SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners need a consistent No. 2 starter behind ace Felix Hernandez. So far, it looks like Ryan Rowland-Smith might be up for the role.
The Australian left-hander pitched eight innings to lead the M’s to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night.
Rowland-Smith allowed nine hits and struck out two, punctuating his outing with an escape of a seventh-inning jam. The White Sox had runners on first and third with one out, but Rowland-Smith (4-3) retired Alex Rios and Jayson Nix.
After the game, Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu paid Rowland-Smith some high praise.
“He looked so polished tonight. I’m awfully proud of him,” Wakamatsu said. “This is his eighth quality start since he’s been back. He’s learning a knack to get deeper and deeper into ballgames.”
Rowland-Smith threw 116 pitches, but it didn’t take much for him to convince Wakamatsu to let him go out for the eighth inning, given the struggles in the Mariners’ bullpen.
Closer David Aardsma, who last pitched on Sept. 2, worked the ninth for his 35th save.
Ichiro Suzuki hit the first pitch of the game from Chicago starter Gavin Floyd (11-11) into the gap in left-center for a double. He scored on Jose Lopez’s double, one of three the Mariners hit in the first two innings.
The Mariners made it 3-0 with a sacrifice fly from Ryan Langerhans in the second.
Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson said after the game it would be a “10- to 15-day” situation with his bruised right heel. … The Mariners said they will monitor right-hander Ian Snell to see if he makes his next start as he recovers from a jammed wrist.
Mariners 4, White Sox 1
|Griffey Jr. dh||3||0||0||0||1||0||.217|
E—Beckham (13). LOB—Chicago 6, Seattle 6. 2B—I.Suzuki (30), Jo.Lopez (37), Johjima (9). HR—Beckham (12), off Rowland-Smith; Carp (1), off D.Carrasco. RBIs—Beckham (54), Jo.Lopez (88), Beltre (38), Carp (3), Langerhans (10). CS—Rios (4). SF—Langerhans. RLISP—Chicago 4 (Quentin, Podsednik, J.Nix 2); Seattle 3 (Griffey Jr. 2, Beltre). RMU—Quentin, Rios, F.Gutierrez, Jo.Lopez, Carp. GIDP—Quentin. DP—Seattle 1 (Jo.Wilson, Jo.Lopez, Carp).
|G.Floyd L, 11-11||3||4||3||3||1||1||4.06|
|Rowlnd-Smith W, 4-3||8||9||1||1||1||2||3.59|
|Aardsma S, 35-39||1||0||0||0||0||1||2.09|
PB—Pierzynski. T—2:11. A—16,596 (47,878).