Published May 20, 2013
| Sports Network
Hisashi Iwakuma eyes a fourth consecutive win on Monday, as the Seattle Mariners try to salvage the finale of their four-game series with the red-hot Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field.
Cleveland has won the first three legs of this set and will be trying for their first four-game sweep of the Mariners since turning the trick from Aug. 27-30, 1981, at the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium.
Terry Francona's club won for the 17th time in the last 21 games on Sunday, as Justin Masterson twirled a gem and struck out a season-high 11 batters and Michael Brantley drove in four runs to help Cleveland to a 6-0 victory.
Masterson (7-2) yielded just three hits and two walks in seven innings of work for the Tribe, winners in 12 of their last 14 home games.
"Today was our day," said Masterson. "Both offensively and pitching-wise it worked out well."
Brantley homered and scored twice while Michael Bourn, Jason Kipnis and Mike Aviles all went 2-for-4 with at least one run scored.
"We did a great job today of just battling, working the count and getting them to throw a lot of pitches early," said Brantley.
Felix Hernandez (5-3), who had been battling a sore back, took the loss after lasting a season-low five innings and surrendering six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits while striking out eight.
"He was a little bit off and they did a good job against him," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "They did a good job laying off some tough pitches. They hit some tough pitches. You got to give them credit."
Iwakuma, meanwhile, defeated the New York Yankees on Wednesday, as he allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings to improve to 5-1 to go along with a sparkling 1.84 ERA.
Iwakuma's roll could continue on Monday, as he has pitched to a 1.86 ERA in two appearances against them.
Cleveland will counter with lefty Scott Kazmir, who is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA. Kazmir lost to Philadelphia on Tuesday, as he allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.
"I was just pretty much fighting myself all game. I never really got into a rhythm," Kazmir said.
Kazmir has faced Seattle nine times and is 3-3 with a 3.27 ERA against them.
The Mariners have lost five straight games in Cleveland. The two teams split eight meetings in 2012.