ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge
CLEVELAND — Anthony Vasquez won his major league debut with a ton of run support and fellow rookie Dustin Ackley had three RBIs as the Seattle Mariners split a day-night doubleheader Tuesday, taking the second game 12-7 over the sinking Cleveland Indians, who failed to build off an emotional win earlier.
Vasquez (1-0) was one of five first-year players in Seattle’s starting lineup, but whatever the Mariners lacked in experience, they made up for with quality swings while scoring five runs in both the third and fourth innings. Ackley got all three RBIs off Zach McAllister (0-1).
The Indians won the opener with a walk-off homer by Shin-Soo Choo to snap a four-game losing streak, but couldn’t gain any ground on AL Central-leading Detroit.
Kusoke Fukudome and Choo hit solo homers and Jack Hannahan had a career-high four hits for Cleveland, which went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position.
Choo’s three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth gave the Indians a dramatic 7-5 win, which was briefly shaken by the 5.8 magnitude earthquake centered in Virginia.
The temblor swayed the upper deck and press box inside Progressive Field, chasing away a few frightened fans.
The Indians reported no structural damage to the 43,000-seat ballpark.
In the second game, Mike Carp hit a two-run homer, rookie Trayvon Robinson had four hits and Kyle Seager homered for the Mariners. Seattle’s Jeff Gray worked out of trouble in the eighth and finished for his first career save.
Choo’s shot into the seats in left field quaked the ballpark again, giving the Indians their sixth walk-off win by a homer and 15th victory in their final home at-bat this season. Choo almost didn’t play for the second straight game following the birth of his daughter, Abigail, but he arrived 90 minutes before the first pitch and hit the final one from Brandon League (1-5) over the wall.
The shot pumped up the Indians. It wasn’t long before they were deflated.
The Mariners, who have been the wrong end of too much game-ending drama this season, took the suspense out of the second game early.
Carp’s seventh homer capped Seattle’s five-run second off McAllister, who was recalled between games to make his second major league start. Franklin Gutierrez hit an RBI double and Ackley singled home a run before Carp yanked a fastball from McAllister 438 feet to right, giving the Mariners a 5-2 lead.
Seattle tacked on five more runs, chased McAllister and blew it open in the fourth.
Gutierrez had a run-scoring single and Ackley hit a two-run single with one out to end McAllister’s night. Reliever Frank Herrmann came on and got the second out, and probably should have been out of the inning, but Fukudome dropped a long fly to center by Wily Mo Pena near the warning track for a two-run error.
The Indians closed within 10-4 in the fourth, 10-6 in the sixth and were within 12-7 with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth. However, Gray got Carlos Santana to pop out before shattering Shelley Duncan’s bat on a liner to third to escape the jam.
Fukudome hit his first AL homer in the second inning, a shot into the seats in right.
It was Fukudome’s first homer since coming to Cleveland in a July 27 trade from the Chicago Cubs, and when he got back to the dugout his teammates playfully ignored him before rushing over to offer their congratulations. That was about all the fun the Indians had as the last-place Mariners handed them another costly loss.
Notes: Indians OF Grady Sizemore did some agility training on the field between games as he rehabs from a bruised knee that has had him on the DL since July 18. The club is hoping Sizemore can come back and help them next month. ... The teams will wrap up their series Wednesday with another matinee as Felix Hernandez (11-11) faces Josh Tomlin (12-6). It will be Hernandez’s 200th career start — all with Seattle. ... The Indians hosted their second annual “Puppypalooza,” allowing fans to bring their dogs into the ballpark. More than 600 mutts and purebreds paraded around the field before the game without incident. ... Vasquez is the 10th Seattle pitcher to make his major league debut this season. ... To make room for McAllister, the Indians optioned INF Luis Valbuena to Columbus. He went 0 for 3 in opener and batted just .125 in 11 games.