second inning? Carrera, you may remember, is the guy who hit a ball off the right field wall with a broken bat the other night in the ninth. But that aside, any sabermetric junior-level devotee could tell you of the reduced scoring probabilities with a runner on second and one out compared to on first with no out — and I don’t care how slow Kotchman runs.
Hey, no skin off my nose. I just find the whole thing rather amusing.
12:39 p.m.: Hisashi Iwakuma takes the mound today as the Mariners try for their eighth win in a row, something they haven’t pulled off since Mike Hargrove was still managing in 2007. In fact, Hargrove managed his last game during that eighth win. Gee, I hope Eric Wedge isn’t having any second thoughts.