April 27, 2011 in Sports

M’s Bedard gets first win since June 2009

Associated Press
 
Paul Sancya photo

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Erik Bedard throws against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
(Full-size photo)

DETROIT — Erik Bedard pitched seven impressive innings for his first win since June 2009, and Justin Smoak homered and drove in a career-high five runs to help the Seattle Mariners rout the Detroit Tigers 10-1 on Wednesday night.

Smoak has homered in consecutive games after missing a week following the death of his father. His three-run shot in the first gave Seattle an early lead, and Bedard (1-4) made it hold up.

The Mariners broke it open with six runs in the ninth.

Bedard, who missed last season following shoulder surgery, allowed a run and five hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

Justin Verlander (2-3) allowed four runs — three earned — and five hits in six innings. He struck out eight and walked three.

Smoak homered Tuesday after coming back from the bereavement list, and he provided all the scoring Seattle would need Wednesday with an opposite-field shot off Verlander. The Mariners were already frustrated in the first after Chone Figgins was thrown out at the plate on Miguel Olivo’s single to left — replays appeared to show catcher Alex Avila missing the tag by a significant margin. After manager Eric Wedge came out to argue that call, Smoak stepped in and hit the ball over the wall in left-center, an estimated 405 feet.

It was Smoak’s fourth home run of the year and second from the left side of the plate. He entered the game 5 of 27 hitting left-handed.

Bedard missed last season after surgery on his throwing shoulder. His most recent win was June 7, 2009, against Minnesota.

He allowed a run in the bottom of the first on Miguel Cabrera’s RBI double, but that was it for the Tigers. Bedard struck out Austin Jackson with men on second and third to end the fifth.

He came out after the seventh, having thrown 88 pitches.

Seattle scored an unearned run in the fifth on Olivo’s sacrifice fly, which came after Verlander’s wild pickoff throw to second put runners at second and third.

The Mariners poured it on in the ninth. Ichiro Suzuki and Figgins hit RBI singles, and Smoak drove in two more runs with a single. Even Jack Cust — who had struck out his first four times up — hit an RBI double.

Figgins reached base five times — twice on errors, twice on singles and once on a walk.

Olivo had three hits bringing his season total to 15 — eight of which were against the Tigers.

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