Four-run 9th lifts M’s
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Ichiro Suzuki drove in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning with his third hit and Raul Ibanez had three RBIs as the Seattle Mariners beat Los Angeles 6-3 Saturday night, snapping the Angels’ three-game winning streak.
The Mariners scored four times in the ninth. Ichiro singled off Scot Shields (8-10), snapping a 2-all tie. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs had a run-scoring double and Ibanez added a two-run single to give Seattle a 6-2 lead.
J.J. Putz (5-5) gave up one hit in 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the win. Eddie Guardado allowed Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI double in the ninth before finishing it.
The Angels remained tied for first place in the A.L. West with Oakland, which lost 7-0 to the New York Yankees.
Los Angeles lefty Jarrod Washburn gave up one run and three hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking two.
Mariners starter Ryan Franklin allowed two runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
The Mariners tied the score 2-all in the eighth on an RBI single by Ibanez off reliever Brendan Donnelly, who gave up singles to three of the four batters he faced.
The Angels took a 2-1 lead on a fielder’s choice grounder by Guerrero in the third inning. They tied the game at 1 in the first on Darin Erstad’s single over the head of leaping first baseman Richie Sexson.
Seattle led 1-0 in the first on a sacrifice fly by Jamal Strong that scored Ichiro, who led off the game with a triple.
Washburn retired 10 consecutive batters before leaving and didn’t allow a hit after the third inning.
The Angels have been held to three runs or fewer in 12 of the last 17 games.
Piniella era over at Tampa Bay?
It looks like the Lou Piniella era is about to come to an end in Tampa Bay.
The St. Petersburg Times reported Wednesday that Piniella is expected to depart after the season as part of an overhaul of the failing franchise.
The impetus for the moves will be the transfer of control from managing general partner Vince Naimoli to Stuart Sternberg, which the Times reports will likely happen sometime after the end of the season.
If and when Sternberg, a New York investor who bought into the team in May 2004, takes over, a series of major changes is expected, including the departure of Piniella, the former Mariners manager, who is signed through 2006.
The Times said talks have already been held to discuss a negotiated settlement with Piniella that would allow him to work elsewhere or sit out the 2006 season. He is owed $4.4 million in 2006, plus $1.6 million in deferred payments.