SEATTLE -- A little extra rest did wonders for Gil Meche and his balky back.
Meche got two extra days of rest for his sore back and responded with his first complete game since a 2-0 win over Boston on Sept. 12, 2004. He held Barry Bonds without a home run and San Francisco scoreless until the ninth inning.
"My fastball was jumping out of my hand like it hasn't all year," Meche said after holding the Giants to a Bonds double, Ray Durham's home run and three singles.
Meche (7-4) won for the sixth time in eight starts. He said his back tightened on a pitch in the eighth inning, but he had enough strength to pitch through it.
"It's all from the extra days off," he said. "It kind of makes me realize I don't need to throw every day between starts. Maybe I won't play catch tomorrow."
Bonds had a seventh-inning double after grounding out and lining out against Meche. The sore-legged designated hitter jogged to second base on his double, looking better than he did when he limped to a flyball in left-center Friday night.
Bonds had homered in each of his previous two games to get within 37 home runs of Hank Aaron's major league home run record. Todd Greene pinch hit for him in the ninth.
"It's fun, but it's an intimidating thing," Meche said of facing Bonds for the first time. "He's definitely a presence up there."
So was Ibanez. He tied a season high with four RBI, including a three-run homer in the eighth off Kevin Correia, who relieved Jason Schmidt. Sexson's two-run homer off Schmidt in the second inning began the scoring as the Mariners won for the eighth time in 12 games since a six-game losing streak.
Ibanez and his teammates only wanted to talk about Meche.
"Gil did a phenomenal job," Ibanez said.
"That's the most strike-throwing I've ever seen from him, and with all of his pitches," said Jeremy Reed, who got a good view of all the strikes from center field.
Meche threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of his 33 batters. He only went to three-ball counts twice -- on his only walk, to Randy Winn leading off the game, and before striking out Durham in the seventh.
"He was throwing his off-speed pitches for strikes in fastball counts," Durham said. "He was just on his game."
Since allowing a season-high six runs -- all in one inning -- during a loss to Texas on May 30, Meche (7-4) has given up a total of four runs in three starts.
Reed, who starts only against right-handed pitching, hit a home run off Schmidt one out after Sexson's 250th homer. That gave Meche a 3-0 lead.
Schmidt (6-3) had his first subpar start in nearly two months, allowing a season-high six runs and nine hits in 6 1/3 innings. He was pitching before nearly 300 relatives, friends and Little League coaches from Longview, Wash., the area where he grew up about two hours south of Seattle.
Ibanez doubled off another 94 mph fastball in the third to score Jose Lopez for 4-0 lead.
Schmidt rebounded with more off-speed pitches until tiring in the seventh. Yuniesky Betancourt tripled and scored one out later when Adrian Beltre hit Schmidt's 115th and final pitch for a double.
"The biggest thing today is I gave Meche the momentum early," said Schmidt, who said his high fastball to Sexson was his only mistake. "A three-run lead makes it easy."
Schmidt struck out six and walked one. He had gone nine starts without allowing more than two runs, dating to April 21.
|Richie Sexson has a lot of hands to slap in the dugout after hitting a homer in the second inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Randy Winn, RF||3||0||1||0||1||0||0||.268|
|Omar Vizquel, SS||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||.312|
|a- Jose Vizcaino, PH-SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.244|
|Ray Durham, 2B||4||1||2||1||0||2||1||.243|
|Barry Bonds, DH||3||0||1||0||0||0||2||.257|
|b- Todd Greene, PH-DH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.328|
|Moises Alou, LF||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.311|
|Jason Ellison, LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.225|
|Steve Finley, CF||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.259|
|Pedro Feliz, 3B||3||0||1||0||0||1||0||.280|
|Travis Ishikawa, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.292|
|Eliezer Alfonzo, C||3||0||0||0||0||1||1||.265|
|a-grounded out for Vizquel in the 8th|
|b-grounded out for Bonds in the 9th|
|2B - Barry Bonds (7, Meche)|
|HR - Ray Durham (6, Meche)|
|SH - Omar Vizquel (7)|
|RBI - Ray Durham (27)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|San Francisco Giants|
|Jason Schmidt (L,6-3)||6.1||9||6||6||1||6||2||2.84|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jason Schmidt 104-69, Kevin Correia 17-11, Jonathan Sanchez 17-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Schmidt 4-9, Kevin Correia 1-1, Jonathan Sanchez 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jason Schmidt 29, Kevin Correia 5, Jonathan Sanchez 4|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||5||0||1||0||0||1||2||.363|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||5||1||1||1||0||2||3||.235|
|Jose Lopez, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.278|
|Raul Ibanez, LF||4||2||3||4||0||0||0||.284|
|Mike Morse, LF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.400|
|Richie Sexson, 1B||3||1||1||2||1||1||0||.206|
|Roberto Petagine, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.167|
|Carl Everett, DH||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.245|
|Jeremy Reed, CF||4||1||1||1||0||1||1||.224|
|Rene Rivera, C||4||0||0||0||0||1||0||.121|
|Yuniesky Betancourt, SS||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||.293|
|2B - Adrian Beltre (10, Schmidt), Raul Ibanez (16, Schmidt)|
|3B - Yuniesky Betancourt (4, Schmidt)|
|HR - Raul Ibanez (13, Correia), Richie Sexson (11, Schmidt), Jeremy Reed (4, Schmidt)|
|RBI - Adrian Beltre (25), Raul Ibanez 4 (53), Richie Sexson 2 (45), Jeremy Reed (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (15)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Gil Meche (W,7-4)||9||5||1||1||1||7||1||4.10|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 102-70|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 11-9|
|Batters Faced - Gil Meche 33|
|Attendance - 45229|
|Game Time - 2:24|
|Temperature - 62|
|Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Wally Bell|