The Cleveland Indians are starting to get accustomed to winning in their last at-bat.
The Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, are growing tired of blowing leads in the final inning.
Coming off another walk-off victory, the Indians look for their momentum to carry over as they try to hand visiting Seattle a season-worst-tying seventh consecutive defeat Saturday.
The Indians (24-13) won 14 straight at home April 3-May 10, but suffered back-to-back losses to Tampa Bay at Progressive Field this week and seemed headed for a third straight defeat in Friday night's series opener against Seattle (16-23).
Travis Hafner, though, connected for a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to cap a three-run rally, giving Cleveland a 5-4 victory - its ninth of the season in its final at-bat.
"We're having a blast. This is fun," Hafner said. "This felt like a big win. After losing the last two games, it was important to get it going again."
The Indians' latest win extended the Mariners' losing streak to six games - one short of their longest skid of the season April 3-10. Four of Seattle's last five defeats have come in the last inning, and closer Brandon League is 0-4 with three blown saves over that span, allowing 10 runs while recording just nine outs.
"It's been a tough stretch. League was one pitch from finishing it off (Friday). You have to handle it and be strong, but that doesn't make it hurt any less," said Seattle manager Eric Wedge, who returned to Cleveland for the first time since getting fired as Indians manager in 2009 after a seven-year stint with the team.
"These are some of the things (young players) have to go through to be better in similar situations."
Cleveland rookie Alex White (1-0. 3.75 ERA) will try to add to Seattle's woes as he takes the mound looking to build on his first career victory.
The 22-year-old right-hander limited the Los Angeles Angels to three runs and seven hits over six innings of a 4-3 road win last Saturday.
"It's a great feeling and something I've worked for for a long time," White said. "... I knew it was going to come as long as I pitched well. It's one of those things you'll remember forever.
"I think the biggest thing was just getting my first start out of the way. It wasn't my debut anymore. It was about winning. It was just a great feeling to be able to go out there and compete."
White allowed two runs in six innings during his major league debut in Cleveland's 3-2, 13-inning victory over Detroit at Progressive Field on April 30.
He'll be opposed by Erik Bedard (1-4, 4.78), who seems to have figured things out after going 0-4 with a 7.71 ERA to start the season.
The left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.89 ERA over his last three outings. He gave up two runs - one earned - and five hits while striking out a season-best nine over five innings of Sunday's 5-2, 10-inning loss to the Chicago White Sox.
Bedard gave up season worsts of six runs and 10 hits April 10 in a 6-4 loss to the Indians, against whom he has gone 0-2 with a 7.71 ERA during three meetings since 2009.
Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, who missed his third straight game Friday due to a bruised right knee, is 0 for 13 with six strikeouts against Bedard. Sizemore's status for this game is unknown.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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