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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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August 29, 2008 11:43 AM

Seattle breaks Cleveland's streak, 3-2

Posted by Cathy Henkel

SILVA UPDATE: Carlos Silva, who has been dealing with right triceps tendinitis, will come off the disabled list and return to the Mariners' starting rotation Monday against the Rangers, the Mariners said today. He went on the DL on Aug. 16, the day after he picked up his 14th loss of the season, just one short of his career high.

AFTER THREE INNINGS: The game began after a 55-minute rain delay. Aftter three: Mariners 3, Cleveland 1... Raul Ibanez had a two-run home run in the third inning .. (His single scored the earlier run)...Ichiro stole his 40th base of the season... So far, Felix Herandez:: five hits, two strikes, one walk.

AFTER FOUR: Cleveland's Shin-Soo Choo doubles in a run; it's 3-2, Mariners. Ibanez went high on the wall, but couldn't get to it...Kenji Johjima throws Choo out as he tried to steal third....Shoppach strikes out, swinging, to end the inning.

AFTER FIVE: Ichiro gets on base after Sowers fails to get his foot on the bag, E1...Betancourt doubles to move Ichiro to third....Beltre flies out, leaving two runners stranded...Cleveland starts out with Marte striking out. Sizemore walks, steals second, Carrol lines out. Hernandez hits Dellucci with pitch; two men on, two out...Peralta reaches way out to strike out and end the inning...Hernandez has thrown 91 pitches so far....It's still M's on top, 3-2.

AFTER SIX: New pitcher in for Cleveland, Juan Rincon (6.33 ERA)...Lopez grounds to Marte on third, Balentien and Johjima both do the same...Cleveland's turn: Martinez grounds out, Choo walks, Gutierrez strikes out, Shoppach flies out to Ichiro...Felix now at 112 pitches and M's still lead, 3-2.

AFTER SEVEN: Moving along fast now. For Mariners: Clement grounds out, Cairo strikes out, Ichiro hit by pitch, then is left stranded when Betancourt flies out. For Cleveland: Roy Corcoran in to relieve Hernandez....Three up, three down: Marte grounds out, Sizemore flies out and Carroll grounds out. Inning over. M's still cling to one-run lead.

AFTER EIGHT: Brendan Donnelly now pitching for Cleveland. Ibanez grounds out, Beltre flies out to left, Lopez singles to left, Balentien grounds out, leaving Lopez on base. Balentien not having a good night; he's 0 and 4. Cleveland up: Double play wipes out Dellucci and Peralta. Two down. Base hit for Martinez (Ibanez dives for it, but no go); Cabrera's running for Martinez...Choo singles up the middle, sending Cabrera to third, with two out. (Randy Messenger gets the call to start warming up in the pen along with JJ Putz)...Gutierrez (1-4) flies out to Ichiro to end the inning. Mariners escape a close call; still ahead, 3-2.

ELSEWHERE: For those watching for the Nationals result: They top Atlanta, 7-3.

AFTER NINE Mujica pitching for Cleveland. Johjima grounds out, Clement walks and Hulett goes on as his runner....Cairo hits into double play and the Mariners are done. Putz is in to close. Shoppoch goes down swinging, Francisco (hitting for Marte) chases high, strikes out. Brady Sizemore grounds out. GAME OVER.

MARINERS BREAK CLEVELAND'S 10-GAME WIN STREAK.

(Because Geoff Baker isn't with the team this week, we'll try to post a few notes in his absence. He'll be back next week to resume his blog. Until then, talk amongst yourselves!)

Here's an answer to Fred below from Times' Sports Editor Cathy Henkel: Geoff isn't with the team because we've had some serious budget cuts to deal with. Who hasn't, right? Believe me, he wants to be with the team, blogging with firsthand knowledge, and we'd prefer to have him there. Reality bites! We've contracted with a reporter in Ohio to follow the Mariners for this series, and will do so for one other series before the season winds down. And then make way for what looks like a very active offseason. Meanwhile, Geoff is taking a long weekend off, which he very much deserves. He'll rejoin the action next week.


