Mariners’ loss streak at 6 after another late loss

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CLEVELAND (AP) - Brandon League sat and stared into his locker in disbelief.

The Seattle Mariners‘ closer lost for the fourth time in five games this week. This time, it cost manager Eric Wedge a potentially sweet win in his homecoming to Cleveland.

Travis Hafner hit a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning off League (0-4) on Friday night, giving the Indians their latest dramatic win, 5-4 over the Mariners, who lost their sixth straight.

“You’ve got to feel for the guy,” Seattle starter Doug Fister said after pitching eight strong innings and leaving with a 4-2 lead. “It’s just unfortunate.”

League’s three previous losses all came in extra innings, Sunday at home to the Chicago White Sox, then Tuesday and Thursday in Baltimore.

“It’s been a tough stretch,” Wedge said. “League was one pitch from finishing it off. You have to handle it and be strong _ but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.”

Hafner belted an 0-1 pitch over the center-field fence for his first homer since April 17, sending a crowd of 33,774 into a frenzy.

Tony Sipp (2-0) pitched a perfect 1 1-3 innings for the win _ Cleveland’s ninth in its last at-bat. The Indians’ 15-4 home record is the best in baseball and their last five wins at Progressive Field have come on their final swing.

After Hafner was mobbed near home plate by his teammates, he leaped into second baseman Orlando Cabrera’s arms and the crowd sang “Cleveland Rocks” as fireworks exploded overhead.

Meanwhile the Mariners‘ trudged to their dugout after yet another punch-in-the-gut loss. They have lost three of their last four on walkoff hits.

Michael Brantley opened the Indians ninth with a double into the gap in left-center, and Asdrubal Cabrera followed with an RBI double over the head of rookie left fielder Carlos Peguero, who seemed to freeze on the liner right at him.

“The first one was a little bit tough and the second jumped off the bat and was flying,” Peguero said. “It was a very bad moment.”

Shin-Soo Choo’s groundout moved Cabrera to third, and he stayed there when Carlos Santana grounded out to second.

Up came Hafner, who had struck out looking in his previous at-bat in the seventh. He looked at a fastball for strike one before driving League’s second pitch over the wall.

“I tried to get another ground ball,” League said after gathering his thoughts. “I thought it was a good pitch, a two-seamer low, but he got under it.”

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