Robinson Cano’s fortunes against Cody Allen changed with one swing.
Cano’s three-run homer in the 10th inning lifted the Seattle Mariners over the Cleveland Indians 10-7 on Thursday.
Cano had been hitless in seven previous at-bats against Allen (0-1).
“He is one of the best closers in the league,” Cano said. “I wasn’t looking for a fastball or anything. This was the one time he left a pitch over the plate for me. I hit it pretty good, so I was hoping it would go out.”
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Robbie is a special player, we all know that. Big-time players come through at big times, like he did today.
Seattle manager Scott Servais
Both players were aware of Allen’s dominance.
“I knew I had some success against him,” Allen said. “He’s still very dangerous. I made a bad pitch to a good hitter and he didn’t miss it.”
Cano had an early single and then an RBI double in the sixth before connecting with two outs for his sixth home run this season.
Steve Clevenger, who hit a two-run homer in the second, drew a leadoff walk from Allen. Franklin Gutierrez walked on a full count with two outs before Cano homered to dead center.
“Robbie is a special player, we all know that,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “Big-time players come through at big times, like he did today.”
Tony Zych (1-0) pitched the ninth for his first major league win. Steve Cishek worked the 10th for his second save in as many days.
Seattle has won five of seven after losing five straight. Cleveland has lost three of four.
Pinch-hitter Mike Napoli tied the game with a two-run homer in the eighth off Joaquin Benoit. Rajai Davis hit a three-run homer in the fifth. The Indians rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 7-3.
Marlon Byrd walked to start the Indians eighth. Benoit retired the next two hitters but Napoli, batting for Roberto Perez, drove a 2-0 pitch into the left field bleachers for his first career pinch-hit home run.
“That was a roller-coaster game,” Servais said. “You’ve got to give them credit. They roared back and hit a big home run.”
The momentum appeared to be on the Indians’ side, especially when Allen retired the Mariners in order in the ninth. Zych, however, held off the Indians, an effort that earned him a special reward from his teammates in the clubhouse.
“I got an ice bath from the guys, I guess,” he said. “I don’t even know what was in there to be honest. I put my head down and just got crushed. Obviously, this was a once in a lifetime situation. There aren’t many words to describe it.”
Nelson Cruz had two RBIs for Seattle, which scored at least four runs for only the fifth time this season.
Clevenger’s home run gave Seattle a 2-0 lead in the second. Cruz drew a bases-loaded walk in the third and added an RBI single in the sixth.
The Mariners scored three times in the fourth when they chased Cody Anderson.
Jose Ramirez and Lonnie Chisenhall drove in runs for the Indians.
Nathan Karns allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings for Seattle.
Mariners: Seth Smith, who has been nursing a strained groin, started for the second straight game in right field. “I guess he’s back to being 100 percent,” Servais said. “He feels good.”
Indians: OF Michael Brantley (right shoulder surgery) was 3 for 4 on a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Wednesday. He’s scheduled to play Friday and Saturday for Triple-A Columbus, and will then be re-evaluated by the Indians’ medical staff Sunday.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez starts at the Angels, needing to fan one batter to break the team record for career strikeouts he shares with Randy Johnson.
Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin pitches at Detroit. He allowed a run in five innings Saturday against the Mets in his first start of the season.