Minus Miller, Indians fade
Seager’s late RBI double lifts Seattle after Cleveland’s rally from 4-0 deficit
The first day without Andrew Miller didn’t work out too well for the Cleveland Indians.
Kyle Seager’s RBI double in the eighth off Nick Goody lifted the Seattle Mariners to a 5-4 win on Thursday night.
With Miller on the disabled list after straining his left hamstring on Wednesday, the AL Central-leading Indians used three relievers in the eighth.
Cleveland overcame a 4-0 deficit with two runs each in the sixth and seventh innings. A tie game in that spot would usually result in Miller making an appearance, but that won’t be the case for at least the next 10 days.
Jean Segura hit a leadoff groundout off Dan Otero, and Robinson Cano took a called third strike from Jeff Beliveau, who was called up from the minors before the game.
Goody (0-1) relieved and allowed consecutive doubles to Nelson Cruz and Seager. Mitch Haniger was intentionally walked, and Mike Zunino popped out.
Indians manager Terry Francona knows he’ll have to use more of a matchup strategy in the late innings without Miller, who hasn’t allowed a run this season.
“Otero came in, did a great job,” he said. “Beliveau came in and got Cano, which was good. Nick, the pitch to Cruz wasn’t a bad pitch. He was trying to get it down out of the zone and it didn’t get out of the zone, and he left a ball up to Seager.”
Seager is batting .378 (34 for 90) with five homers and 13 RBIs in 23 games at Progressive Field.
“It hurt my feelings a little bit because it didn’t get out,” he joked of his winning hit. “That was the best I’ve hit a ball in a while and it stayed in the park.”
Dan Altavilla (2-2) got the last two outs in the seventh, and Juan Nicasio pitched a perfect eighth. Edwin Diaz, the Mariners’ fifth reliever, walked Francisco Lindor with one out in the ninth, then retired Jason Kipnis on a flyout and struck out Jose Ramirez. Diaz leads the major leagues with 11 saves and has not blown any chances.
“We’ve been winning a lot of close games and Eddie’s stuff was right there, like it has been the last three games,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
Seattle’s James Paxton matched a career high with 10 strikeouts, allowing two runs and five hits in six innings, throwing 100 pitches.
“I felt good and I thought I did some good things, but I was upset with the [three] walks,” he said.
Yonder Alonso hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and the Indians tied the score in the seventh on Kipnis’ RBI double against Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Encarnacion’s run-scoring single off Altavilla.
Coming off his first big league shutout, a two-hitter at Baltimore, Mike Clevinger gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.
Ryon Healy, activated from the disabled list after missing 16 games with a sprained right ankle, singled in the third as Seattle took a 3-0 lead in a seven-pitch span with two outs. Healy scored on Dee Gordon’s triple, and Segura had an RBI double and came home on Cano’s single.