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Indians' Sowers pitches second consecutive shutout in 1-0 win

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CLEVELAND -- Jeremy Sowers had a good fastball, slider and changeup -- then finished off his second consecutive shutout with a sales pitch.

Sowers (3-3) allowed only five singles and Shin-Soo Choo hit his first career homer in his Cleveland debut as the Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0 Friday night.

Sowers convinced manager Eric Wedge to leave him in the game with two outs, a runner on first and slugger Richie Sexson coming to bat in the ninth.

"I wasn't crazy about him having to face Richie again," Wedge said. "But he made it clear he wanted to finish and he deserved that right."

Said Sowers: "It was real simple. He asked me, 'Can you finish this game?' I said, 'Yes, I can. I'm fine.' That was it."

Sowers got Sexson to fly out on his 109th pitch as Cleveland won for only the sixth time in its last 19 games. Seattle lost ground in the tight AL West race with its second loss in six games and AL-leading 11th shutout.

Choo, acquired Wednesday from Seattle for first baseman Ben Broussard, hit a 3-0 pitch from Felix Hernandez (9-9) over the wall in left-center with two outs in the sixth inning.

The crowd gave the 24-year-old a standing ovation when he went out to right field the next inning, many crooning, "Chooooooo!" One fan held up a sign with a locomotive drawn on it. The sign read, "Choo, Choo."

"I don't know why they did it, but I like it," said Choo, who had no difficulty going deep with his 426-foot shot, but had some trouble dialing long distance after the game.

"I tried to call my wife in Seattle, but she didn't answer," he said.

Meanwhile, Sowers became the first rookie to throw consecutive shutouts since Florida's Dontrelle Willis did it June 16-21, 2003.

Sowers walked one and struck out three, six days after tossing a four-hitter and not allowing a runner to second base in an 11-0 win over Minnesota. The left-hander, who went 9-1 with a 1.39 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo, has not allowed an extra-base hit or a run in his last 18 innings.

"I can't remember two straight shutouts, but maybe I did it in high school," said Sowers.

Dick Tidrow was the last Indians rookie to pitch consecutive shutouts, doing it July 31, 1972, against Milwaukee and five days later against Detroit.

"No, I never heard of him," said Sowers, who was a 1-year-old when Tidrow concluded his 13-year career in 1984.

Choo, who hit .323 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 26 stolen bases for Triple-A Tacoma this year, walked his first two times up before getting the green light on a 3-0 pitch.

"I know Choo well enough to know he can drive the ball out of the ballpark," Hernandez said through interpreter Carlos Garcia, the Mariners' third-base coach.

"I tried to throw a sinker away, but it stayed up and didn't do anything."

Choo said letting that many pitches go past is not his usual game plan.

"I know pitchers like to throw strikes, so I like to swing at the first pitch," he said. "Just not tonight."

The Indians left eight runners stranded over the first five innings against Hernandez. Andy Marte and then Casey Blake both bounced into inning-ending double plays in the fourth and fifth.

Marte, the key player in the seven-man trade with Boston last January that sent outfielder Coco Crisp to the Red Sox, was promoted earlier Friday from Triple-A Buffalo. In the second inning, he brought the crowd to its feet with a long fly that faded foul his first time up, but eventually struck out.

Sowers was helped in the first inning by good defense.

Ichiro Suzuki opened the game with a single and advanced on groundout. Adrian Beltre followed with a single to left and the speedy Suzuki tried to score. But catcher Victor Martinez blocked the plate, took a throw from left fielder Todd Hollandsworth and applied the tag for a key out.

"That was a great throw," said Mariners manager Mike Hargrove. "Not often you get a guy like Ichiro."

Hernandez walked a career-high six over six innings, allowing one run and four hits and striking out four.

Notes

  • Broussard did not play.
  • Former Indians 1B Eduardo Perez, who likely will platoon with Broussard, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • 2B Ronnie Belliard pinch-hit for Joe Inglett in the seventh. He had missed six games with a strained left hamstring. Inglett went 2-for-3 to put his average at .347 (17-for-49).
  • Beltre was 2-for-4 and is batting .333 (13-for-39) over a nine-game hitting streak.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers hasn't allowed an extra-base hit or run in 18 consecutive innings.  (AP)
Cleveland's Jeremy Sowers hasn't allowed an extra-base hit or run in 18 consecutive innings. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cleveland

J. Sowers
IP 9.0
H 5
ER 0
BB 1
K 3
Seattle

F. Hernandez
IP 6.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 6
K 5
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4020001 .347
Jose Lopez, 2B4000002 .271
Adrian Beltre, 3B4020002 .264
Raul Ibanez, LF4000012 .272
Richie Sexson, 1B3000101 .230
Eduardo Perez, DH3000021 .289
Kenji Johjima, C3000001 .290
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3000000 .301
Adam Jones, CF3010001 .250
Totals310501311 
Fielding
DP - Beltre-Sexson, Beltre-J. Lopez-Sexson
PB - Kenji Johjima (9)
E - Jose Lopez (8, )
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (L,9-9) 6411651 4.60
George Sherrill 1000020 3.03
Julio Mateo 1200010 4.69
IBB - Martinez by Felix Hernandez, by Martinez
WP - Felix Hernandez (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 108-53, George Sherrill 11-9, Julio Mateo 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 9-3
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 27, George Sherrill 3, Julio Mateo 5
Cleveland Indians
Grady Sizemore, CF3000132 .304
Joe Inglett, 2B3020000 .347
   a- Ronnie Belliard, PH-2B1000000 .289
Travis Hafner, DH4000023 .300
Victor Martinez, C2010200 .312
Casey Blake, 1B4010013 .302
Todd Hollandsworth, LF4000002 .236
Jhonny Peralta, SS3010102 .258
Shin-Soo Choo, RF2111212 .154
Andy Marte, 3B3000013 .000
Totals291616817 
a-flied out for Inglett in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jhonny Peralta (20, Hernandez)
HR - Shin-Soo Choo (1, Hernandez)
RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (1)
2-OUT RBI - Shin-Soo Choo (1)
SB - Joe Inglett (2, 2nd base off Hernandez/Johjima)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Todd Hollandsworth 1
DP - Peralta-Inglett-Blake
E - Andy Marte (1, )
Cleveland Indians
Jeremy Sowers (W,3-3) 9500130 3.98
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Sowers 109-72
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Sowers 12-11
Batters Faced - Jeremy Sowers 32
Game Information
Attendance - 25045
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Randy Marsh, First Base - Angel Hernandez, Second Base - Hunter Wendelstedt, Third Base - Sam Holbrook