CLEVELAND -- The Indians showed how dangerous their offense can be with an eight-run outburst in the third inning on Sunday at Progressive Field, powering their way to a 12-4 win over the Mariners in the series finale. Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley each launched home runs to help ignite
CLEVELAND -- The Indians showed how dangerous their offense can be with an eight-run outburst in the third inning on Sunday at Progressive Field, powering their way to a 12-4 win over the Mariners in the series finale. Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley each launched home runs to help ignite Cleveland's onslaught.
Seven different Tribe players drove in at least one run on Sunday, as Lindor added a two-run double to set the table for Brantley's fifth homer of the season in the third.
"The ballpark's playing pretty small, and you've got a couple fly-ball pitchers pitching," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We took advantage. We swung the bats, we ran the bases, we were aggressive, we kept the line moving."
Indians starter Josh Tomlin was given plenty of run support en route to his second win of the season. The right-hander went five-plus innings and allowed four runs on eight hits while striking out three before turning the game over to the Indians' bullpen.
Mariners rookie right-hander Chase De Jong had a rough outing in his first Major League start. De Jong only lasted 2 2/3 innings and surrendered six runs on nine hits and two walks, taking his second loss of the season.
"It's tough making your first Major League start," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "It's not easy against a team who was in the World Series last year. No doubt, he wasn't as sharp as when we saw him in relief over there in Oakland. He hung in there, and it got a little crazy after that."
Nelson Cruz extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a second-inning home run off Tomlin, which gave the designated hitter his fifth homer in his last six games played.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Crazy eight: A trio of smaller plays paved the way for a big inning for the Tribe in the third. With one out, Jose Ramirez tagged and scored from third on a pop-up in shallow right to second baseman Robinson Cano. One batter later, right fielder Ben Gamel lost sight of a fly ball from Abraham Almonte, resulting in a fluke triple. Roberto Perez followed with a sharp grounder that ate up shortstop Jean Segura for a run-scoring single. Cleveland's lineup opened things up from there, grabbing a 9-1 lead in an inning that saw 43 pitches and 11 batters.
"It's the biggest thing, keep the foot on the gas pedal," Indians outfielder Lonnie Chisenhall said. "[When you] get extra outs here and there, it's nice where you're able to take advantage. [We] batted around that inning, too. Hard-hit balls. That ball is hit right at Segura. It was hard hit. Abe's ball might have been a home run if the wind isn't swirling like that. It was a good inning for us."
Rally killer: Seattle strung together six straight hits to open the sixth, scoring three runs before the Indians turned to reliever Nicholas Goody with no outs and the bases loaded.
Goody struck out pinch-hitter Taylor Motter and then escaped with some help from his defense. Carlos Ruiz lined a pitch into the glove of Lindor, who quickly flipped the ball to Jason Kipnis at second base, doubling up Kyle Seager for an inning-ending double play.
"That's huge. That could've turned in a hurry," Tomlin said. "One swing of the bat, that's a grand slam and that changes the game, and it changes all the momentum back into their dugout. [Goody] did a great job coming up there to strike out Motter and get the line drive. The guy got off too much at second and Kip was there. That's a great heads-up play by both those guys."
"He's awesome. The way he runs the bases, his baseball IQ, his aggressiveness -- you see stuff like that. It wouldn't click for some players, but some players don't run like him."-- Chisenhall, on Ramirez scoring from third on the flyout to Cano in the third
"I fell short today. I didn't do my job. They scored four runs today. I didn't keep their team at bay and I didn't cover my innings." -- De Jong, on first start
"I thought he did a really nice job. He gave up a couple there in the seventh, but other than that, he hung in there and kept us from going to a lot of different bullpen guys, which is important." -- Servais, on Dillon Overton logging five relief innings
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The eight runs scored by the Indians in the third marked the most runs in a single frame for Cleveland since May 27, 2015, when the Tribe also scored eight in the third inning (against Texas).
Mariners: The Mariners will have Monday off before beginning a six-game homestand against the Angels and the Rangers on Tuesday. James Paxton (3-0, 1.40 ERA) will look to continue his hot start to the season, as the left-hander will get the nod for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. PT game against the Angels.
Indians: Righty Trevor Bauer (2-2, 6.26 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound for the Tribe in a 7:10 p.m. ET tilt with the Tigers on Monday at Comerica Park. Cleveland will be tasked with facing lefty Daniel Norris, who tossed six shutout innings against the Indians on April 14.
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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland who covered the Mariners on Sunday.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.