Tribe Torpedoes Sinking M's

Indians' Kenny Lofton smacks a grand slam Mariners pitcher Aaron Sele.
AP
The Seattle Mariners will be glad to get out of Cleveland.

Kenny Lofton homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs as the Indians handed Seattle its eighth straight loss, 12-4 Sunday.

"This streak has been very humbling," Mariners manager Lou Piniella said. "We got pounded here. I'm glad we have an off day tomorrow."

Seattle's first-place lead in the AL West dwindled to two games over Oakland, which won 5-4 at Detroit. The Mariners have allowed at least nine runs in the last seven losses tying a 99-year-old major league record set by the New York Giants, Sept. 3-6, 1901.

Seattle last lost eight straight during a club-record 14-game skid in September 1992.

The Indians completed a three-game sweep and remained one game behind Oakland in the wild-card race heading into a three-game series with the Athletics that begins Tuesday night at Jacobs Field.

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Game Summary

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  • "At this point, every game and every series is important," Lofton said after hitting two homers in a game for the third time but first since June 5, 1995. "We are trying to go out and win every game because that is the only way we are going to stay in this race."

    Lofton hit the second pitch from Aaron Sele (13-8) over the right-field wall. That gave him homers in three consecutive games for the first time.

    "Kenny is muscling up, man," manager Charlie Manuel said. "He's swinging good and being aggressive at the plate."

    Lofton continued his power surge in the third with his 11th homer, a line-drive grand slam down the right-field line that made it 5-0.

    "When you make good pitches, good things happen," Sele said. "I didn't make good pitches and he made me pay for it."

    Travis Fryman, who went 3-for-4, had an RBI single in the third, and Lofton drew a bases-loaded walk later in the inning to make it 7-0.

    Dave Burba (11-5) won for the first time since July 23. The right-hander allowed two runs and 10 hits in seven innings.

    "After getting a 9-0 lead, all I wanted to do was go out and throw strikes," Burba said. "At one point on the mound, I thought, 'Why can't it always be this easy?"'

    Sele yielded seven runs and seven hits in 2 2-3 innings. Seattle starters fell to 0-6 with a 9.50 ERA during the Mariners' eight-game skid.

    Wil Cordero went 4-for-5 with three RBIs. He singled in two runs off Brett Tomko to make it 9-0 in the fourth and added an RBI double in the eighth.

    Consecutive run-scoring singles by Jim Thome and David Segui made it 11-0 in the fifth.

    John Olerud and Dan Wilson each singled in runs with two outs in the Seattle sixth. Edgar Martinez had a two-run double in the ninth.

    Notes

  • A wayward squirrel delayed the game five minutes in the top of the second, zigzagging across the infield and into the outfield. Fans and players roared with laughter as the rodent eluded Indians SS Omar Vizquel and then policemen and ballboys who finally chased it through a doorway under the left-field bleachers.
  • Lofton led off a game with a homer for the 18th time. The grand slam was his second. His other came June 29, 1993 against the White Sox.
  • The Indians last three-game sweep of the Mariners in Cleveland came during Seattle's 14-game skid in 1992.
  • Cleveland is 16-5 at home since July 2.

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