LHP Roenis Elias allowed one run over six innings and struggling 2B Robinson Cano had two doubles in leading the Mariners to a 3-2 win over the Indians on Tuesday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland (box score). However, the win was overshadowed by Nelson Cruz departing the game in the fifth inning with back spasms.
Facing reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (3-7), Cano gave the Mariners (26-32) a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI double. When 1B Logan Morrison added an RBI double in the second, the Mariners had a rare lead after s 2-9 home stand that was the worst in club history.
Morrison, Kyle Seager and Seth Smith had two hits. With Kluber laboring in the fifth, the Mariners had a chance to break open a 3-1 lead when they loaded the bases with one out. But Smith grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.
In the eighth, Smith redeemed himself with an RBI single. The Mariners finished 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base. A few more hits could have helped t avoid making dubious history.
Good thing they have Elias (2.79 ERA). The 26-year-old Cuban defector allowed one run and five hits (two walks) to improve to 3-3. He made one costly mistake — a second-inning solo homer by C Yan Gomes.
Closing in place of Fernando Rodney, RHP Carson Smith allowed a leadoff homer to Gomes in the ninth and a single later in the inning, but recovered to pick up his second save.
“It helped a lot,” Cano said of resting Sunday then having Monday off. “Honestly, it helped a lot.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon said Cruz felt back tightness in batting practice. The injury doesn’t appear serious. “He was a little too fidgety for me in that (fifth-inning) at-bat,” McClendon said. . . Morrison continued to excel as a part-time leadoff hitter, extending his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games . . . Tuesday marked the 27th game of a stretch of 42 games in 44 days. Monday was Seattle’s first off-day since May 18 . . . Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors was next door at Quicken Loans Arena. Announced attendance at Progressive Field was generously listed at 11,425. . . C Mike Zunino went 0-for-4 as his average dropped to .166.
RHP Taijuan Walker (2-6, 5.80 ERA) goesfor the Mariners against RHP Trevor Bauer (5-2, 2.94 ERA) at Progressive Field at 4:10 p.m. PT.