Tribe maintains home-field lead after W vs. M's

September 23rd, 2017

SEATTLE -- It's not like the Indians need a lot of help these days, but Cleveland took advantage of five Mariners errors and a five-run ninth on Saturday to roll to an 11-4 victory and even the series at Safeco Field.

won his career-high 17th game, allowing one run and six hits over 5 2/3 innings, and the Indians blasted four home runs, including a pair by catcher . Gomes went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and was 3-for-3 with a home run and another four RBIs as the Indians rebounded from a rare loss to win for the 28th time in their past 30 games.

"It's part of the game," Gomes said of bouncing back from Friday's walk-off loss. "I could've told you that we were going to lose before the season ended. That's part of this game. Any time something happens, the best thing we do is just come back and put that behind us. I think we've done that all year. Whatever it is, we just put games behind us and go out there and compete."

The Indians remain 1 1/2 games ahead of Houston for the best record in the American League, at 97-58, after the Astros topped the Angels. They're one back of the Dodgers (98-57) for the best mark in the Majors.

Carrasco improved to 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA over his past six starts, and the lone run he allowed came on an RBI double by in the sixth inning.

"He's a good pitcher," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We feel like we have a good chance to win whenever he pitches."

went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and three runs scored for the Indians, while had three hits, including a double, along with two runs and an RBI. Ramirez had a pair of sacrifice flies along with a two-run homer in the ninth, his 28th of the season.

Mariners designated hitter homered for the fourth straight game with a solo shot in the eighth off reliever , giving him 37 homers and an AL-leading and career-high 115 RBIs.

The Mariners' five errors equaled their season high for a game. They committed five in the first inning in a 10-1 loss at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 27.

"We played a nice clean game last night, but today was just the opposite," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "It was sloppy. You can't make five errors and think you're going to stay in the game with a quality team in the other dugout."

The Mariners have lost seven of their past eight games, slipping to 75-80, and they are on the brink of being mathematically eliminated from AL Wild Card contention with seven games remaining. Any combination of two Twins wins or Mariners losses will end Seattle's postseason chances.

Rookie right-hander took the loss for Seattle as he fell to 1-5 with a 5.34 ERA, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned) over four innings.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED

Don't wait around: Lindor got the Indians started with his third leadoff home run of the season as he rifled a 3-2 fastball from Moore over the right-field fence for the quick lead. It was Lindor's 33rd homer, the most ever in a season by a Cleveland middle infielder. Hall of Fame second baseman Joe Gordon hit 32 for the Tribe in 1948. Over the Indians' past 30 games, Lindor has hit .339/.414/.737 with 12 homers, 19 extra-base hits and 28 RBIs.

"I like leading off. I think it's pretty cool," Lindor said. "It gives me a chance to be the first one to see what the pitcher's going to bring that day. It's fun. I like competing. I like getting things going and helping my team early in the game, so that's something that I look forward to doing it for a long time."

Miller time: With two outs and a runner on second in the sixth, the Indians turned to relief ace , who is still trying to find his rhythm after returning from a right knee injury. Miller issued a pair of walks to load the bases, but then he escaped with a called strikeout of on an inside, 96-mph fastball. Miller then set the Mariners down in order in the seventh, marking his first multi-inning test since coming off the DL.

"It was nice, because he actually was better when he went back [out]," Francona said. "You could tell he was trying to find it the first couple hitters and then like he can, as he gets some pitches under his belt, he starts to get a feel for his breaking ball. That was another good step for him."

QUOTABLE

"It was about catching the baseball and doing things right, fundamentally. We've struggled with that, and it's an area that needs to be addressed here as we go forward. That's an area we need to take more pride in doing, and it starts with me and the coaching staff and down through the players. You've got to protect the baseball. Every out is so crucial in this game, and if you don't get them, you pay the price." -- Servais

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS

Mariners lefty no longer is in the starting rotation, but he gave up two homers in the ninth to Ramirez and Gomes and moved back into the lead for the most home runs allowed in the Majors this year with 37. As a team, Seattle is fourth in MLB in home runs allowed with a club-record 228.

INJURY UPDATES

Indians right fielder exited Saturday's game in the fifth inning due to left heel discomfort, according to the team. With Bruce out, shifted to right from center and rookie came off the bench to take over in center. Cleveland announced that Bruce was removed as a precaution.

"It comes and goes," Bruce said of the heel issue. "I've had it off and on for my whole career. It's bad sometimes. I wanted to get ahead of it today and just make sure it didn't cost me any more time. Hopefully, I'll be back DHing [on Sunday]."

First baseman was replaced by a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning, and he was taken for a precautionary X-ray on his left shoulder, per Francona. In the fifth, Santana had his arm bent back by Segura, who was trying to leg out a grounder. Santana stayed in the game and had two more at-bats before being pulled.

"We won't play [Santana] tomorrow," Francona said. "But, you could see the way he was swinging. He was letting it go pretty good."

Segura left the game in the ninth inning with a sprained right middle finger after being struck on an errant throw to second base from Miranda. Servais said X-rays were negative, and that he did not dislocate it. Segura is day to day.

UPON FURTHER REVIEW

The Mariners unsuccessfully challenged a safe call on a pickoff attempt by reliever in the sixth inning on Naquin, who had reached base on a one-out error on Gonzales. After a two-minute, 35-second review, the call stood. Naquin wound up advancing to second on a single by , but he was stranded there.

In the seventh, the Indians challenged an out call at first base on a chopper from Lindor. First baseman booted the grounder, which was quickly retrieved by second baseman . Cano fired to pitcher , and Lindor was initially ruled out. The challenge and quick replay review resulted in an overturned call. Lindor later scored on a sacrifice fly from Ramirez.

WHAT'S NEXT

Indians: Ace (17-4, 2.35 ERA) will continue his AL Cy Young Award candidacy on Sunday in the Tribe's 4:10 p.m. ET clash with the Mariners at Safeco Field. Kluber, who is riding a 22-innings scoreless streak, is 9-1 with a 1.52 ERA in his past 10 starts, piling up 91 strikeouts against seven walks in 77 innings in that span.

Mariners:Mike Leake (3-0, 2.13 ERA) gets the start in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT home finale. The 29-year-old right-hander has been outstanding since his acquisition from the Cardinals on Aug. 30. He's 2-1 with a 3.89 ERA in six starts vs. the Indians, but he hasn't faced them since 2015.

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