Simply put, it was a rough three game series for the Seattle Mariners against the Cleveland Indians. The Mariners had leads in all three games, but the Indians ended up taking two out of three games. Seattle led 8-1 in the fourth inning on Tuesday before eventually losing 9-8. They also led 1-0 in the ninth inning last night, but a rare blown save from closer Brandon League gave the Indians a 2-1 win and the rubber game of the series. The Mariners fell to 3-3 on their current home stand and fell back down to .500 at 7-7, the same record as the Oakland A’s in the A.L. West. Texas’ blistering start has given them an early 4.5 game lead in the division.
Good News: Despite losing eventually 9-8 on Tuesday night, it wasn’t Justin Smoak’s fault. Smoak had his best game of the season going 4-for-5 with an RBI. John Jaso, who hasn’t been able to get on the field much as a C/DH behind Miguel Olivo and Jesus Montero, made the most of a rare start again on Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 with a home run and 3 RBI on Tuesday. Jaso then drove in the only Mariner run in the 2-1 defeat Thursday. In 3 games, Jaso has 5 RBI, two behind team leader Ichiro on the season. The Mariners did win Wednesday behind a strong outing from Jason Vargas. Vargas went 7 innings allowing 4 hits and1 ER while striking out seven in a 4-1 win. He went to 2-1 on the season with a 2.84 ERA.
Bad News: Against teams not named Oakland, the Mariners are now 0-2 in series. The Mariners also let two leads slip away that could’ve given them a sweep – a 8-1 lead on Tuesday and 1-0 lead in the ninth inning on Thursday. Kevin Millwood struggled in his second start for the Mariners after a sharp debut against Texas. Millwood failed to get a runner out in the fifth inning, and, after he was chased by a Carlos Santana home run, he saw an 8-1 lead shrink to 8-7. He allowed nine hits and seven runs, six earned, in four innings. Brandon League has five saves already this season, but he struggled in the ninth inning last night giving away a 1-0 lead allowing two runs on two hits and two walks. The Mariners offense overall seems to have one bad game a series. They were shut out against Texas and Oakland last week, and last night they managed only one run against Cleveland leading the 2-1 defeat.
On The Horizon: It’ll be more A.L. Central competition for the Seattle Mariners as the Chicago White Sox come into town. It is the first meeting of the season between the two teams. The Sox are also at .500 at 6-6 on the season. After taking two of three from the Tigers, the Sox lost three of four at home to the up and coming Baltimore Orioles. The Mariners No. 1 and 2 starters, Felix Hernandez and Vargas, will both miss this series. Seattle will send out two pitchers who have had one good and one bad start this season, Hector Noesi and Kevin Millwood, and Blake Beavan. Beavan has had two quality starts in his first two starts this season leading to a 1-1 record with a 2.70 ERA.