CLEVELAND — Corey Kluber is tough to beat most nights. When his team hits five solo home runs, the task is even more difficult.
Kluber (4-1) struck out 10 in 8-2/3 innings and the Cleveland Indians used a power barrage, including three homers in the first inning, to defeat the Seattle Mariners, 6-5, on Friday night (Saturday, Manila time).
"Obviously, the first time up the offense puts three on the board and they keep adding to it, it makes your job easier," Kluber said. "You have a cushion to work with."
Kluber reached double figures in strikeouts for the 41st time and avenged his only loss this season, when Nelson Cruz hit a two-run homer at Seattle on opening day in the Mariners' 2-1 win. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner left with a 6-2 lead after Kyle Seager's two-out single in the ninth, the Mariners' fourth hit.
Francisco Lindor, Michael Brantley and Edwin Encarnacion homered in the first, and Yonder Alonso and Yan Gomes hit consecutive drives in the sixth for a 6-0 lead against Erasmo Ramirez (0-2), who made his second start this season.
"I wanted to get on base, get the team going and find a way to help Kluber," Lindor said. "I drove the ball and it went out."
Seattle manager Scott Servais knew early on that his team had a difficult task.
"The story of the game was Kluber being real good again," he said. "When you're down 3-0 out of the chute against him, it's tough."
Brantley added a sacrifice fly in the third and hit the Indians' first triple this season in the fifth. Brantley and Lindor each had three hits.
Cody Allen gave up Mitch Haniger's single and Mike Zunino's three-run homer, then retired Ben Gamel on a lineout to Lindor.
Indians manager Terry Francona didn't want to pull his ace, but Haniger had hit a two-run homer in the seventh.
"I just thought, he was at 116, and a guy that's been pretty tough on him," Francona said in a reference to Kluber's pitch count. "The last thing you want is a guy to have to, not that he's not bearing down, to get pushed that late. That really wears on somebody, but of course, I wanted to leave him in."
Kluber was charged with three runs and walked three.
"I was definitely gassed at that point," he said
Ramirez, who began the season on the disabled list with a strained lat, has allowed seven home runs in 9-2/3 innings.
"These guys don't mess around," he said. "The bad news was their hits were way gone. All the pitches I threw down, they got."
On a night when the start was delayed by rain for 10 minutes, the Indians hit three homers in the first inning for the first time since Carlos Santana, Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall connected against the New York Yankees' Chad Green on July 8, 2016.
OF Jayson Werth would get a $1 million, one-year contract if added to Seattle's 40-man roster. He would earn a $150,000 bonus if he spends 100 days on the active major league roster or a major league disabled list.
GIVE IT A TOSS
Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward, the first-round draft picks of the Cleveland Browns, threw out ceremonial first pitches.
Mariners: OF Dee Gordon crashed into the center-field wall chasing Alonso's home run. Gordon finished the sixth inning, then was removed in the seventh with a sore knee. A postgame medical exam showed no damage.
Indians: LHP Andrew Miller (strained left hamstring) plans to throw off the mound at some point during his 10-day DL stint that began Thursday.
Mariners RHP Mike Leake (2-2, 6.59 ERA) starts Saturday against Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco (4-0, 2.31 ERA). Carrasco is 10-0 in 12 starts since losing to Kansas City on Aug. 27, the longest winning streak of his big league career.