CLEVELAND (AP) — Give Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon credit for being able to predict the future.
Asked about Robinson Cano’s slump before Tuesday night’s game against Cleveland, McClendon expressed confidence the six-time All-Star would turn things around soon.
“When it’s all said and done, his numbers are probably going to be right where they’re supposed to be,” McClendon said. “He was born to hit.”
Cano proved his manager right with two doubles and an RBI, while five pitchers held Cleveland in check, leading the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 win over the Indians.
The game was played in front of 11,425 fans as Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors took place across the street at Quicken Loans Arena.
Roenis Elias (3-3) gave up a solo homer to Yan Gomes in the second, the only run the left-hander allowed in six innings. Gomes homered to lead off the ninth against rookie Carson Smith, the Mariners’ fourth reliever.
Pinch-hitter Michael Bourn singled with one out, but David Murphy, another pinch-hitter, flied out and Jason Kipnis grounded out as Smith recorded his second save.
Cano came into the game in a 10 for 59 skid in the last 15 games and was 6 for 36 on Seattle’s homestand. He was batting .239 with two homers and 18 RBIs overall.
“I’d say tonight was luck,” Cano said. “I want to get four hits a game, but that’s not going to happen every time. You have to be ready for the bad days when they come.”
Cano’s RBI double off Corey Kluber (3-7) put Seattle ahead in the first. Logan Morrison, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games, added a run-scoring double in the second. Cano also doubled in the fifth.
Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young winner, allowed two runs in seven innings in losing his second straight start.
Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz, who leads the American League with 18 home runs, was removed from the game with back spasms in the fifth inning.
“He said he felt it in batting practice, but he said he could do, but I didn’t like the way he was moving at the plate,” said McClendon, who added Cruz was day to day.
The Mariners, coming off a 2-9 homestand, won for only the second time in 10 games. Seattle has scored three runs or less in a club-record 13 straight games.
Seth Smith added an RBI double in the eighth.
Kluber struck out four and walked three. The right-hander defeated the Mariners in Seattle on May 28, allowed three runs and striking out 13 in in seven innings.
“Early on, I thought he had to kind of fight to get into his rhythm,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “On a lot of nights, I’m sitting here bragging about how he pitched.”
TAKING A BREAK
McClendon wants to get Fernando Rodney, who led the AL with 48 saves last season, back in the closer’s role as soon as possible. Rodney was removed from that spot after giving up a ninth-inning homer Friday in a loss to Tampa Bay.
“We need him,” McClendon said. “If we’re going to make a run at this and be as successful as we think we’re going to be, we’ve got to have him.”
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (back and side injuries) is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this week. He threw off the mound Sunday for the second time since being injured.
Indians: RHP Scott Atchison (sprained left ankle) will pitch on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Wednesday.
Mariners: RHP Taijuan Walker threw eight shutout innings against Cleveland at Safeco Field on May 29 in a 2-1 win. He also pitched eight innings against the Yankees on June 3, but got the loss on home runs by Mark Teixeria and Garrett Jones.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer is 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in three career starts against Seattle. He struck out 10 in seven innings on May 29, but allowed a two-run homer to Seth Smith and got the loss.
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