Seattle, WA – Eric Thames' two-run double in the eighth inning lifted the red-hot Seattle Mariners over the skidding Cleveland Indians, 3-1, in the finale of a three-game series.
Thames, who struck out three times earlier in the game, stepped to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs. He cleared the bases with a double to right field, giving Seattle a 3-1 lead.
"It's all about the big hits in big situations and big pitches in big situations and our pitchers are doing a great job getting ground balls when we need them and our hitters are coming up clutch and that's why this team is on a roll right now," Thames said.
Tom Wilhelmsen worked around a one-out walk in the ninth to pick up his 19th save of the season.
Michael Saunders hit a solo homer in the first inning for the Mariners, who have won eight in a row.
Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma gave up one run on six hits while fanning five and walking three over 5 2/3 innings. Stephen Pryor (3-0) recorded the final two outs in the eighth to pick up the win.
Casey Kotchman knocked in the lone run for the Indians, who have dropped eight straight games.
"This month was pretty tough for us," Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera said. "We got to keep working hard, try to get better, and try to win. (There's) one month left, so we got to do (our) best for the last month."
Zach McAllister allowed one run on three hits over six innings. Vinnie Pestano (3-1) took the loss after giving up two runs on two hits in the eighth.
The Mariners had a 1-0 lead until the sixth inning, when the Indians tied the game. Shin-Soo Choo walked and Carlos Santana hit a single to shallow left field. Oliver Perez replaced Iwakuma with two outs. Kotchman followed with a slow grounder down the third-base line that scored Choo. Ezequiel Carrera walked to load the bases for Jack Hannahan, who struck out swinging to keep it 1-1.
Kyle Seager got the decisive eighth frame started with a one-out double to right field. Indians manager Manny Acta thought that Seager was out at second on a bang-bang play. After Acta was ejected by second base umpire Ed Hickox, John Jaso was intentionally walked. Jesus Montero struck out swinging before Thames' go-ahead double.
The Mariners and Indians split eight games this season ... Seattle has four sweeps since the All-Star break ... The Indians went 1-8 on a nine-game road trip ... The Mariners went 8-1 on a nine-game homestand.