Brantley, Lindor spark 8-run 3rd as Indians rout Mariners
CLEVELAND — Francisco Lindor knows what a big inning can do for a team.
Lindor and Michael Brantley had the key hits in an eight-run third, and the Cleveland Indians rolled to a 12-4 victory over the weary Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
“We needed something like that,” Lindor said. “It’s fun. It gets the crowd going. It gets us going. It helps our pitching staff. You’re passing along the baton. You’re enjoying the game.”
Brantley led off the inning with a single and capped it with a two-run homer. Lindor, who had three RBIs, hit a solo homer in the third and preceded Brantley’s homer with a two-run double.
The inning included three singles, a double, a triple that was lost in the sun, a sacrifice fly and two walks.
“We swung the bats, we ran the bases and we kept the line moving,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Seattle, playing the final game of an 11-day road trip, was only charged with one error, but had several misplays in the field.
“It was not our day,” manager Scott Servais said. “It was an unfortunate way to end the road trip. We just didn’t play a good ballgame.”
Josh Tomlin (2-3) allowed four runs in five-plus innings for the win. The Mariners began the sixth with six straight hits and scored three times, but Nick Goody worked out of a bases-loaded, none-out jam.
Chase De Jong (0-2), making his first major league start, yielded six runs and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in the second and drove in two runs for the Mariners, who went 4-6 on their trip.
Roberto Perez had three hits and drove in three runs for the defending AL champions, who have won nine of 12. Jason Kipnis, who missed the first three weeks with a shoulder injury, drove in his first run of the season with a third-inning single.
The Indians took advantage of Seattle’s defense in the inning.
Jose Ramirez scored with a headfirst slide on Lonnie Chisenhall’s sacrifice fly to shallow right. Second baseman Robinson Cano made the catch with his back to home, and Ramirez touched the plate with his left hand before catcher Carlos Ruiz’s tag.
“That was huge,” Lindor said. “The way he was running, scoring that way, he helped us to continue to push harder.”
Right fielder Ben Gamel circled back on Abraham Almonte’s towering fly ball, but it fell on the warning track for a triple. Mariners shortstop Jean Segura couldn’t handle a hard grounder hit by Perez, who was credited with an RBI single.
“Obviously, the third inning got away from us,” Servais said. “The ball in the sun was a big play and we unraveled from there.”
Casey Fien replaced De Jong, but gave up Lindor’s double and Brantley’s homer. Cleveland scored eight runs in an inning for the first time since May 27, 2015.
Goody entered in the sixth with a 9-4 lead and the bases loaded. He struck out pinch-hitter Taylor Motter before Lindor snared Ruiz’s liner and doubled Kyle Seager off second.
“Thank God it went right into his glove,” Goody said. “He’s obviously a Platinum/Gold Glover, everything. Once it was in his glove, it was cool.”
Mariners OF Boog Powell was 0 for 3, a day after making his big league debut without actually playing. He was announced as a pinch hitter Saturday, then was replaced by another pinch hitter after left-hander Andrew Miller entered. “I think he was OK with it once he saw who was coming in to pitch,” Servais said with a laugh.
Mariners RHP Steve Cishek (left hip) will continue his rehab assignment by pitching for Triple-A Tacoma on Monday.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton faces the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday. His 1.39 ERA in five April starts was the third-lowest in franchise history.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer opens a four-game series in Detroit on Monday. He allowed six runs to the Tigers in five innings of a 7-6 loss on April 14.