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Mariners Open 4-Game Series With Stumbling Indians At Safeco Thursday Night

(Sports Network) - The Cleveland Indians will take their four-game losing streak out west for seven straight games starting with tonight's opener of a four-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

The Indians are coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox, culminating with Wednesday's 6-4 loss in the series finale. Carlos Carrasco made his 2010 debut for the Tribe and pitched well enough in the no- decision, allowing three runs in 7 1/3 innings.

Justin Germano gave up two runs in the eighth inning to suffer the loss, as the Indians blew a 4-1 lead and allowed four runs in the decisive eighth frame. Jensen Lewis was reached for a run in the ninth.

"It was a tough series emotionally," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I hope we learned from it. I thought our starters threw very well, but we struggled from the back end."

Asdrubal Cabrera and Jordan Brown both knocked in a run, while Shin-Soo Choo and Jayson Nix finished with three hits and a run scored for Cleveland, which is last in the Central and will also visit the LA Angels of Anaheim.

Rookie Josh Tomlin will take the mound Thursday for the Indians and is 2-3 with a 4.08 ERA in six starts. He has lost three straight outings before topping Kansas City last Friday in a 15-4 rout at Progressive Field. He held theRoyals to three runs in five innings, despite walking a career-high four.

The right-hander, who is 0-2 in three road starts, has never faced Seattle.

Seattle has lost eight of its last 11 games and dropped two of three meetings with the Angels in the Emerald City. In Thursday's 4-2 loss, Jason Vargas was touched for three runs over seven innings and struck out four in defeat. He allowed the go-ahead, two-run homer by Hideki Matsui in the seventh inning.

"Vargas was good tonight," Mariners manager Daren Brown said. "I thought he did an outstanding job. Actually, 6 2/3 solid innings then he left a pitch up to Matsui at the wrong time in the game and it cost him. But, I thought he did a nice job."

Franklin Gutierrez had two hits and the lone RBI for the Mariners, who are the cellar dwellers in the AL West.Ichiro Suzuki has recorded at least 200 hits in each of his nine seasons and currently has 171. He has two hits in each of his last three games.

Doug Fister gets the nod for the M's tonight and he's 4-10 with a 3.73 ERA in 22 starts this season. Fister, who is just 1-9 in his last 15 starts, suffered a hard-luck loss the last time out in a 1-0 setback versus Minnesota last Saturday. He allowed the only run in seven innings with six strikeouts.

The righty, who faced Cleveland for the first time in his career back on August 22 of last season in a no-decision, owns a 3-5 ledger in 13 starts at Safeco Field this season.

Seattle won two of three meetings with Cleveland last month from Aug. 13-15 at Progressive Field. The Indians, however, are 6-3 in the last nine meetings.