Ramirez's 2 HRs lift Tribe over Mariners

Ramirez's 2 HRs lift Tribe over Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Jose Ramirez slugged homers in his first two at-bats against Mariners lefty Wade Miley to give the Indians an early lead they kept intact in their 3-1 victory at Peoria Stadium on Sunday.

Ramirez hit his third homer of Cactus League play as the second batter of the game, and he added his fourth with a two-run shot in the third inning on a 2-and-0 changeup from Miley, who walked the utility player on four pitches his third time up.

"Geez. Those first two swings," Indians manager Terry Francona said of Ramirez. "They came off his bat so well. That's good to see. If you've got a guy that's coming in and playing, I don't know, three or four times a week, if he has the ability to change a game, that's really helpful."

TJ House, vying for a spot in the Indians' rotation, was very strong with four innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits, all singles.

"He was pretty good," Francona said. "He threw strikes at the bottom of the zone. I think he's still trying to find that breaking ball that he had before [his shoulder issues last year]. He threw a couple, but he kept them off the barrel and he stayed down. He did a good job."

Miley was making his third start of the spring and allowed three earned runs on four hits, two of them the homers by Ramirez. The two-run shot in the third was preceded by a leadoff double by Michael Martinez.

The Mariners scored a run in the seventh when Dae-Ho Lee was hit by a pitch, advanced on back-to-back passed balls by Guillermo Quiroz and scored on Daniel Robertson's single.

Sunday's game also marked the Tribe debut of Marlon Byrd, signed to a Minor League deal Friday. He went 0-for-3 but reached on an error in the first inning.

"I think it's too quick to make an evaluation," Francona said of Byrd. "We're just trying to let him get his legs under him. I thought he got down the line pretty good and everything. I think, watching him, you can tell he's a smart hitter, just because he's got so many at-bats under his belt."

It was the third straight loss for the Mariners, who managed just five singles and have one more game before their first off-day of the exhibition season, on Tuesday.

"We're scuffling right now," Mariners manager Scott Servais said.

"We've got a few guys that are running on fumes right now, and that does happen. Again, I thought our pitching was very good today. I've got to tip my hat. There were a couple of changeups that Wade left up, but he threw the ball well, [Mayckol] Guiape, [Steve] Cishek looked good again. We were really happy with our pitching."

Up next for Indians: With an off-day on Tuesday, the Indians are planning on playing most of their available regulars in Monday's 4:05 p.m. ET Cactus League clash with the rival White Sox at Goodyear Ballpark. Right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who has 10 strikeouts, no walks and a 2.00 ERA this spring, is scheduled to start and log four innings for Cleveland. The game will be available on MLB Network.

Up next for Mariners: In a matchup of Japanese right-handers, the Mariners' Hisashi Iwakuma will take on new Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda on Monday afternoon at Camelback Ranch in Glendale. Iwakuma has allowed five earned runs in 7 2/3 innings this spring after nearly signing with the Dodgers in the offseason and then returning to the Mariners.

John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.