Cleveland Indians: The Tribe Takes Their Red-Hot Offense to the Seattle Mariners

Christopher WoodleyContributor IIIApril 17, 2012

Justin Masterson looks to lead Cleveland to a fourth straight win.
Justin Masterson looks to lead Cleveland to a fourth straight win.Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Cleveland Indians came out of their early season offensive slump with a three-game sweep at Kansas City over the weekend. Now the Indians will take their suddenly hot bats west for a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.

Last Series

After batting only .176 in their first five games, Cleveland (4-4) exploded for 32 runs and 40 hits in a three-game sweep of Kansas City. After scoring eight runs in the opener, the Indians totaled 11 and 13 runs, respectively, in the final two games of the series. It marked the first time in Cleveland history that the Indians scored at least eight runs in each of their first three road games.

After dropping a 4-0 decision to Oakland on Friday, Seattle (6-5) posted a pair of victories in their first home series of the season. Brendan Ryan and Justin Smoak both homered in the Mariners 5-3 win over the Athletics on Sunday.

Last Year Against Seattle

Cleveland was 5-4 against Seattle last season. The Indians swept a three-game series at Safeco Field in April by outscoring the Mariners 20-8. However, Seattle won four of the last five games. Cleveland has won 10 of their last 12 games at Safeco Field.

Starting Pitchers

Justin Masterson (0-1) suffered the loss last Wednesday in a 10-6 setback to the Chicago White Sox. He allowed five runs (three earned) and eight hits over five innings. Masterson is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five career starts against the Mariners. 

In his Seattle debut last Wednesday, Kevin Millwood (0-0) limited Texas to only one run over six innings with seven strikeouts in a 4-3 Mariners win. He is 4-2 with a 3.86 ERA in six career starts against the Indians. Millwood pitched for Cleveland in 2005 when he played for current Seattle manager Eric Wedge and Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis.

Cleveland Offense

Cleveland has hit at least one home run in each of their eight games. The Indians 15 home runs are tied for the major league lead. Asdrubal Cabrera batted .429 (6-for-14) with two home runs and three RBIs at Safeco Field last season. 

Seattle Offense

Kyle Seager batted an impressive .706 (12-for-17) with five doubles and a home run in four games against Cleveland last season. He has three hits in four career at bats against Masterson. Ichiro Suzuki tallied four hits in the season opener against Oakland in Japan. But he entered Sunday's game with a .194 average before recording two hits.