EditorsNote: updates with Mariners in standings
Lindor, Gomes power Indians to rout of Mariners
SEATTLE — It took one batter for the Cleveland Indians to get over dropping their series opener against the Seattle Mariners. After that, the American League Central champions were fine.
Francisco Lindor hit a leadoff homer and the Indians went deep four times in an 11-4 victory over the Mariners on Saturday at Safeco Field.
Jose Ramirez and Yan Gomes each had four RBIs. Ramirez went 3-for-3 with a double and a homer, and Gomes was 3-for-5 with two homers.
Lindor made the most of a rare start at designated hitter — he went 2-for-5 with a double in the third inning and scored three runs. The Indians had 14 hits.
Cleveland (97-58) stayed 1 1/2 games ahead of Houston for the best record in the American League and home-field advantage up to the World Series. The Indians also responded after losing the series opener to Seattle on Friday night.
“It’s part of the game,” Gomes said of the Friday night loss. “The best thing to do is just come back and put that behind you like we’ve done all year. Put games behind us and go out there and compete.”
Seattle (75-80) lost for the seventh time in eight games and fell six games behind Minnesota for the second AL wild card.
Carlos Carrasco (17-6) pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed one earned run, six hits and two walks. He struck out six.
Five relievers, including All-Star Andrew Miller, went the rest of the way for the Indians to seal the victory.
Miller, who missed time in August and September with knee tendinitis, pitched 1 1/3 shutout innings after walking his first two batters.
“(Carrasco’s) been great, they’ve got a pretty good lineup,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He got up around 100 pitches and they were starting to look like he left a couple balls up, and we were trying to get Andrew for the inning-plus, so that seemed a good time to do it.”
Seattle rookie Andrew Moore (1-5) went four innings, allowing three runs (two earned). He struck out three.
“I thought Andrew made a few adjustments during the game,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “But you could see from the get-go he wasn’t as sharp as he had been.”
Defense was a problem for Seattle, which committed five errors — three of them led to Cleveland runs.
“For us and where we’re going, it’s about catching the baseball and doing things right fundamentally,” Servais said. “We haven’t done that. We’ve struggled with that.”
Lindor got the Indians going early, hitting his 33rd homer and his third leadoff shot of the season.
He kept it going in the third inning, leading off with single down the right-field line. Austin Jackson then singled him home and he took third on errors by first baseman Yonder Alonso and catcher Mike Zunino.
Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Jackson to give Cleveland a 3-0 lead.
The Mariners scored in the sixth inning on Kyle Seager’s RBI double to left-center field.
The Indians tacked on two runs in the seventh on sacrifice flies by Ramirez and Greg Allen to put the game out of reach. Ramirez and Gomes each homered in a five-run ninth.
Nelson Cruz added a solo shot in the eighth, his 37th homer, for the Mariners.
NOTES: Cleveland RHP Mike Clevinger has been moved to the bullpen, with Indians manager Terry Francona noting, “We kind of think he can be a weapon.” ... Cleveland IF Yandy Diaz returned after missing three days with a jammed finger. He went 1-for-1 as a pinch hitter and stayed in the game at third base. ... Seattle RHP Tony Zych has been shut down for the season with a strain of his right elbow flexor bundle, an injury he suffered in August. ... The Mariners lost an instant replay challenge on Marco Gonzales’ attempted pickoff of Cleveland OF Tyler Naquin in the sixth inning. The delay for the replay was 2 minutes, 35 seconds. ... The Indians won their challenge on a Francisco Lindor grounder that 1B Yonder Alonso muffed before 2B Robinson Cano scooped it and threw to first. Lindor was ruled safe after a 32-second delay.