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Haniger, Cruz homer but Mariners fall to Tribe

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- After a quiet Opening Day loss, the Indians got their bats going with Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes supplying the big flies in a 6-5 win over the Mariners on Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Alonso's first-inning grand slam gave Indians starter Carlos Carrasco an early cushion, and Gomes added a two-run shot in the fourth after Seattle had narrowed the lead to one run.

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SEATTLE -- After a quiet Opening Day loss, the Indians got their bats going with Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes supplying the big flies in a 6-5 win over the Mariners on Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.

Alonso's first-inning grand slam gave Indians starter Carlos Carrasco an early cushion, and Gomes added a two-run shot in the fourth after Seattle had narrowed the lead to one run.

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Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz supplied home runs of their own for the Mariners, with Cruz, who exited the game with a sprained ankle, narrowing the margin to 6-5 with his two-run shot in the sixth. But the Indians' bullpen shut things down from there, as Cleveland evened its record at 1-1.

Carrasco went 5 2/3 frames for the Indians and allowed five runs on seven hits to pick up the win. Mariners lefty James Paxton gave up six runs on six hits and four walks while lasting just 4 2/3 innings in a 104-pitch outing.

Robinson Cano went 3-for-4 for Seattle and Ichiro Suzuki had a pair of hits to move into 21st place on the all-time MLB hit list with 3,082. Suzuki also made a home run-saving catch in his second game back with the Mariners.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A slammin' start: Alonso's first hit with the Tribe did damage, as the former Mariners first baseman greeted his old team with a first-inning bases-loaded grand slam off Paxton for a quick 4-0 lead. Paxton gave up a double to Jason Kipnis and then walked Edwin Encarnacion and Rajai Davis before Alonso drove a 95-mph fastball into the right-field seats. Paxton allowed just 0.60 home runs per nine innings last season, the lowest mark in the Majors for any pitcher with 130-plus innings.

Yan gone: After the Mariners pulled within one run of the Indians -- thanks to Haniger's homer in the second and four straight singles in the third -- Gomes answered in a big way. In the fourth inning, the Cleveland catcher crushed a 2-2 offering from Paxton to dead center field for a two-run home run. That shot, which had a 107.5-mph exit velocity according to Statcast™, put the Indians up, 6-3.

Cruz keeps crunching: The Mariners' big designated hitter isn't running too well due to a sore right quad, and he was taken out of the game in the eighth inning after twisting his right ankle, but those problems have been alleviated by the fact that he keeps hitting the ball over the fence. Cruz launched a two-run shot on a first-pitch changeup from Carrasco in the sixth to pull Seattle within 6-5 for his second homer of the season. His 168 home runs since the start of the 2014 season are the most in the Majors.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Nelson Cruz, Mitch Haniger