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May 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Game thread: Indians 6, Mariners 0, top 7th

Felix Hernandez tries to snap a two-game Mariners losing streak on an 81-degree day here at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Felix Hernandez tries to snap a two-game Mariners losing streak on an 81-degree day here at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

The Mariners are playing with thier heads someplace other than at Progressive Field today and it cost them another run in the fourth inning. Cleveland now leads 6-0 after a leadoff double by Mike Aviles and then a chopper in front of the plate by Drew Stubbs. Jesus Montero fielded the ball and made a strong throw to first for the out, with Aviles going to third.

But Montero was a good 15-20 feet from home plate after the throw and Felix Hernandez was busy watching the play instead of doing what he should have been, which is covering for Montero. Aviles saw that nobody was close enough to the plate, so he took off and scored the run.

Time for the Mariners to hit the “reset” button. For the second day in a row, they really don’t look like they’re in this game and I doubt we’re going to see a flurry of late homers like we did yesterday.

10:48 a.m.: Felix Hernandez caught a bad break in the second inning on a grounder to second that Michael Bourn legged out for an infield single with two out. The inning could have been over right there, but Hernandez didn’t do himself any favors after that by yielding a line drive single to center by Jason Kipnis that left runners at the corners and then an absolute bom of a three-run homer to center field by Michael Brantley to make it a 5-0 game.

The Mariners needed more in this game than Hernandez has given them so far. The Mariners have gone six up, six down on offense, so it’s not looking good.

10:19 a.m.: Sure hope that 12th overall draft pick (and the saved slot money) winds up being worth it for the Mariners in a few weeks. The Mariners used that pick as an excuse not to go after free agent Michael Bourn this winter and the Indians have reaped the benefits — signing him to a lower-than-expected deal. Bourn entered today batting .311 with a .363 OBP and a .473 slugging percentage — and that’s for a center fielder and leadoff man.

The comparisons of him to Chone Figgins this past winter by some were bordering on the ridiculous. The biggest comp between them is speed, which Bourn displayed in the first inning with a leadoff double on what should have been a single to right-center that Michael Morse was slow getting to.

Bourn would score on a single to right by Michael Brantley that Morse made an ill-advised throw home on (see “speed” and “Bourn) which allowed the runner to take second on the throw. That proved big when Justin Smoak “Bucknered” a Nick Swisher grounder, enabling Brantley to score easily.

So, it’s now a 2-0 game, Indians in the lead after one.

I’ve been a fan of what the Mariners did offensively this winter, but felt they really could have bettered themselves even more with a Bourn addition. Now, instead of an outfield with Bourn in center and Michael Saunders in the corners for years to come, we get another sub-$90 million payroll and get to wait for Franklin Gutierrez to come off the DL again so the team can squeeze every last dime out of the remaining money owed to him for a few more months. And we get to watch the Mariners keep juggling fifth outfielder/center fielder types in Class AAA to use as emergency insurance in case of another Gutierrez injury.

Oh, and the draft pick. The Mariners still have that.

9:55 a.m.: Felix Hernandez hasn’t always had the easiest time of it in Cleveland, where he’s 3-4 with a 4.02 ERA in eight career outings. Today, he’ll be taking on Indians ace Justin Masterson, so he’ll have to limit the damage and give the Mariners a chance to score some runs and snap their two-game losing skid.

Hernandez hasn’t pitched at home since April 27, making this his fourth consecutive road outing. He’s 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA in four road starts thus far this season.

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Comments | More in game thread | Topics: felix hernandez; michael saunders; justin smoak; justin masterson

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