SEATTLE – Ken Griffey Jr. hit a three-run homer and Brandon Morrow allowed one hit over eight impressive innings, sending the Seattle Mariners to a 7-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
Griffey’s 629th career home run came in the first inning. Morrow (2-4) yielded only an infield single to Rajai Davis in the fourth.
Davis hit a high-hop grounder up the middle, and shortstop Josh Wilson ranged far to his left to snag the ball behind the bag. Wilson made a running, off-balance throw to first baseman Jack Hannahan, who scooped it on one bounce. But the speedy Davis clearly beat the throw.
Morrow threw 105 pitches in the longest start of his career. He tired in the eighth, issuing consecutive two-out walks to Eric Patterson and Travis Buck. Morrow then got Cliff Pennington on a fly to right.
Morrow also set a career high for strikeouts with nine. Previously, his best outing was his first career start on Sept. 5, 2008, when he held the New York Yankees to one hit over 72/3 innings in a 3-1 victory.
Shawn Kelley worked the ninth, allowing a two-out single to Landon Powell.
Griffey hit his second home run in two nights and his 18th this season. It traveled an estimated 421 feet to straightaway center, just his second to center field this season. The drive came off Gonzaga University product Clayton Mortensen (2-4), the 407th pitcher Griffey homered against in his career.
Mortensen, making his seventh big-league appearance, threw 55 pitches in his one inning plus three batters. The A’s acquired Mortensen from St. Louis this year.
Adam Moore, who entered in the second when catcher Kenji Johjima was removed after being hit on the left elbow with a pitch, had a solo shot in the fourth. It was his first career home run and he became the 22nd Mariners player to homer this season, a club record.
Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu, uncertain if Sunday’s game will be the final one for Griffey, is considering playing him in center.
“It would be nice to finish it that way,” Wakamatsu said. “But I want to honor his wishes, too.” Griffey hasn’t played in center field this season.
Mariners 7, Athletics 0
|Griffey Jr. dh||4||1||1||3||0||2||.215|
E—Pennington (7), Mortensen (1). LOB—Oakland 4, Seattle 7. 2B—Jo.Lopez (40), Hannahan (14). 3B—I.Suzuki (4), M.Saunders (3). HR—Griffey Jr. (18), off Mortensen; Moore (1), off Gray. RBIs—F.Gutierrez (67), Jo.Lopez (93), Griffey Jr. 3 (56), Moore (2), Hannahan (19). RLISP—Oakland 1 (Pennington); Seattle 4 (M.Saunders 2, Hannahan, Jo.Lopez). GIDP—Beltre. DP—Oakland 1 (M.Ellis, Pennington, D.Barton).
|Mortensen L, 2-4||1||8||6||6||0||0||7.81|
|Morrow W, 2-4||8||1||0||0||2||9||4.39|
IR-S—Kilby 1-0. HBP—by Mortensen (Johjima). WP—Morrow. T—2:40. A—16,930 (47,878).