Despite a six-run inning and a seven-run lead, the Mariners couldn’t withstand a Cleveland rally and fell to the Indians 9-8 in the first game of a three-game series.
GAME: Indians (5-4, 2nd, AL Central, -2.0GB) at Mariners (6-6, 2nd AL West, -3.5 GB). GAME #: 13. SERIES: 2nd of 3 games. MEETING (2012): 2nd (Indians lead 1-0). WHEN: Wednesday, 7:10 p.m., Safeco Field. PROBABLE PITCHERS: RHP Derek Lowe (Cleveland, 2-0, 1.98) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (Seattle, 1-1, 3.44). STREAKS: Mariners L 1; Indians W 4. TV: ROOT Sports, MLB TV. RADIO: KIRO 710 (Seattle), Mariners Radio Network.
It’s not often the Mariners find themselves with a seven-run lead, and even rarer when they blow such an advantage. But having done that Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians, the Mariners (6-6) will attempt to regroup Wednesday when they contest the Tribe in the second game of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
The Mariners will trot out left hander Jason Vargas (1-1), who will make his fourth start of the season, to battle RHP Derek Lowe, a Mariner briefly in 1997 before an ill-advised trade sent him to the Boston Red Sox.
After the Vargas-Lowe duel, the Mariners will close out the Cleveland series Thursday and then commence a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox Friday-Sunday. The White Sox series will conclude a 10-day, nine-game home stand. The Mariners then head out on the road for series in Detroit, Toronto and Tampa.
A closer look at Wednesday’s probable starting pitchers:
MARINERS: LHP Jason Vargas (1-1, 3.44 ERA, 0.98 WHIP)
The 29-year-old Vargas, in his seventh major league season and fifth with the Mariners, will be making his fourth start of 2012 and his first against the Indians.
A native of Apple Valley, CA., the 6-0, 215-pound Vargas was selected in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft by the Florida Marlins.
He made his debut with Florida July 14, 2005, pitching one inning of relief in a 13-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Mariners acquired Vargas as part of a three-team swap Dec. 11, 2008, when the New York Mets sent him along with Mike Carp, Ezequiel Carrera, Endy Chavez, Maikel Cleto and Aaron Heilman to the Mariners. The Mariners sent Sean Green, J.J. Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.
The Mariners also sent Luis Valbuena to the Indians. The Mets sent Joe Smith to the Indians, who sent Franklin Gutierrez to the Mariners.
Vargas, currently the only lefty in Seattle’s starting rotation, brings a career record of 29-40, 4.50 ERA into the game, including a 23-32, 4.16 ERA with the Mariners.
Vargas / 2012
INDIANS: RHP Derek Lowe (2-0, 1.98 ERA, 1.24 WHIP)
The 39-year-old Lowe, in his 16th major league season and first with the Indians, will be making his third start and his first against the Mariners.
A native of Dearborn, MI., Lowe was selected by Seattle in the eighth round of the 1991 amateur draft. After pitching in the Mariners system from 1991-96, Lowe made his major league debut April 26, 1997, absorbing a 4-3 loss at Toronto.
Lowe went 2-4, 6.96 in 12 games (9 starts) for the Mariners in 1997 before he was traded, along with C Jason Varitek July 31 for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb.
Lowe pitched for the Red Sox from 1997-04, for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2005-08, and for Atlanta from 2009-11 before signing with the Indians.
Lowe had his best statistical season in 2002 when he went 21-8, 2.58 for the Red Sox. He led the National League in wins in 2006 with 16 (Dodgers) and also led the American League in saves in 2000 (42).
Lowe, a two-time All-Star (2000, 2002) has a career record of 168-146.
