Cleveland took advantage of five errors to even the three-game series at a game apiece.
There would be no chance for late-inning heroics.
After suffering just their second loss since Aug. 23 on Friday night, the Cleveland Indians reasserted their proper place in this series of two teams going in very different directions with an 11-4 drubbing of the Mariners on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.
The Indians improved on their American League-best record to 97-58 and moved another game closer to gaining home-field advantage and facing the winner of the AL wild-card game. Meanwhile, the Mariners moved one game closer to mathematical elimination from that wild-card game.
Cleveland got a solid start from right-hander Carlos Carrasco and took advantage of five errors, and mistake pitches from three Mariners pitchers that had all been in the starting rotation this season.
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“It was about catching the baseball and doing things right fundamentally,” manager Scott Servais said. “We need to be better at that. That’s one area that needs to be addressed. It’s one area we need to take more pride in doing. And it starts with me and the coaches.”
The memory of the Mariners playing so well in a 3-1 walkoff win over Cleveland on Friday night was gone less than 24 hours later in a lackluster loss.
“We played a nice clean ball game last night, and today was just the opposite of that,” Servais said. “It was sloppy. You can’t make five errors and think you are going to stay in the game with a quality team in the other dugout. You have to protect the baseball. Every out is so crucial, and when you don’t get them, you pay the price.”
Carrasco made his 31st start of the season, a career high, allowing one run on six hits in 52/3 innings, allowing one run on six hits. He struck out six and walked two. He wasn’t particularly dominant or efficient, but he was effective.
His only run allowed came in the sixth inning, which he wouldn’t finish. With his team leading 3-0, he allowed a one-out single to Nelson Cruz and a double to the gap in left-center by Kyle Seager. Cruz was able to score all the way from first.
With two outs and Carrasco’s pitch count at 99, Cleveland manager Terry Francona called on do-everything, dominating reliever Andrew Miller. The long-armed lefty walked pinch-hitter Danny Valencia and Mike Zunino to load the bases,…