SEATTLE MARINERS (50-83) at CLEVELAND INDIANS (65-67)

Game time: 4:05 p.m., FSN

Weather report: Around 2 p.m. in Cleveland, it was 85 degrees, mostly cloudy, with 8 mph SSE winds

Pitching matchup: RH Felix Hernandez (8-8, 3.28) vs LH Jeremy Sowers (2-6, 5.95)

MORE ON SOWERS: In his last start, against the Rangers in Texas, Sowers allowed seven runs on eight hits and a walk and struck out only two in 3 2/3 innings. Six of those runs were in the fourth inning. He is 1-1 vs. Mariners this season.

THE STREAK: The Mariners are meeting the hottest team in baseball. Cleveland has won 10 in a row, and 16 of their past 19. They're hitting .289 during the streak and have outscored the opposition, 73-44. Their streak has moved them from last to third place in the AL Central. Their low point was July 9 when they lost their 10th straight, dropping to 37-53, 16 games below .500. Now they are 65-67 overall, but still 10 1/2 games behind division-leading Chicago.

BLOWN SAVES: The Mariners were charged with a blown save on Wednesday when a 4-3 lead in the 8th inning turned into a 6-5 loss. It was the 24th blown save of the season for Seattle, which is tied for third-most in a season in club history. Seattle's record is 27, in 1997. Seattle has had a lead in 33 of their 83 losses this season and only St. Louis (27) and Texas (25) have more blown saves than Seattle this year.

RIGGLEMAN RECORD: The Mariners are 25-36 under manager Jim Riggleman, who took over June 20.

ICHIRO UPDATE: Ichiro played in his 177th game with three or more hits Thursday vs. Oakland, most in the Majors since his debut in 2001. The Yankees' Derek Jeter has the second-most three-plus-hit games during that time span (128). Also, Ichiro is one stolen base from his third 40-steal season (56 in 2001, 45 in 2006). Only Julio Cruz has more seasons of 40-or-more steals in club history (5, 1978-82). With 19 hits over his last 12 games, Ichiro has moved into a tie for the Major-League lead in hits. Entering today's game, Ichiro has 174 hits, tied with Boston's Dustin Pedroia.

SERIES WITH CLEVELAND: Tonight's game is the seventh between the M's and Clevland this season, and they're 2-4 in the series. Both series went 1-2 for M's (April 29-May and July 18-20). In the all-time series with Cleveland, Seattle trails 143-187.

NO TV SATURDAY: Saturday's game with Cleveland (12:55 PDT) will be on radio only (KOMO 1000 AM). The game was originally scheduled to be part of FOX's national package, but FOX dropped the game.

OTHER BROADCAST UPDATES: The Sept. 6 game vs. New York has been moved from 6:10 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. and will be televised by FSN in HD. Sept. 13 game at Los Angeles has been changed from 12:55 to 6:10 p.m. and will be televised by FSN in HD. Sept. 27 vs. Oakland will have a 1:10 p.m. start time and will not be televised.

JEFF CLEMENT: Clement ranks first among AL rookies in batting, with a .343 average with 12 RBI in August. Clement has at least one hit in 15 of 23 games this month, and has raised his season average 64 points from .165 to .229. Clement is batting .229 overall.

RAUL INBANEZ: In 25 games in August, Ibanez is batting .384 with 19 runs, 9 doubles, 2 triples, 6 home runs and 26 RBI. Among AL August leaders, he ranks second in RBI (26), is tied for third in hits (38), is fourth in batting (.384), tied for seventh in doubles (9) and tied for 11th in home runs (6).

DISABLED LIST: Cleveland: 2B Josh Barfield (left middle finger), C Victor Martinez (right elbow), RHP Jake Westbrook (right elbow), DH Travis Hafner (right shoulder) and RHP Scott Elarton (non-baseball related medical condition) are on the disabled list. Mariners: LHP Eric Bedard (left shoulder), RHP Carlos Silva (right biceps tendinitis), OF Willie Bloomquist (right hamstring) and OF Michael Morse (left shoulder) are on the disabled list.

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