June 26, 2012 in Sports

Ryan’s RBI single in eighth lifts Mariners

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Franklin Gutierrez’s RBI double in the third inning Tuesday gave Seattle a 1-0 lead.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE — Brendan Ryan hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to send the Seattle Mariners to a 3-2 win over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday night.

Mariners starter Jason Vargas matched a career high with 10 strikeouts in 6 2-3 innings. Charlie Furbush (4-1) earned the win with a scoreless eighth.

Casper Wells singled leading off the eighth against Jim Miller (2-1), who had given up only three earned runs in 23 2-3 innings coming into the game. Dustin Ackley struck out as Wells stole second, and Ryan lined an RBI single over leaping second baseman Jemile Weeks to score Wells.

Ryan is batting .323 with seven RBIs in his last 10 games.

Vargas pitched 6 2-3 innings for Seattle, allowing three hits and two earned runs. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a clean ninth inning to pick up his sixth save in seven tries.

Travis Blackley went seven innings for the A’s, giving up two runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Franklin Gutierrez’s third-inning drive to center field that hit the top of the wall scored Ackley and ended another ignominious Seattle offensive streak of 25 scoreless innings.

Prior to Gutierrez’s double, Seattle hadn’t scored since the fourth inning of Saturday night’s game in San Diego. The Mariners’ record for consecutive scoreless innings is 30, set last season when the team scored the fewest runs in the majors.

Cespedes hit his eighth home run when he smashed a line drive over the left-center fence in the seventh. It was the 21st home run allowed this season by Vargas, who gave up a career-high 22 last season.

Vargas was replaced by Brandon League after allowing a double to Seth Smith. League lost the lead when he gave up a single to Gomes. Derek Norris also singled before League retired Cliff Pennington to keep the game tied at 2.

Oakland put two runners on in the eighth when Furbush walked Weeks, then later intentionally walked Cespedes. Furbush struck out Brandon Inge to end the threat.

Ackley and Ichiro Suzuki singled ahead of Gutierrez’s double in the third. Kyle Seager drove in Suzuki with a sacrifice fly to put Seattle in front 2-0, but Gutierrez was thrown out at third when trying to tag and advance.

Vargas rolled through the first six innings. He struck out the side in the second and fifth, allowing just a hit. Vargas hit Gomes with an 0-2 pitch in the third, giving Oakland its first runner, and allowed his first hit in the fourth.

Blackley matched him following the bumpy third. He allowed just two runners over the next four innings — a walk to Wells and a single by Suzuki — before covering first on a groundout to end the seventh.

Vargas faced the minimum through the first three innings, pumping in strikes. Of his first 34 pitches, 26 were strikes.

Vargas combined with Monday’s starter, Erasmo Ramirez, to become the first Seattle duo to strikeout 10-plus batters in consecutive outings since Paul Abbott and Freddy Garcia in August 1999.

Blackley’s last start at Safeco Field was July 21, 2004, when he was pitching for the Mariners and faced the A’s. He received a no-decision.

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