WEDNESDAY PROMOTION (Grand Slam Family Package): Fans can get a ticket, hot dog and Pepsi for as low as $15/person for families of 4 to 12 thanks to Safeco Insurance. Field level tickets and Wells Fargo Terrace Club OF tickets are also available at a discount. View Level $15, Main Level $30, Wells Fargo Terrace Level $35. Must purchase between 4 and 12 tickets to receive the discount. Add $2 per ticket day of game. Available most Wednesday nights. Each ticket includes $8 in TicketPlu$ credit good for a discounted hot dog and Pepsi soft drink from any Rolling Roof Refreshment stand.
Indians 9, Mariners 8
AT SEATTLE (April 17): Jason Donald’s tiebreaking single off Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen in the top of the seventh capped a Cleveland rally from a seven-run deficit to beat the Mariners. Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush (0-1) allowed a hit by Travis Hafner and a walk to Shelley Duncan before striking out the next two in the seventh and being replaced. However, Wilhelmsen could not close the inning, giving up Donald’s hit to right field.
Cleveland reliever Rafael Perez (1-0) pitched a scoreless sixth inning to pick up the victory. Chris Perez got his third save in four tries, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth when John Jaso flew out to right field on a 2-0 pitch.
After falling behind 1-0, the Mariners scored twice in the third and six times in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead. But the Indians came back with seven runs in the top of the fifth, the big blow a three-run homer by Carlos Santana off Seattle starter Kevin Millwood.
Justin Smoak had a career-high four hits for the Mariners and Ichiro drove in two runs. John Jaso, who started at catcher as Miguel Olivo got the night off, hit his first home run.
“It’s always hard to swallow when you lose — especially a close one like that,” said Smoak. “It’s one of those things where we had a game plan and we had that big inning and put up some runs and really weren’t able to do much after that.”
Millwood allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 4.0 innings and received a no-decision.
AL WEST STANDINGS
MARINERS / STATS NOTES
MARINERS WON-LOSS BREAKDOWN
|Rec.||Home||Road||Day||Night||vs. RHP||vs. LHP||Hit HR||No HR|
MARINERS BATTING PROFILE
MARINERS PITCHING PROFILE
|4/18||Wed||vs. Clev||Vargas (1-1, 3.44) vs. Lowe (1-0, 0.00)|
|4/19||Thr||vs. Clev||Hernandez (1-1, 3.80) vs. Tomlin (0-1, 8.31)|
|4/20||Fri||vs. CWS||Noesi (1-1, 5.73) vs. Sale (0-1, 3.09)|
|4/21||Sat||vs. CWS||Beavan (1-1, 2.70) vs. Humber (0-0, 1.69)|
MARINERS 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|Gm.#||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|1||3/28||at Oak||W, 3-1||1-0||W: Wilhelmsen (1-0); L: Carignan (0-1)|
|2||3/29||at Oak||L, 4-1||1-1||W: Colon (1-0); L: Kelley (0-1)|
|Gm. #||Date||Opp.||W/L||Rec.||Win / Loss|
|3||4/6||at Oak||W, 7-3||2-1||W: Vargas (1-0); L: McCarthy (0-1)|
|4||4/7||at Oak||W, 8-7||3-1||W: Hernandez (1-0); L: Colon (1-1)|
|5||4/9||at Tex||L, 11-5||3-2||W: Darvish (1-0); L: Noesi (0-1)|
|6||4/10||at Tex||L, 1-0||3-3||W: Feliz (1-0); L: Beavan (0-1)|
|7||4/11||at Tex||W, 4-3||4-3||W: Luetge (1-0); L: Nathan (0-2)|
|8||4/12||at Tex||L, 5-3||4-4||W: Holland (1-0); L: Vargas (1-1|
|9||4/13||vs Oak||L, 4-0||4-5||W: Colon (2-1); L: Hernandez (1-1)|
|10||4/14||vs. Oak||W, 4-0||5-5||W: Noesi (1-1); L: Milone (1-1)|
|11||4/15||vs. Oak||W, 5-3||6-5||W: Beavan (1-1); L: Godfrey (0-2)|
|12||4/17||vs. Cle||L, 9-8||6-6||W: Perez (0-1); L: Furbush (0-1)|