The Cleveland Indians are starting to get accustomed to winning in their last at-bat.
The Seattle Mariners are growing tired of blowing leads in the final inning.
If they can avoid a second straight rainout, the Indians will try to hand visiting Seattle a season worst-tying seventh consecutive defeat Sunday.
Saturday's game was postponed in the bottom of the first inning due to rain, with all statistics being washed away. The forecast for Sunday includes a strong chance of rain for much of the day, meaning it's possible these teams will have two games to make up when the Mariners return to Cleveland for a series Aug. 22-24.
"We would much rather play because you don't want to pile up doubleheaders later and we already have one of those," Indians manager Manny Acta said after Saturday's game was called off following a two-hour delay.
That postponement could have taken away the momentum Acta's club regained in the series opener.
Cleveland (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 Friday against Seattle (16-23).
Travis Hafner, though, hit 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, 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 as closer Brandon League has gone 0-4 with three blown saves, allowing 10 runs while recording just nine outs.
"He's still our closer," manager Eric Wedge said.
Both managers are keeping their rotations intact after Cleveland's Alex White and Seattle's Erik Bedard briefly pitched Saturday, so Acta will go with Josh Tomlin as scheduled and Wedge will start rookie Michael Pineda.
Tomlin (4-1, 2.70 ERA), among the league leaders with a .185 opponent batting average, has provided a quality start in all seven of his outings.
The right-hander did not get a decision Tuesday as he allowed his fifth homer in three games and gave up three runs in six innings of a 5-4 win over Tampa Bay. He had won his previous seven starts in Cleveland.
Tomlin has won both times he's faced Seattle and surrendered three runs in each start, including April 10 as he went 6 2-3 innings in a 6-4 victory.
Pineda (4-2, 2.84) also has shown plenty of promise. The 22-year-old rookie right-hander has pitched at least six innings in all seven starts and has given up more than three runs only once.
However, he's served up three homers in his past two outings after not allowing one in his first five. Pineda surrendered four runs in seven innings of a 5-2 loss to Texas on May 4, then gave up three runs in six of a 7-6, 13-inning defeat to Baltimore on Tuesday.
He's never pitched against Cleveland, and he probably won't have to face Grady Sizemore.
The former All-Star was out of the lineup again Saturday after missing the previous three games with a bruised right knee, though he took batting practice indoors.
"Grady did OK," Acta said. "I don't think he can play Sunday, though."
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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