ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brandon Morrow impressed Mike Hargrove with his velocity in spring training so much, the rookie right-hander made the Seattle Mariners' pitching staff with no previous major league experience.
"I did it because he can throw a ball through a brick wall," Hargrove said. "He has an above-average slider and above-average split. It was a no-brainer."
Morrow earned his first major league victory -- and a shaving cream pie in the face from his teammates to celebrate -- after combining with J.J. Putz on 4 2/3 innings of one-hit, shutout relief as Seattle snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Morrow (1-0) pitched 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief in helping the Mariners to their first win since beating Texas at home on April 15. He featured a fastball clocked as high as 97 mph, so he didn't need to throw many off-speed pitches.
"I've gotten a few innings in so I wasn't nervous," said Morrow, drafted out of California last June with the No. 5 overall pick. "It was more of an adrenaline thing."
The Rangers tied it at 4 in the fifth against starter Cha Seung Baek, but Morrow struck out Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz with the bases loaded to keep the Mariners even.
Morrow struck out the side in the ninth inning against Texas on April 14, and Kinsler was one of them. Morrow remembered how he pitched to Kinsler in that game.
"I got him in Seattle with a fastball," said Morrow, who made his fifth big league appearance. "I don't know if he doesn't see the ball well out of my hand or what. I wasn't really thinking too much at that point. I was just rearing back and throwing."
Putz got the final four outs in order for his first save, leaving the tying run at second base in the eighth.
"Brandon Morrow picked us up just huge," Putz said. "His fastball was 96, 97 (mph). He was throwing strikes, he was pitching inside, he had everything going."
Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-5 with a three-run triple for the Mariners, and Jose Lopez had three hits for Seattle, which improved to 3-1 against Texas this season. The Mariners are 3-8 against the rest of the American League.
Hank Blalock had a two-run homer for Texas, which has lost four of six.
Seattle took a 5-4 lead in the seventh on Raul Ibanez's RBI groundout. Adrian Beltre and Jose Vidro hit consecutive singles off Kevin Millwood (2-3) to put runners on first and third. Ibanez then drove in Beltre with a sharply-hit grounder off reliever Ron Mahay.
Millwood allowed five runs and 10 hits in six-plus innings with five strikeouts and two walks.
"I felt great all night," Millwood said. "It was probably the best I've pitched all year. But a few balls fell in."
Lopez's fourth-inning based-loaded single just past a diving Kinsler at second base gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Millwood struck out the next hitter, Jamie Burke, but Suzuki cleared the bases with a triple into the right-field corner to give Seattle a 4-0 lead.
"Ichiro has been struggling in that situation but he was the old Ichiro when we needed him tonight," Putz said.
Millwood said the pitch to Ichiro was too good.
"I missed over the middle and he made me pay," Millwood.
Baek allowed one hit over the first three innings before the Rangers broke through in the fourth on Blalock's first homer of the season to pull Texas within 4-2.
Baek started the night with a 3-0 record and 0.83 ERA in three career starts against Texas, but was out of the game in the fifth. Baek, making his first start of the season, gave up four runs and eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Frank Catalanotto tripled in the fifth and scored on Michael Young's single to make it 4-3, then Sammy Sosa tied it for Texas with an RBI single to knock out Baek.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said he isn't panicking despite his team's slow offensive start. Texas is batting .230 as a team, with the big bats of Young (.165) and Mark Teixeira (.224) yet to get started at the plate.
"We've won eight games and we're not swinging the bats close to what we're capable of doing," Washington said. "They're trying to do more than what the situation dictates. But it'll click in. Those guys are upset because they care."
Morrow was making his fifth major league appearance. ... Rangers C Gerald Laird was 0-for-3 and is 1-for-34 in his last 10 games. Laird's batting average plunged to .098. ... Baek was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to make the start in place of Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day due to a strained muscle in his right arm. ... Three of Baek's six major league wins have been against the Rangers.