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Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2(10)


Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2(10)
TORONTO (AP) - At the end of an emotional day, the Seattle Mariners were finally able to have some fun.

Miguel Cairo's safety squeeze after Jason Frasor walked the bases loaded in the 10th inning gave the Mariners a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.

"It feels good," Seattle manager John McLaren said. "It's a big win for us."

The victory came hours after the slumping Mariners fired hitting coach Jeff Pentland and replaced him with Lee Elia, who had been serving as a consultant.

Losers of six of seven and 14 of 18 entering the game, Seattle held a 30-minute, closed-door meeting in their clubhouse before batting practice, during which McLaren tried to lighten the mood.

"We talked about several situations, everything that's going on," McLaren said. "I just emphasized to them that we need to get back to where we feel good about themselves and enjoy ourselves."

R.A. Dickey (1-1), who worked two scoreless innings for the win, said the pregame session relieved the "thick" sense of anxiety that had been hanging over the Mariners (23-41), owners of the worst record in the majors.

"It wasn't a brow beating," Dickey said. "I don't want to sound corny, but it was kind of a share your heart meeting. I can only speak for myself, but it made sense to me."

Frasor (1-1) walked Raul Ibanez leading off the 10th. Pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist stole second and Adrian Beltre struck out. Frasor then intentionally walked Jose Lopez and walked Wladimir Balentien to load the bases.

Brian Wolfe came on to face Cairo, who bunted back to the mound, scoring Bloomquist.

"That wasn't an easy pitch to bunt," McLaren said. "He's a gamer. When he plays, good things happen."

J.J. Putz twice loaded the bases in the 10th before finishing for his seventh save in 10 chances.

Afer Putz loaded the bases with no outs, Cairo helped turn a 3-2-3 double play on Lyle Overbay's grounder. Marco Scutaro walked to reload the bases, but David Eckstein flied out to center to end the game.

"There's something about winning that breeds a good feeling," Ibanez said. "It definitely lightens things up."

Being involved in two pivotal, late-game plays didn't bother the veteran Cairo.

"If you're afraid, you don't belong here," he said.

Toronto has lost seven of nine and is 2-6 in June after going 20-10 in May.

"If we're going to get to where we want to be, we've got to win these games," Eckstein said. "You never say it's too late, but we need to start winning."

Seattle wasted no time in jumping on Toronto right-hander Jesse Litsch. Ichiro Suzuki opened the game with a single and Jose Vidro homered into the second deck in right, his fourth of the year.

A shaky Litsch was lucky to avoid more damage over the next two innings. Left fielder Kevin Mench made a running catch on the warning track to rob Vidro and leave the bases loaded in the second. Center fielder Vernon Wells raced to the wall to make a fine catch on Richie Sexson's drive in the third, stranding runners at first and second.

"Those balls were hit right on the nose," McLaren said. "Sometimes that can come back and bite you later on in the game."

Toronto cut it to 2-1 in the fourth when Mench drew a two-out walk and scored on a double by Overbay, then tied it in the seventh when Eckstein scored on a throwing error by shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.

Both teams put the potential go-ahead run on third with two outs in the ninth, but neither was able to score. Vidro ended the top half by grounding into a fielder's choice and Scott Rolen grounded out in the bottom half.

Litsch allowed two runs in six innings and equaled a season high by giving up 10 hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Seattle left-hander Jarrod Washburn gave up one run and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out four.

Notes: Toronto OF Shannon Stewart (right ankle), who was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday, is likely to be sidelined for a while, general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. Stewart had an MRI on Monday, but no results were available. He sprained his ankle Saturday when he stepped awkwardly on first base. ... Ten of Seattle's last 11 homers have been solo shots.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: June 10, 2008

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