CLEVELAND (AP) — Another difficult day on the trade front ended with a disappointing loss for the Cleveland Indians.
Mike Zunino clubbed a two-run homer off reliever Bryan Shaw in the eighth inning Thursday night, giving the Seattle Mariners a 6-5 victory over Cleveland.
The Indians had gone ahead 5-4 in the seventh on an RBI single by Carlos Santana, but Shaw (4-3) promptly issued a leadoff walk to Kyle Seager, followed by Zunino’s blast to left field.
“Uncharacteristically, Bryan struggled with his control and threw it right where Zunino could whack it,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “But when you have to go to your bullpen as early as we did tonight, any little hiccup you have is going to result in runs.”
Earlier in the day, the Indians dealt their longest-tenured player — shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera — to Washington in exchange for infielder Zach Walters. The trade came less than 24 hours after Cleveland sent right-hander Justin Masterson to St. Louis for minor league outfielder James Ramsey.
Right-hander Zach McAllister started for the Indians, but only lasted 3 1-3 innings and allowed four runs. Since his last win on April 21, he’s 0-6 with a 7.89 ERA.
The trades have left a void in the clubhouse as the Indians are trying to stay in contention for a playoff spot.
“The guys that left us, Masty and Asdrubal, were key parts of this team and big influences on all of us,” McAllister said. “But we all understand baseball is a business, and it’s a matter of being able to pick each other up and move on together.”
Cleveland’s offense did its part, rallying from a 4-1 deficit in the third when Jason Kipnis hit a two-run homer and Santana added a sacrifice fly off Mariners right-hander Chris Young.
Santana came through again in the seventh with a sharp single off Charlie Furbush to plate Jose Ramirez, but Shaw couldn’t hold the lead in the next frame.
Joe Beimel (3-1) earned the win by recording one out, while Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth for his AL-leading 30th save. Both teams used seven pitchers.
“I came out to get Zach when I did because I didn’t think we could afford to give up any more runs,” Francona said. “When his fastball is up, some of those balls start to get elevated, and that’s when he gets in trouble. That’s what happened tonight.”
NO QUIT HERE
Though many Cleveland fans believe the Indians have thrown in the towel by trading Masterson and Cabrera, designated hitter Nick Swisher begs to differ. “That wouldn’t even cross my mind,” he said. “That’s not how we do things around here. It may have been in the past and that’s why people are saying that, but this is a different era.”
The Indians were 6 1-2 games behind Detroit in the American League Central Division before the Tigers acquired Tampa Bay ace David Price. However, Francona insisted that the move wasn’t on his mind. “David Price is not going to beat us tonight,” he said before Thursday’s game. “If he does, he’s really good. We’ll deal with that when it’s time.”
Indians left fielder Chris Dickerson (sore left knee) left after the second inning and is listed as day to day. Dickerson twisted his left leg while misplaying a double by Kendrys Morales. Mike Aviles replaced him.
The Indians continue their eight-game homestand Friday as right-hander Danny Salazar (3-4) takes on Rangers righty Jerome Williams (2-4). Salazar has won both of his starts since returning to the majors on July 22, but has not faced Texas in his career.
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