CLEVELAND -- After the Indians scored eight runs in the third inning of Sunday's 12-4 loss to the Indians in the series finale, the Mariners nearly pulled off a lopsided inning of their own in the sixth.
The Mariners were trailing 9-1 after five innings, but showed some fight against Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who had held them to one run -- a homer to left by Nelson Cruz -- through the first five innings. In the sixth, the Mariners offense rallied with six straight hits off Tomlin and reliever Boone Logan to score three runs before an out was made.
But unfortunately for the Mariners, they were not able to capitalize on a bases loaded, no-out situation, killing their rally.
"The score at the end looks one-sided, but in the sixth inning it didn't feel that way," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The inning began with a double by Jean Segura, followed by a single by Ben Gamel. Robinson Cano drove in Segura with a single to left, and Cruz stayed hot as he lined an RBI single to center off Tomlin to score Gamel. Francona replaced Tomlin with Logan, but Kyle Seager followed suit and drove in Cano with an RBI single of his own, making it a 9-4 game.
"Our guys always fight. They always compete," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "They put some pressure on there."
After Guillermo Heredia singled to load the bases with no outs, Francona brought in right-hander Nicholas Goody. Servais responded by pinch-hitting Taylor Motter, but Goody struck out the Mariners utilityman to record the first out of the inning. The next hitter, Carlos Ruiz, hit a sharp liner to Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, who made the catch and flipped the ball to Jason Kipnis at second to double off Seager to end the inning.
"Going to be lucky sometimes," Cruz said. "They got a lot of breaks, they scored a lot of runs in [the third] inning. Unfortunately for us we didn't find those holes and we didn't get those breaks. That's just the way baseball goes."
"It happens. It's baseball," Servais said. "Unfortunately we could've used the two-run single there very nicely. It would've kept the rally going, but it happens. It's not our day."
The Mariners lineup boasts a lot of talent, and Tomlin was aware that any further damage done in the sixth could have swayed the momentum of the game.
"[The double play was] huge. That could've turned in a hurry," he 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."
"The line-out double play didn't hurt. If that ball's in the gap, we might still be playing," he said.
Chase De Jong was roughed up in his first career start, as the right-hander allowed six runs on nine hits and only lasted 2 2/3 innings. Despite his rough start, he was happy with the way the offense attempted to pick him up.
"Our lineup is too good to be held to one run," De Jong said. "I mean, we have guys on this team that are professional hitters and have been for a long time. This is a very very good offensive team.