Mariner meltdown: While Felix Hernandez pitched a steady game for the first six innings, seven unearned runs in the seventh proved a hurdle that the Mariners could not overcome.
In the top of the fifth, the Mariners had the bases loaded when Matt LaPorta made a spectacular defensive play to rob Ichiro of what would have scored at least one run, possibly three. With the bases still loaded, Chone Figgins laid down a beautiful bunt and sped down to first, where La Porta missed the tag and the first base umpire incorrectly called him out—ending any chance of a Mariner rally.
Two innings later, a blown call again defined the inning for the Mariners, when Figgins sent a ball slightly wide of Casey Kotchman. Kotchman stretched for the ball but kept his foot on the bag, but the umpire declared Luis Valbuena safe. From there, Cleveland produced a seven-run rally, which included a grand slam from Travis Hafner and a solo home run from Jayson Nix.
The only offensive production from the Mariners came in the top of the eighth, when Russell Branyan scored on a single from Franklin Gutierrez. But the Indians answered with a two-run homer from Michael Bradley to ensure a win.
Full recap from Sports Network:
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Travis Hafner was activated from the 15-day disabled list prior to the game and paid immediate dividends with a grand slam as part of a seven-run seventh inning, as the Cleveland Indians handled the Seattle Mariners, 9-1, in the finale of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Michael Brantley cracked a two-run homer and Jayson Nix chipped in with a solo shot for the Indians, who had dropped six of seven coming into the contest.
Tony Sipp (2-2) was credited with the win for working a perfect top of the seventh. Indians starter Justin Masterson, a loser of three of his previous four starts coming in, threw six shutout innings, allowing one hit and six walks while striking out three.
Franklin Gutierrez provided the only offense with an RBI single for Seattle, which had won six of eight entering the series finale.
Felix Hernandez (8-10) was the hard-luck loser for giving up six unearned runs on six hits. The big right-hander, who tossed eight shutout innings and fanned 13 in a victory over Oakland on Tuesday, walked four and struck out seven in this one.