Mariners Strike Early, Beat Indians 4-1 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Mariners Strike Early, Beat Indians 4-1

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by Brad Wall

SEATTLE, Wash. – The Mariners got on the board early with two home runs in the first inning and defeated the Indians 4-1 along with a strong outing by Jason Vargas.

The zero on the scoreboard wouldn't stay there long for the M's as Chone Figgins belted a homer to leadoff the bottom half of the first. Ichiro Suzuki then came up and added a solo shot of his own to put Seattle up 2-0 early.

The Mariners loaded up the bases with two outs in the second and Jesus Montero was walked, giving him an RBI and bringing home Brendan Ryan.

The Indian's Aaron Cunningham leadoff the third inning with a double and was advanced on two straight sacrifices: to third on a bunt, and then scoring on a sac-fly by Jason Kipnis.

The bottom of the fourth started with a Ryan walk followed by a Figgins single, advancing Ryan to third. Dustin Ackley, who had his first career start at 1st base in place of Justin Smoak, then smacked the ball up the middle for an RBI single. Manager Eric Wedge decided to sit Smoak for the game with a tight hamstring. After an Ichiro fly out that advanced Figgins to third, Montero grounded into an inning ending double play.

The M's continued to give starter Derek Lowe trouble in the fifth. After being walked, Michael Saunders executed a hit and run with batter Miguel Olivo that moved Saunders over to third and gave Olivo a base hit. Lowe was then relieved by Jairo Asencio, who retired the next two Mariner hitters.

Cleveland threatened in the sixth when they loaded the bases with one out, but Vargas worked himself out of the jam with a strikeout of Shelley Duncan and a ground out by former Mariner Jose Lopez.

Brandon League came on in the ninth and got the save making him five for five on save opportunities this season.

Vargas (2-1) was superb in his first home start of the season as he threw for seven innings allowing one run on four hits with seven strikeouts.

Seattle served up Lowe his first loss on the year as he gave up four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings of work.

Wednesday night's crowd of 11,343 was a record low for the Mariners at Safeco Field.

The Mariners will square up with the Indians one more time in the rubber match of the series finale tomorrow at 7:10 p.m.

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