SEATTLE (AP) -Mitch Talbot is hoping to finish the season with a flourish after going through a rough stretch the past two months.
Talbot pitched into the seventh inning to help the Cleveland Indians beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 on Saturday night.
``It was nice to see Talbot come back and have a good outing,' Indians manager Manny Acta said. ``He's been struggling a little bit since he came back from the DL and tonight he was very good. Threw a lot of first pitch strikes.'
Talbot (9-11) allowed an unearned run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings to pick up his first win since June 27. The right-hander was 0-5 with a 6.23 ERA in his previous nine starts.
Talbot was placed on the disabled list on July 30 with a back strain and had struggled since he returned three weeks ago. But the solid effort against the Mariners left him optimistic for the final part of the season.
``Just locating pitches,' Talbot said. ``Plain and simple. Executing pitches. I think I kept them off balance pretty well.'
Indians starters have allowed three runs or fewer in nine of the last 10 games.
``It was very nice to continue that especially because our bullpen was beat up in our last homestand,' Acta said. ``That helps those guys get back in order.'
Michael Brantley and Shin Soo-Choo each had two hits and drove in a run for the Indians. Travis Hafner and Asdrubal Cabrera had RBI singles.
Cleveland pushed across two runs in the third to take a 3-0 lead. Cabrera and Choo ended a run of four consecutive hits by the Tribe back-to-back RBI singles off David Pauley (2-7).
``That was story of the game,' Pauley said. ``Ground ball through the hole. Ground ball through the hole so sometimes, being a ground ball pitcher, they go to people and sometimes they don't.'
Brantley tacked on another run-scoring single in the fourth, driving in Jason Donald.
Ichiro Suzuki, Russell Branyan and Casey Kotchman had two hits apiece for Seattle. Suzuki singled in a run with two outs in the seventh and Branyan led off the eighth with his 22nd homer.
``It seemed like he got ahead of our guys,' Mariners manager Daren Brown said of Talbot. ``Stayed ahead and more that anything, kept the ball down. We didn't square up a lot of balls against him.'
Chris Perez struck out Matt Tuiasosopo with runners on second and third to end the eighth, then finished for his 18th save of the season. It was his fourth save of more than an inning.
``It felt good to get out of that jam in the eighth,' Perez said. ``Mitch pitched a great game and it would have been a shame if we blew it.'
NOTES: Mariners CF Franklin Gutierrez was scratched because of an illness. Michael Saunders replaced him in the starting lineup. ... Indians pitcher Justin Masterson will miss Sunday's start to attend to a family matter. Jeanmar Gomez will replace him.
The Associated Press News Service
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