Published January 13, 2015
The Seattle Mariners' road trip makes a stop in Cleveland, as they pay a visit to Progressive Field for the opener of a four-game series with the Indians.
This marks the fourth leg of Seattle's nine-game road swing. The Mariners were in action Thursday night and claimed a 3-2 victory over the Yankees, which followed up a 12-2 triumph the previous night. It was their first series win in New York since June 29-July 1, 2010.
Former Yankee Hector Noesi made a spot start for Seattle, replacing Aaron Harang after he was scratched with lower back stiffness. Noesi allowed an unearned run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. Five relievers bridged the gap to the ninth inning, and Michael Morse provided a lift to the offense with his 10th home run of the season.
"This was one hell of a series," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "Three tough games and you talk about this one here, getting that lead and then holding on. You've got one of the best hitters in the game making the last out (Robinson Cano). It doesn't get any tougher than that."
Cleveland split a pair of two-game series with the Phillies and Yankees this week. Overall, the Tribe has won 14 of its last 18 games.
Jason Kipnis, Mike Aviles and Nick Swisher all went yard in Wednesday's 10-4 victory over the Phillies, as the Indians roughed up Cole Hamels. Starter Corey Kluber allowed three runs in six innings. He struck out five and did no tissue a walk.
Taking the hill for Cleveland Friday night is a resurgent Ubaldo Jimenez. After allowing 19 earned runs over his first four starts of the season, the right-hander has gone 3-0 with a 1.45 ERA over his last three outings. He has allowed only 10 hits in that span and has struck out eight batters in each of his last two starts. Against Detroit on Saturday, Jimenez yielded only one run on three hits in six innings of work.
"I've been able to go out there for the last three or four games and compete and give the team a chance to be close on the scoreboard," Jimenez said. "I think it's all about my mechanics. The last three games I've been able to repeat my mechanics on every pitch."
Seattle will turn to rookie right-hander Brandon Maurer, who is 2-5 with a 5.97 ERA and has yet to make it through seven full innings. He pitched on 10 days' rest against Oakland on Saturday and exited after yielding three runs in five innings.
"He had really good stuff," catcher Kelly Shoppach said following Maurer's latest start. "His stuff plays, his competitive nature plays. Along the way we'll start harnessing all that excitement and stuff. We've seen it at times this year when he's been what we thought he could be. He had good stuff and really battled. I've just been impressed with that. Every start out there he just competes. That's a huge step for a young guy."
This is the first meeting of the season between these two teams. They split eight meetings in 2012.