Series: Game 1 of 4

Seattle leads 1-0 (as of 7/15)

Game 1: Thursday, July 15
Game 2: Friday, July 16
Game 3: Saturday, July 17
Game 4: Sunday, July 18

Indians 1

(42-46, 16-26 away)

Mariners 2

(33-54, 20-22 home)

    10:05 PM ET, July 15, 2004

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 010000000 1 5 0
    SEA 00000020 - 2 4 0

    W: J. Pineiro (5-10)

    L: J. Westbrook (6-5)

    S: E. Guardado (16)

    Piniero tosses eight strong frames

    SEATTLE (AP) -- With their playoff hopes all but virtually gone, the Seattle Mariners are releasing some of their veterans to give some of their prospects a chance to play.

    Justin Leone is making the most of the opportunity.

    Leone hit his first major league homer -- a two-run shot -- to back eight strong innings by Joel Pineiro and help the Mariners end a nine-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.

    "Leo got into one pretty good," manager Bob Melvin said. "He got it in the upper deck. That's the kind of things we're looking to see. He's a guy that's got some power."

    Pineiro (5-10) allowed one run and four hits in eight innings for Seattle, which last won on July 1 against Texas.

    Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 21 opportunities.

    Leone, who hit 21 homers in 68 games at Triple-A Tacoma before being called up by the Mariners on July 1, hit his first in the majors off All-Star Jake Westbrook (6-5) in the seventh to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead.

    The Mariners are last in the American League with 66 homers.

    "It's nice to see anybody doing something," Melvin said. "What we've been going through and then making some changes today. You know, it hurts to lose John Olerud, not to have a John Olerud here."

    Westbrook, who lost his third straight decision, hit Miguel Olivo with a pitch with two outs before Leone homered 437 feet off the facing of the second deck in left field at Safeco Field.

    Leone will get a chance to play on a regular basis after the Mariners designated veteran first baseman Olerud for assignment before the game.

    A 13th-round draft selection in 1999 from Las Vegas, the 27-year-old Leone had a breakthrough season in 2003 at Double-A San Antonio when he was the Texas League's player of the year. He hit .288 with 21 homers and 92 RBI in 135 games.

    "I was just hoping it would come some time eventually, you know," he said of his first homer in his seventh big league game. "For it to be like this, it's good to see you all (reporters) standing here like this. And it's obviously good for the team."

    Leone wasn't sure he'd be with the Mariners after the All-Star break. He's not making any predictions about how he'll play the second half of the season.

    "We'll just see how I can do," he said. "We'll just wait and see how it goes. If I produce, I'm sure I'll stick around and we'll go from there."

    Pineiro, a 16-game winner last season, won for the first time since June 29. He lost twice on the Mariners' 0-9 road trip -- to St. Louis and the Chicago White Sox. He deliberately stayed away from baseball during the All-Star break.

    "I thought I might feel weird out there," Pineiro said. "I didn't play catch for the whole three days. I just wanted to relax."

    Westbrook, an injury replacement for Curt Schilling in Tuesday night's All-Star game in Houston, hasn't won since June 14. He's 0-3 in six starts since.

    In eight innings, Westbrook gave up two runs on four hits, one walk, one hit batter and eight strikeouts.

    With two outs, he hit Olivo in the shoulder with a 1-0 changeup in the seventh before giving up his homer to Leone on the first pitch.

    "A two-run homer right there is big for them," Westbrook said. "I made a couple of bad pitches."

    Manager Eric Wedge thought Westbrook deserved a better fate.

    "He threw fantastic tonight," Wedge said. "He was in command the whole ballgame. One bad pitch cost us."

    Jody Gerut ended an 0-for-19 slump with one out in the second, when he hit a 397-foot shot to center for his eighth homer.

    Game notes

    The Mariners' nine-game losing streak was their longest since their club-record 14-game losing skid Sept. 2-18, 1992. ... Olerud, recognized as one of the classiest players in the majors because of his low-key demeanor, played the last five seasons with his hometown Mariners. He said he wasn't mad at the Mariners for taking him off their roster. He blamed himself for not playing well offensively this season and putting the team in the position of having to get rid of him. ... With Olerud gone, Scott Spiezio moved to 1B from 3B. Spiezio made a diving stop of Matt Lawton's hard grounder for an unassisted out in the sixth.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press