SEATTLE (AP) — Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon used eight relievers before the Indians broke through in the 12th inning. Seattle’s offense just couldn’t do anything against Cleveland’s bullpen.
Michael Brantley drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the tiebreaking run and David Murphy added a two-run single to lift the Indians to a 6-3 win against the Mariners on Sunday.
Seattle had five hits, but just one over the final 6 2/3 innings.
“I can sit here and analyze it all I want,” McClendon said. “The fact is we got five hits in 12 innings. You are not going to win. We’ve got to swing the bats.”
Cleveland starter Danny Salazar gave up three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings and six relievers shut the Mariners down the rest of the way to help the Indians take three of four in the series.
“This is the big leagues and you’re going to face tough pitching day in and day out,” Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison said. “That is no excuse. We have to hit better and produce more runs. The pitching has been doing a good job and we haven’t been holding up our end of the bargain.”
Cleveland finished with a season-high 18 hits, but left a season-high 17 runners on base.
Dominic Leone (0-4), a quick call-up Friday from the minors to replace the injured James Paxton, struggled in the 12th. Lonnie Chisenhall opened with a walk. With one out, Jose Ramirez doubled off first baseman Morrison’s glove as Chisenhall advanced to third.
“I’ve got to make that play,” Morrison said. “I’m on the line for a reason, no doubles. And he hit a double.”
Jason Kipnis was intentionally walked, loading the bases. Brantley drew a two-out walk to force in the go-ahead run and Murphy followed with his hit to right to add to the lead.
“What else can I say,” Leone said. “Unfortunately, it’s just one of those days. I didn’t have it. It just felt like everything was flying out.”
Kipnis had two doubles to finish May with 51 hits to go with 37 runs. He’s the first player since Philadelphia’s Jimmy Rollins in 2005 to go 50/30 in one month.
“In a four-game series, day game after a night game, it kind of a battle of wills and a battle of the bullpens,” Kipnis said. “First, give credit to the bullpen. They stayed after it, we kept putting pressure on them and finally broke there at the end.
“The way we did it is much better,” Kipnis added. “We did it with a win in an extra-inning game. The 50 hits is lot of hard work coming to fruition, paying off in the cages. The 30 runs (are) just a credit to the team, them driving me in.”
Zach McAllister (1-2) worked one inning to pick up the win. Austin Adams finished the 12th to earn his first career save.
Seattle scored three runs in the fifth on a throwing error by third baseman Mike Aviles, a single by Austin Jackson and a sacrifice fly by Robinson Cano.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (strained lat), on the DL since April 24, threw catch from 90 feet Friday. He could be on the mound by the end of the week.
Indians: INF Carlos Santana came off the restricted list Sunday after missing three games to be with his wife Brittany, who gave birth Thursday morning to a girl. To make room, OF Jerry Sands, who hit a two-run home run Saturday, was returned to Triple-A Columbus.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez (8-1, 1.91) starts against the Yankees on Monday night. Since 2009, he is 8-2 with a 2.11 ERA in 13 starts, with four complete games, against them. Hernandez leads the league in wins, whip (0.89) and is third in ERA and strikeouts (71).
Yankees: RHP Michael Pineda (6-2, 3.36) will be facing his former team for the first time since his 2012 trade to New York.
The Mariners need a starter Tuesday against the Yankees after LHP James Paxton (strained finger tendon) was placed on the DL Friday. It could be LHP Mike Montgomery from Triple-A Tacoma. He was scratched from his start Sunday. McClendon was non-committal. Montgomery is a former first-round draft choice of the Kansas City Royals who has bounced around the minors. He is 4-3 with a 3.74 ERA for Triple-A Tacoma.
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