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Indians begin home series with Mariners

Dominican right-hander Fausto Carmona will try to get the game series at Progressive Field with the Seattle Mariners.

The Indians dropped their third straight game and fell 4 1/2 games out of the lead in the American League Central Division on Sunday, when Detroit's Austin Jackson caught Matt LaPorta's fly ball and nailed Kosuke Fukudome at the plate to secure an 8-7 victory and a series sweep for the AL Central-leading Tigers.

Detroit scored all eight of its runs in the first four innings against Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1), including seven in the third. Delmon Young hit a three-run homer and Victor Martinez added a two-run shot during the big inning.

But then the Tigers had to hold on as the Indians rallied. Joaquin Benoit stranded runners in scoring position in the eighth, and Jose Valverde worked the nail-biting ninth for his 37th save.

Carmona, a 19-game winner in 2007 and 13-game winner last season, picked up his sixth win of 2011 when he allowed a run on four hits in 8 1/3 innings of a 4-1 win against the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 17.

The win ended a four-start drought for Carmona, who had gone 0-2 with a pair of no-decisions since winning, 6-3, at Minnesota on July 18.

The 27-year-old is 2-3 in seven career matchups with the Mariners, posting a 3.32 earned run average and striking out 27 batters over 43 1/3 innings.

The Indians are 6-4 in Carmona's last 10 starts.

On Sunday in St. Petersburg, Fla., Johnny Damon belted a game-winning solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Tampa Bay Rays to an 8-7 victory and a three-game sweep of the Mariners at Tropicana Field.

Kyle Farnsworth (5-1) worked a perfect ninth to earn the victory, while Dan Cortes (0-2) absorbed the loss after giving up Damon's walkoff shot.

Wily Mo Pena and Casper Wells smacked two-run homers for the Mariners, who have lost five straight.

For Seattle, lefty Jason Vargas faces the Indians for the fourth time in his career and seeks a second victory.

The 27-year-old Californian is 1-2 through the first three tries against Cleveland, against whom he's allowed 16 runs and 21 hits with seven strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

Vargas dropped five straight starts from July 6-31, then broke the skid with a 4-3 win at Texas on Aug. 10.

He dropped a 13-7 verdict to Toronto in his most recent outing on Aug. 14 after lasting four innings and allowing eight runs.

Seattle is just 2-8 in his last 10 appearances.

Cleveland is 4-0 against the Mariners this season.