May 4, 2019 / 2:29 AM / 23 days ago

Naquin’s pinch-hit single lifts Indians over Mariners

EditorsNote: Edit 1: Corrected punctuation seventh graf.

May 3, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor poses with his Silver Slugger Award before the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Seattle Mariners at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Pinch-hitter Tyler Naquin grounded a run-scoring single into right field with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Cleveland Indians a 2-1 victory on Friday night against the visiting Seattle Mariners, who suffered their fifth straight defeat.

With the score tied 1-1, Francisco Lindor led off the bottom of the ninth by walking on four pitches from Mariners right-hander Anthony Swarzak (2-1). Leonys Martin hit a slow roller to second baseman Dee Gordon that turned into a fielder’s choice, with Lindor out at second.

Jose Ramirez was caught looking at a called third strike before Carlos Santana walked, moving Martin to second. After a conference on the mound, Naquin swung at the first pitch he saw from Swarzak and grounded it out of the reach of Gordon, allowing Martin to score easily.

Left-hander Brad Hand (1-1) pitched a scoreless inning of relief for the victory.

Mariners left-hander Yusei Kikuchi, who worked just one inning his last time out in an effort to reduce his workload in his first season in the major leagues after starring in Japan, responded with his best outing for Seattle thus far. Kikuchi allowed one run on three hits in seven innings, with one walk and a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Indians right-hander Shane Bieber allowed one run on six hits in 7 2/ 3 innings, with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Bieber was pulled after retiring the first two batters in the eighth as manager Terry Francona wanted left-hander Oliver Perez to face the lefty-hitting Dan Vogelbach. That move didn’t work out as planned, as Vogelbach walked on a 3-2 count. Right-hander Adam Cimber came on to face Edwin Encarnacion, who singled to left. But Cimber got Domingo Santana to ground out to third to end the threat.

Both teams scored in the fourth inning.

With two outs in the top of the inning, Seattle’s Jay Bruce lined a 1-1 pitch from Bieber over the wall in right field for his team-leading 10th home run of the season.

Martin, a former Mariners outfielder, led off the bottom of the inning with a line-drive double to center field. Ramirez then grounded a single to left, with Martin advancing to third. Santana grounded into a double play, with Martin scoring on the play.

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