Suzuki's two-run homer in the eighth inning -- only Seattle's
third hit off Elarton -- helped the Mariners end a three-game losing
streak with a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday
night."It was a bad pitch," Elarton said. "I knew it when it left
my hand that it was a bad pitch. That was it. It all boiled down to
that pitch."Suzuki's seventh homer bailed out Seattle starter Jamie Moyer,
who was six outs away from losing to Cleveland for the first time
since 2000, but got a no-decision. Including the postseason, Moyer
is 9-0 in his last 12 starts against the Indians.Elarton (6-5) carried a 3-2 lead into the eighth when he walked
pinch-hitter Chris Snelling leading off. With the left-handed
Suzuki coming up, Indians manager Eric Wedge had lefties Scott
Sauerbeck and Arthur Rhodes warming up in the bullpen.But after sending pitching coach Carl Willis out to visit the
right-hander, Wedge decided to stick with Elarton, who made Suzuki
look bad on his first pitch, a sinker in the dirt. But Elarton got
too much of the plate with a low fastball and Suzuki pulled it into
the lower seats in right field to put the Mariners ahead 4-3."I'm glad he hit it out," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said.
"I wasn't glad he swung at the pitch before. He's Ichiro. He's
amazing."Suzuki compared his home run swing to the one he uses on a golf
course fairway."Three-iron," he said.J.J. Putz (3-3) worked two innings, wiggling out of a mess in
the eighth when the Indians had two on and no outs.Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre got the first out when he
charged and snagged Ronnie Belliard's hard bunt, throwing to third
for a force. Aaron Boone then lined out to first baseman Richie
Sexson, who dived back to tag out Belliard scrambling back to the
bag.Eddie Guardado gave up a two-out walk and single in the ninth
before striking out Casey Blake for his 22nd save in 23 tries.The Indians dropped to 3-12 since July 5, going 2-9 at home
during that stretch.Wedge appears to have run out of patience with his young team."We can't have meetings every other day," Wedge said angrily.
"It's the big leagues, you have to do it when the consequence are
losses or you have to look at other things. Enough is enough."Wedge was asked if there would be roster changes."I still believe in the people we have here," he said. "We
still have two-plus months left. We're struggling. People have to
step up and kick up some dust now and then."Wedge defended his decision to keep in Elarton, who said he was
tiring."It was still his ballgame," Wedge said. "Because of the way
he handled him (Suzuki) and the fact that he's hitting .360 against
lefties, we stayed with him."Belliard hit a two-run homer in the fourth for Cleveland, which
will play the last-place Mariners six times in the next nine games.
Belliard's ninth homer, his first in 121 at-bats, gave the Indians
a 3-1 lead.Moyer needed 115 pitches to get through six innings. He allowed
three runs and eight hits, walked four and struck out three.
Cleveland's hitters were patient but didn't do quite enough against
the slow-throwing left-hander to get their first victory against
him since Aug. 19, 2000.The Indians had Moyer in trouble in the first two innings, but
scored just once while stranding five runners."He kept us in the game," Beltre said. "When you're only down
one or two runs, you still believe you've got a chance."Cleveland was again without designated hitter Travis Hafner, who
missed his sixth straight game since getting hit in the face with a
pitch from Chicago's Mark Buehrle last Saturday.Hafner is still experiencing dizziness and headaches, and could
be headed for the disabled list.
Since 2002, the Indians are 144-148 at Jacobs Field. By
comparison, in their first three years at the Jake, the club went
140-63 (.690). ... According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Moyer and
Pat Borders are the only 42-year-olds in baseball history to form a
starting battery. Research back to 1960 shows that the pair are the
third-oldest battery behind Phil Neikro (48) and Rick Dempsey (37)
in 1987, and Satchel Paige (59) and Bill Bryan (26) in 1965. ...
The Mariners will play their next 18 games against AL Central
teams. ... Seattle's bullpen has an AL-low 10 wins.