Mariners Beat Toronto, Now Nipping at Angels Heels
TORONTO, Ontario - Now, the surprising Seattle Mariners are only one game behind the Los Angeles Angels in the American League West. Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer, Miguel Batista earned his 10th win and the Mariners beat the Blue Jays 4 to 2 tonight in the first game of a seven-game road trip to Toronto and Texas. The victory pushed the Mariners to a season-high 15 games over .500 at 54 and 39 on a night the Angels lost at Minnesota 7 to 5.
The Mariners and the Angels are even in the loss column. The Angels have a 36 and 39 record. Raul Ibanez and Jose Guillen hit consecutive RBI singles in the fifth for the Mariners. Batista won for the third time in four starts to improve his record to 10 and 7, allowing two runs and five hits over 5 2-3 innings.
Sean Green, Chris Reitsma and All-Star closer J.J. Putz pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings for the Mariners, with Putz working the ninth for his 29th save of the season and 31st save in a row dating back to last season. He extended his streak of scoreless innings to 22 and now has an 0.78 ERA this season.
Beltre erased the 1 to 0 deficit in the fourth inning when he followed a walk to Guillen with a home run to center, his 15th. The Mariners added two more runs in the fifth. Yuniesky Betancourt and Ichiro Suzuki walked, Jose Vidro sacrificed and Ibanez and Guillen hit successive RBI singles. The Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki was 1-for-3 and is 10 hits shy of 1,500 for his major league career that began in 2001 in Seattle.
The 33-year-old Suzuki played nine seasons of professional baseball in Japan. The Mariners face the Blue Jays tomorrow at 10:07 a.m., with right-hander Jeff Weaver scheduled to start against Toronto right-hander Josh Towers. Weaver has a 2 and 7 record, with a 6.82 ERA, while towers if 4 and 6, with a 5.40 ERA.