Smallest crowd in history of Safeco watch Mariners win

SEATTLE — Jason Vargas zipped through the Cleveland lineup and the top of the lineup provided just enough pop.

Vargas struck out seven in seven innings to end the Indians’ four-game winning streak and give Seattle a 4-1 win Wednesday night.

“I was able to locate my fastball early in the game and kind of put them on the defensive,” Vargas said.

Just 11,343 watched the game, setting a new record-low at Safeco Field, which was built in 1999. The previous low was 11,701 against Baltimore on May 31, 2011.

Brandon League pitched the bottom of the ninth for his fifth straight save.

Derek Lowe (2-1) pitched 4 1-3 innings, allowed two home runs, four earned runs and walked six — one short of his career-high.

Chone Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki provided a brisk start for the Mariners. Figgins turned an eight-pitch at-bat into his eighth career leadoff home run and first of the season. It was Figgins’ first home run since April 1, 2011.

“Usually try to get one a year,” Figgins said. “Maybe I can try to get some more this year.”

Ichiro followed two batters later with his first home run of the year when he hit a drive to right-center field. That was his first home run batting third after hitting 94 batting leadoff, and one batting second, leaving him four shy of 100 career homers.

Vargas teetered in the sixth when he loaded the bases after walking designated hitter Travis Hafner. But, he struck out Shelley Duncan with a changeup and got a groundout to shortstop from Jose Lopez.

“Really had to bow his neck there in the sixth to get through that,” Wedge said. “He really had to step up there, wanted to give him the opportunity, and he did.”

The Mariners tacked on a run in the bottom of the second when Jesus Montero was walked on four pitches, pushing Brendan Ryan across the plate. But Lowe was able to get Kyle Seager to fly out to left field with the bases loaded to avoid further damage.

Cleveland shortstop Jason Donald bunted Aaron Cunningham to third after Cunningham doubled to open the third inning. Jason Kipnis’ sacrifice fly to center field drove Cunningham in for Cleveland’s first run.

Dustin Ackley drove in Ryan with a single to center to expand the Mariners’ lead to 4-1. Lowe staved off a bigger inning by getting Montero to ground into a double play.

Lowe’s bumpy night ended in the fifth following a single by Miguel Olivo that put runners on first and third with one out. Lowe threw 4 ? innings, allowed two home runs, four earned runs and walked six, just one short of his career-high. It was his shortest outing of the young season.

“I think a guy had a remote out in right, but we caught him,” Lowe said. “He had a button he was pressing, moving the plate around.”

Jairo Asencio replaced Lowe and held off the Mariners in the fifth by getting Munenori Kawasaki to pop out and Brendan Ryan to ground out on a close play at first.

Ackley played first base for the first time in his Major League career. Regular first baseman Justin Smoak sat out Wednesday because of tightness in his right hamstring. He’s day-to-day after first feeling the tightness last Saturday.

NOTES: Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez was suspended five games Wednesday for throwing at Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas last weekend. Gomez will appeal and make his normal turn in the rotation Saturday at Oakland. . Cleveland manager Manny Acta and third baseman Jack Hannahan were also fined. . Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager came into Wednesday 14 for 22 (.636) against Cleveland in his career. . Tuesday night’s rally from seven down was Cleveland’s largest comeback since an 11-10 win May 25, 2009 vs. Tampa Bay when the Indians entered the bottom of the fourth trailing 10-0. . Mariners catcher Adam Moore tore the medial meniscus in his right knee while playing for Triple-A Tacoma. He will have surgery Thursday.

More in Sports

Hall-of-Fame voter says Edgar Martinez worthy of induction

The Mariner great is one of 10 players ex-Herald baseball writer Kirby Arnold voted for this year

‘Braveheart’ helps UW men’s basketball salvage road trip

The film rejuvenated the Huskies, who beat Colorado on Saturday after Thursday’s loss at Utah.

Cardinals hire Carolina defensive coordinator as head coach

Steve Wilks has been an assistant coach in the NFL for 12 seasons

New York Giants hire Shurmur as their head coach

Shurmur spent this season as the offensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings

Everett’s Ondrej Vala controls the puck with Swift Current’s Beck Malenstyn trailing Sunday afternoon at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett on January 21, 2018. The Silvertips won 4-1. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Silvertips beat Swift Current, keep winning streak alive

U.S. Division-leading Everett has won seven straight WHL games

Everett Jr. Silvertips 16U standings, stats and schedule

Here’s the details about the team in first place heading into the NAPHL’s final weekend.

Monroe High’s Monique Fierke looks for the basket during drills at practice on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 in Monroe, Wa. Fierke is the leading scorer for the Bearcats. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Q&A with Monroe’s Monique Fierke

It didn’t take long for Monique Fierke to make a good impression… Continue reading

Prep athletes of the week for 1/15-1/20

Boys basketball Lewis Pope, South Whidbey Pope, a senior, had 22 points,… Continue reading

POLL: Evaluating the Seahawks’ assistant coaching changes

Which change — offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, defensive coordinator — is biggest?

Most Read