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Cleveland rallies in ninth to beat Seattle 5-4

Offense picks up Perez after blown save for win

Cleveland rallies in ninth to beat Seattle 5-4
Home Plate Celebration (Photo: Yahoo!)
May 18, 2013
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Cleveland, OH — After closer Chris Perez gave up back-to-back solo homers in the top of the ninth, the Tribe righted the ship in the bottom half, as Mark Reynolds hit a run-scoring fielder’s choice with the bases loaded as the Indians beat Seattle 5-4.

"Rather than act like you got punched in the stomach, you come back and win a game,” said manager Terry Francona.

The win is the team’s third in a row and improves their record to 19-7 over the past 26 games. The Tribe is at the top of the American League Central with a 24-17 record, holding a half-game lead over the Detroit Tigers.

For the first five innings of the game, Reynolds provided all of the Indians offense. With two outs in the first inning, he drove home Asdrubal Cabrera with an opposite field single. After a big swing by Nick Swisher resulted in a long fly out in the fifth, Reynolds used a half-hearted swing to hit his league-leading 12th homer of the season, putting the Indians up 2-0.

In reference to the wind knocking down his potential longball, Swisher said, “"If anyone asks me for my most embarrassing moment, I now have one."

Reynolds chipped in three runs for the Indians with a 2-for-5 effort and now has 37 RBI.

The Indians added two more runs in the sixth. One run scored on a Michael Bourn fielder's choice. The second came home on a bloop single to left hit by second baseman Jason Kipnis. Kipnis now has seven runs batted in over the last three games.

With the score at 4-0, Mariners starter Joe Saunders exited the game. He lasted five and one-third innings and all four runs charged to him were earned. He gave up 11 hits and two walks while striking out two.

Indians starter Zach McAllister posted another solid outing but failed to get the win. The Mariners put the ball in play often, but the right-hander’s defense kept runners off base. In seven and one-third innings, he gave up two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out one. He left the game after surrendering a two-run home run to light-hitting Brendan Ryan, drawing the score to 4-2.

In his last 10 starts (dating back to last season), McAllister has pitched at least five innings and given up no more than three earned runs. He also seems to like throwing to catcher Yan Gomes. In the four games that Gomes has caught McAllister, the pitcher has a 1.65 ERA over 27.1 innings.

Perez's (2-0, 1.80) blown save was the result of solo home runs by Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak. It was his second blown save of the year. After the comeback in the ninth, he did pick up the win, his second of the season.

With the score tied at four in the bottom of the ninth, the Indians quickly turned a scoring threat into a win. Kipnis singled to open the inning and advanced to third on a Cabrera double. Swisher was intentionally walked to load the bases before Reynolds hit a fielder’s choice to Ryan at shortstop. Ryan made an awkward throw to home plate that pulled the catcher’s foot off the plate, allowing Kipnis to score.

Cleveland will continue its series with Seattle Sunday at 1:05 p.m. The ace for both teams will duke it out, as Justin Masterson (6-2, 3.14) takes on Felix Hernandez (5-2, 1.53).

Notes: Carlos Santana is 3-for his last-23, dropping his batting average to .310. … Michael Bourn had two stolen bases and now has five on the season.

Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English.  He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall.  Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.

User Comments

May 18, 2013 - 11:02 PM EDT
Perez seems to be on the edge all the time. He has an avg fastball and no great out pitch. You can't throw 93 mph fastballs right down the plate. That's bp in the bigs.
May 18, 2013 - 9:37 PM EDT
Not Perez's finest moment but the offense bailed him out. It's a shame McAllister didn't get the win - he certainly deserved it.

Santana is really out of sync right now, but Kipnis is en fuego. Reynolds is now hitting .500 with RISP and two out while the Indians improve to 22-0 when tied or leading after six innings.

They've really cut down on the errors since the first few weeks, and they almost always win when Gomes catches.

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