Kazmir, Bourn help Cleveland avoid sweep, win 10-1
Kazmir's near-complete game, Bourn's grand slam highlight victory
Seattle, WA — Scott Kazmir pitched his best start of the season, allowing one hit over eight innings and Michael Bourn launched the first grand slam of his career as the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 10-1 in the finale of a three-game series at Safeco Field.
The Indians win ended the Mariners' eight-game win streak, their longest since August 2012. They were going for their first nine-game streak since the 2003 season.
The only hit Kazmir (6-4, 3.96) surrendered was a leadoff single to center by Justin Smoak in the fifth inning. Kazmir allowed just one unearned run while striking out seven. Vinnie Pestano worked around a hit and two walks in the ninth to finish the game.
The win was the second for the Indians in their first six games following the All-Star break. The Tribe defense continued to struggle, making two errors. The team had previously squandered games due to costly errors, but the Cleveland bats made sure the visiting team came out on top.
Cleveland got on the board in the first for the third straight game and kept Mariners starter Joe Saunders in trouble. On the first pitch, Bourn put down a drag bunt, easily beating the throw. Nick Swisher walked and Jason Kipnis advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Asdrubal Cabrera followed with a two-RBI double to deep center and scored on another double by Carlos Santana.
In the top of the third, Cabrera reached second base again on a fielding error by center fielder Michael Saunders. Santana drove Cabrera home again with another double, his second of the game and 26th of the season, making the score 4-1.
Bourn opened the floodgates in the fifth with his slam on a 3-2 pitch from reliever Hector Noesi, making the score 9-1. Two runs from the homer were charged to Saunders (9-9, 4.48) who allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits and three walks.
Bourn finished with two hits and tied a career high with four RBI. He has had at least one hit in eight of his last 10 games and multiple hits in four of those games.
Cabrera launched the second Tribe homer of the game in the sixth, also off Noesi, extending the Indians lead to 10-1.
Cabrera had two hits, including his eighth long ball. Carlos Santana finished with three hits and two RBI. It was the ninth time the Indians have scored at least 10 runs in a game this season and the 14th time Seattle has allowed 10 or more.
The Mariners got a gift run in the second, their only run of the game. With two outs and Jason Bay on first, Saunders hit a grounder to shortstop Cabrera, who threw wide of second for an error, allowing Bay to score.
The Indians will return home to begin a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. Game one will be played on Friday at 7:05 p.m. with Corey Kluber (7-5, 3.69) facing off against Rangers lefty Martin Perez (3-3, 3.40).
Notes: Kazmir has thrown just one complete game in his 198 career starts, a two-hit shutout on July 3, 2006 with Tampa Bay against Boston. … Carlos Santana’s double in the top of the first was the 100th of his career. … Bourn's run in the first inning was the 500th of his career.
Nathan Kemp graduated from The University of Akron in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in English. He plans to pursue a graduate degree through NEOMFA in the fall. Follow him on Twitter @NathanCKemp.