CLEVELAND – Josh Bard celebrated his daughter’s fourth birthday in grand style.
Bard hit his first career grand slam and finished with four hits, powering the Seattle Mariners to a 9-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Saturday night.
“It was super exciting because it’s my daughter Hannah’s fourth birthday,” Bard said. “She told me to hit a home run. I got the ball and will give it to her.”
Bard fell a triple short of the cycle, lining out to left in the ninth inning.
“I want every hit, so I wanted that one for sure,” Bard said. “If I got a triple, they’d probably have to put me on the disabled list.”
The 32-year-old catcher has three triples and one stolen base in 550 games for five teams over nine seasons.
Jason Vargas (9-5) pitched seven innings for the Mariners and is 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his last three starts. Seattle improved to 4-1 since interim manager Daren Brown replaced the fired Dan Wakamatsu.
The Mariners posted consecutive road wins for the first time since June 29-30 at Yankee Stadium.
Mitch Talbot (8-10) and reliever Hector Ambriz gave up five runs and made 27 pitches before recording an out in the fifth inning. Russell Branyan gave Seattle a 3-2 lead when he lined Talbot’s first pitch of the fifth over the wall in left for his 15th homer and fifth since being traded by Cleveland to the Mariners on June 26 for two minor leaguers.
Seattle then loaded the bases on a single by Jose Lopez and consecutive errors by third baseman Andy Marte. Franklin Gutierrez reached when Marte was handcuffed by a hard-hit grounder that got past him. Next, Marte fielded a slow roller hit by Casey Kotchman, but the ball slipped out of his hands as he went to throw it.
Ambriz came on and Bard hit a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right.
Bard had a career-high five hits for San Diego in 2007. …. M’s outfielder Milton Bradley will have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday. Bradley hasn’t played since July 26. The team will wait for the results of the surgery before thinking about Bradley’s return.
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