CLEVELAND -- Bill Hall was worried about his timing. It could not have been more perfect.
Hall drove in two runs in his first game for the Seattle Mariners, helping rookie Luke French to a 9-4 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night."I hadn't played in a week-and-a-half and was wondering about my timing," said Hall, who was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.Hall started in left field and had two hits. He put Seattle ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in the second inning off David Huff (7-7). His sacrifice fly in a two-run third made it 3-1."Getting a hit in my first at-bat helped me forget about my timing," said Hall, who hit .201 in 76 games for Milwaukee. "I was able to be more relaxed."Jose Lopez hit a two-run homer and Russell Branyan and Josh Wilson had solo shots for Seattle, which won for the third time in eight games. The Mariners bounced back from a 7-6 loss in Detroit on Thursday in which they hit four homers, but blew a four-run lead. They also blew a lead in a loss to the Tigers on Tuesday."You come off a series like Detroit where you feel like you shortchanged yourself, to come right back out and play good baseball and swing the bats is nice to see," Mariners manager Dan Wakamatsu said.French (3-3) allowed three runs and eight hits over six innings to improve to 2-1 in four starts since being acquired July 31 as part of the deal that sent veteran pitcher Jarrod Washburn to Detroit. The left-hander walked three and struck out six."We had our fair share of hits, but couldn't get the big inning," Indians manager Eric Wedge said after Cleveland left nine men on base.The 23-year-old French worked out of jams in the second, fourth and fifth innings.After yielding an RBI single to Andy Marte that tied the score 1-1 in the second, French struck out Grady Sizemore with two on to thwart that rally. French fanned Marte with two on to get out of the fourth and got Jhonny Peralta to hit into an inning-ending double play after yielding an RBI single to Shin-Soo Choo in the fifth."From the first pitch tonight I felt like I was on my game," French said. "My slider was working. It was a little sharper tonight. I think I got five of my six strikeouts with the slider."French said he welcomed the Mariners' offensive outburst, but didn't take anything for granted."I always tell myself it's 0-0," French said. "When you get a couple runs early, sometimes you relax, but I've learned that doesn't work, so I think like it's 0-0 all the time."Marte and Choo both had two RBIs for Cleveland.Huff gave up five runs and six hits over 3 1/3 innings."He just didn't command the baseball and was out of whack all night," Wedge said of the rookie left-hander, who walked four without a strikeout. "He's still trying to figure out what he needs to do to be successful up here, but you can't be too complicated."Huff left after yielding Wilson's third homer of the season and a double to Ichiro Suzuki. Franklin Gutierrez greeted reliever Tomo Ohka with an RBI single and Lopez followed with his 17th homer for a 7-1 lead.All of Wilson's homers have come in his last eight games.Gutierrez had three hits and scored three runs. He is batting .355 with eight RBIs in eight games against the Indians, who traded him to Seattle in December.Branyan hit his 29th homer in the seventh to restore Seattle's five-run lead. He singled home Gutierrez in the ninth against Kerry Wood.
Cleveland is 14-3 since the All-Star break when scoring at least five runs but 3-12 when held to four or fewer. ... Seattle has scored 70 of its 491 total runs this season in the fourth inning. ... Suzuki has hit .350 (112 for 320) in his career against Cleveland. ... Seattle RHP Chris Jakubauskas has some shoulder soreness. "We're calling it an impingement," Wakamatsu said. "We'll know a lot more (Saturday). We're probably looking at three days, no longer than that. We'll play it by ear." ... Seattle SS Jack Wilson hasn't played since Aug. 12 because of a strained left hamstring. It's unlikely he will play this weekend. ... Former OF Joe Charboneau, the 1980 AL Rookie of the Year, signed autographs for fans as part of the Indians' Alumni Ambassador Program.