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Sunday, July 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fassero Masterful In M’S Win Seattle Left-Hander Puts Down 21 Straight In Extra-Inning Road Victory Over Red Sox

Larry Larue Tacoma News Tribune

By the time Jeff Fassero’s 115th pitch of the game became the 27th out of the day for the Boston Red Sox, the Seattle Mariners knew one thing Saturday.

They were still in a game they couldn’t have won a year ago - a game they could never have forced into extra innings.

One day after Randy Johnson beat Boston, 5-3, Fassero one-upped him with a masterful Fenway Park performance that sent the Mariners and Red Sox into the 10th inning tied at 1.

And in that 10th, with Fassero watching from the bench, Seattle rallied for four runs and won a pitching duel 5-1 - won with the kind of pitching the Mariners didn’t possess a year ago.

“You get the chance to take a game into extra innings when your offense scores one run and then you win it, that’s the mark of a championship team,” catcher Dan Wilson said. “We did that today, and we did it on the road.”

When the Mariners finished 4 games behind the Texas Rangers in the American West last season, it was despite a pitching staff that produced an earned run average of 5.21 and a starting rotation that pitched fewer innings than any in the league.

“We knew what we had to do this off-season and the front office got it done,” manager Lou Piniella said. “Nothing Fassero has done so far has surprised me. The man’s a professional - tough, competitive, gutty. Fassero can pitch.”

In hitter-friendly Fenway Park, the 34-year-old left-hander continued to serve notice that the transition from National League to American League seems not much of a step.

“Teams that don’t get me in the first three innings usually don’t get me,” Fassero said, his explanation as matter-of-fact as his style on the mound. “It usually takes me three innings to get into a rhythm. Today it took me three hitters.”

Boston pushed home a first-inning run on a sacrifice fly, but after No. 3 hitter Mo Vaughn’s single that inning, the Red Sox didn’t get another baserunner until there was one out in the eighth inning - Fassero retired 21 consecutive hitters.

“Did I notice? Yeah, but since they had a hit it wasn’t like it was a no-hitter,” Fassero said.

And it wasn’t as if he had a lead, either. Good as Fassero was, Boston’s John Wasdin was working in and out of small jams all afternoon, and the Mariners got to the eighth inning even.

Two base hits by Russ Davis and Alex Rodriguez in the third inning pushed home Seattle’s only run against Wasdin, and by the time Fassero’s 115th pitch became the third out in the bottom of the ninth inning, he hadn’t seen a lead yet.

“Whatever happened in the top of the 10th inning, he wasn’t going back out there,” Piniella said.

Turns out, he didn’t need to.

Wilson led off the 10th inning with a double, and when Davis put down a sacrifice bunt, pinch-runner Rich Amaral scored from second because reliever Jim Corsi threw the ball away for an error. Lee Tinsley singled, Joey Cora walked and Rodriguez pushed home an insurance run with a single.

Ken Griffey Jr., back in the lineup after missing a game with the flu, then took a fastball in the back from Pat Mahome, pushing home a third run, and Edgar Martinez hit a fly ball deep enough to get the last Seattle run in.

Piniella went to Norm Charlton, not for the save, but to give his closer work. Charlton retired the Sox in order, and Fassero was 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA and Seattle was 6-4 on the young season.

“You look at Randy and Jeff, you’ve got two pitchers who can dominate a team,” Piniella said. “When we get Scott Sanders squared away, get Jamie Moyer back in the rotation, this is going to be a damned good rotation.”

Fassero was as pleased with the nine innings as with the victory, he said.

“Randy and I talked about this the other day, about getting into the seventh, eighth, ninth innings and giving the bullpen a breather,” Fassero said. “We do that now, and in August - when we’re tired - the bullpen is going to have enough left to save us.”

Notes

A day after Randy Johnson faced the Red Sox, Boston third baseman Tim Naehring told reporters: “If I had to face Randy every day, I’d be an accountant.” … Nice ratios: Ken Griffey Jr. has nine extra-base hits among his first 14 hits - three doubles and six homers. And in his first 12 innings, Johnson has struck out 15 batters and walked just three.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 1

Seattle AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Cora 2b 3 1 0 0 2 0 .185 ARodriguez ss 5 0 2 2 0 0 .333 Griffey Jr cf 3 0 0 1 1 1 .424 EMartinez dh 3 0 1 1 1 0 .368 Buhner rf 5 0 0 0 0 2 .243 Sorrento 1b 4 0 0 0 0 2 .219 DaWilson c 4 0 1 0 0 0 .258 1-Amaral pr 0 1 0 0 0 0 .417 Marzano c 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 RDavis 3b 3 2 2 1 0 0 .333 Tinsley lf 4 1 1 0 0 0 .257 Totals 34 5 7 5 4 5

Boston AB R H BI BB SO Avg. Garciaparra ss 4 0 0 0 0 0 .271 JhValentin 2b 3 1 0 0 1 0 .233 MVaughn 1b 3 0 1 0 1 1 .257 Stanley dh 3 0 0 1 0 1 .174 Naehring 3b 4 0 0 0 0 1 .275 Cordero lf 4 0 0 0 0 0 .256 Pemberton rf 4 0 1 0 0 1 .143 Haselman c 3 0 0 0 0 1 .333 Mack cf 3 0 0 0 0 1 .273 Totals 31 1 2 1 2 6

Seattle 001 000 000 4 - 5

Boston 100 000 000 0 - 1

1-ran for Wilson in the 10th.

E-Naehring (3), Corsi (1). LOBSeattle 6, Boston 3. 2B-ARodriguez (6), EMartinez (5), DaWilson (4), RDavis 2 (3), Pemberton (1). RBIsARodriguez 2 (6), Griffey Jr (13), EMartinez (9), RDavis (4), Stanley (4). SB-Tinsley (1). CS- Cora (2). S-RDavis. SFEMartinez, Stanley. GIDPBuhner.

Runners left in scoring position-Seattle 3 (Griffey Jr, Sorrento, DaWilson); Boston 2 (Naehring, Mack).

Runners moved up-Tinsley.

DP-Boston 2 (JhValentin and Garciaparra), (Garciaparra, JhValentin and MVaughn).

Seattle IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Fassero W,2-0 9 2 1 1 2 6 111 2.45 Charlton 1 0 0 0 0 0 9 9.00

Boston IP H R ER BB SO NP ERA Wasdin 7 3 1 1 2 4 104 3.14 Trlicek 1 1 0 0 0 0 11 2.35 Hammond 1/3 0 0 0 1 0 6 7.71 Corsi L,0-1 2/3 3 4 4 1 1 26 33.75 Mahomes 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 6.23

Trlicek pitched to 1 batter in the 9th, Corsi pitched to 5 batters in the 10th.

Inherited runners-scored-Hammond 1-0, Corsi 2-0, Mahomes 3-2.

HBPby Mahomes (Griffey Jr). PB-DaWilson.

T-3:06. A-15,358 (33,925).

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