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“I’m trying to stay positive.”

Choo and Brantley also homered for the Indians, now a stunning 24-13 and believing they can stay in contention all season.

Justin Smoak hit a two-run homer for Seattle and Peguero hit his first major league homer, a 422-foot solo shot.

Although he did not admit it, the stoic-and-steady Wedge was probably stung by the loss.

He managed the Indians for seven seasons, guiding them through a tough rebuilding period and leading them to the AL Central title in 2007, when they missed the World Series by one win. Yet he was never embraced by Cleveland fans and fired after losing 97 games in 2009.

Fister was supposedly a break for the Indians, who have been facing some of the AL’s top pitchers recently. In 12 games leading into the series opener, Cleveland had gone against seven pitchers ranked in the top 20 in ERA in the league.

Fister looked as if he belonged there.

“He was outstanding,” Wedge said.

Other than giving up the homers, Fister was in command. He retired the side in order in four innings, and he faced only three batters in the second, when the Mariners turned a double play.

Down 2-1, the Mariners scored three in the seventh, highlighted by Smoak’s homer.

The Mariners didn’t hit anything hard for four-plus innings against Fausto Carmona, who didn’t allow a hit for the first 4 2-3 innings.

Peguero changed that in a hurry.

The free-swinging 24-year-old Dominican, whom the Mariners believe can one day be a slugger, drove Carmona’s first pitch deep into the seats in right. The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder showed good pop _ when he made contact _ in the minors, hitting 54 homers the past two seasons. However, he was strikeout prone, fanning 350 times the past two years.

“He’s a fine looking young player who will make some mistakes and come back from them,” said Wedge.

Choo gave Cleveland a 1-0 lead in the first with his fifth homer. Brantley’s homer made it 2-0 in the third.

Story Continues →