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Indians struggle early, fall to Mariners in series opener

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Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It’s been a big few days for Cleveland sports fans.

Lebron and another ridiculous finish (I woke up my kids after he hit that game-winner).

The Browns and all that NFL Draft drama (at least they didn’t pick Josh Allen).

The Indians, I’d guess, have been a bit forgotten by Cleveland fans recently. If they missed tonight’s Tribe game . . . well that’s ok.

The Indians and Mike Clevinger got behind early and a late offensive surge wasn’t enough as the Mariners took game one of the four-game series 5-4. With the loss, the Tribe fell to 13-10 on the year.

Clevinger, who threw a dominant complete game shutout last Saturday against Baltimore, actually got off to a good start against the M’s, pitching a clean first two innings. The right-hander got into trouble in the third, giving up three runs after RBI hits from Dee Gordon, Jean Segura, and Robinson Cano. Seattle plated another run in the fourth, but to Clevinger’s credit, he stayed composed enough to get through six innings, allowing just those four runs.

The Tribe’s offense got runners on in the early innings against Mariners’ starter James Paxton, but couldn’t get anything on the board until the sixth. Michael Brantley singled and was followed by a Yonder Alonso moonshot home run to right field to put the good guys on the board. The homer went 404 feet and was Alonso’s sixth of the year.

Cleveland followed with two more runs in the seventh, after RBI’s from Jason Kipnis and Edwin Encarnacion, to tie the game. However, it didn’t take Seattle long to take back the lead, scoring what would be the winning run off Nick Goody in the top of the eighth. Goody allowed doubles to both Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager and earned his first loss of the year.

The Tribe finished with just seven hits, with Kipnis and Alonso leading the way with two each. (Quick side note . . . while the two hits tonight for Kip was great, how much longer does he hit second with that sweet .432 OPS of his?).

Corey Kluber is scheduled to start Friday night for the Tribe, facing off against Seattle’s Erasmo Ramirez. I like our chances.