Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Cleveland leads 1-0 (as of 7/28)

Game 1: Friday, July 28
Seattle0Final
Cleveland1
Game 2: Saturday, July 29
Seattle3Final
Cleveland1
Game 3: Sunday, July 30
Seattle7Final
Cleveland3

Mariners 0

(49-53, 21-27 away)

Indians 1

(45-56, 26-27 home)

    7:05 PM ET, July 28, 2006

    Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ohio 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 000000000 0 5 1
    CLE 00000100 - 1 6 1

    W: J. Sowers (3-3)

    L: F. Hernandez (9-9)

    Choo sparks Tribe in debut as Sowers shuts down M's

    CLEVELAND (AP) -- 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.

    Elias Says
    Shin-Soo Choo's home run, the first of his major-league career, provided the only run in Cleveland's 1-0 win over Seattle. Even in baseball's "home-run era" -- which it says here started when Tuffy Rhodes homered three times off Dwight Gooden in the 1994 season opener -- only two other players have seen their first big-league homer account for the only run of a game.

    Odalis Perez won his own game with a home run for the Dodgers against the Diamondbacks in 2002, and Ryan Langerhans connected for the only run in a Braves' win at Houston last year.

    • For more Elias Says, Click here.

    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.

    Game 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 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

    SPONSORED HEADLINES