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Seattle (14-19) «21400000x7100

Balentien, Sexson help Mariners end five-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- John McLaren was being his usual, sunny self. The Seattle Mariners manager was encouraging Jarrod Washburn, saying he'd been pitching far better than his record indicated.

"I'm 1-4, Mac. I'm 1-4!" the left-hander growled back at McLaren last week, without cracking a smile.

A smile appeared Monday night -- for Washburn and his previously punchless offense.

Washburn (2-4) stifled Texas on just one hit through six innings before leaving with a calf injury, Wladimir Balentien and Richie Sexson homered to provide all the offense needed, and Seattle beat the Rangers 7-3 to end a five-game losing streak.

"It bothers me a lot. I hate losing," Washburn said about his bottom line, almost grunting after allowing three runs or fewer for the fifth time in seven starts. "Anytime you are 1-4 -- no matter how well you pitch -- it's still 1-4."

The left-hander doubled his win total by allowing four hits and three runs in six-plus innings against Texas. He struck out three and walked none.

Kevin Millwood (2-3) gave up nine hits and seven runs in three innings, his shortest start of the season, and lost his 10th consecutive road decision. That tied the Texas franchise record by Joe McClain of the Washington Senators from 1961-62.

At least Millwood is still on track for his next start Saturday against Oakland. McLain's brief career ended before he could stop his road losing streak.

"I didn't have an easy inning, period," Millwood said. "You miss over the plate all the time and that is what is going to happen."

Millwood has allowed 17 earned runs in his past 15 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two.

Texas was without Josh Hamilton, who was leading the major leagues with 33 RBI while starting every game. The center fielder did not start in what manager Ron Washington called "a mental break."

"No one expected him to play the whole month of April," Washington said of Hamilton, who won a game at Seattle last month with a home run in the ninth inning off closer J.J. Putz.

As good as Hamilton has been, he probably couldn't have produced the touchdown that Texas needed against Washburn after six innings.

Washburn beat Texas for the first time in three years, a run of 10 starts. And it was his first home win in 11 months -- one which kept the disappointing Mariners out of last place in the AL West they had planned on winning this season.

"Hopefully, we can get this thing started. Right now, our goal is to get to .500," McLaren said with sobering realism.

Washburn called the night, "a step in the right direction."

A painful step. Washburn had a 7-0 lead and had allowed just two baserunners entering the seventh despite feeling a familiar tug in his calf while warming up before the game. He bulled through, relying mostly on fastballs. He advised pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre to watch that he wasn't changing his mechanics to compensate for the injury.

McLaren called the injury minor, adding trainers gave him belief that Washburn would make his next start.

Washburn was more cautious, because he's had this injury before. He missed the last two scheduled starts of 2006 with it.

"Hopefully, it's not as bad as a couple of years ago. It's in the same spot," he said. "We'll see."

After feeling what he called "a pop" on his last pitch of the sixth, Washburn gave up a single to Gerald Laird, a double to Michael Young and a two-run double to Milton Bradley in the seventh. He left the game after a brief mound consultation between McLaren, Stottlemyre and an assistant trainer.

Washburn waved to the crowd just before disappearing into the dugout, the third time in two weeks a Mariners starter left a game because of injury.

Brandon Boggs drove in Bradley with a groundout against reliever Sean Green to make it 7-3.

Sexson hit a solo home run, his seventh of the season, and Balentien hit a three-run homer off Millwood in the third to put the Mariners up 7-0. Balentien's was a no-doubt drive that banged off a fence and stairwell far above the Rangers' bullpen. It was the third home run in 22 major league at-bats for Balentien, who has started every game since Seattle recalled him April 30 from Triple-A Tacoma to replace released right fielder Brad Wilkerson.

Putz, an All-Star last season who has struggled with injuries and wildness lately, made his first appearance since blowing a save at Cleveland on Thursday. He allowed two hits in the ninth.

Notes

  • Millwood's last road win was June 17, 2007, at Cincinnati - 13 road starts ago.
  • Seattle had one hit in 21 at-bats with runners in scoring position in its previous four games. An RBI single by Jose Lopez and an RBI double by Raul Ibanez in the first made the Mariners 2-for-2 in such situations three batters into the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Jarrod Washburn earns his first home win  in 11 months and beats Texas for the first time in three years.  (AP)
Jarrod Washburn earns his first home win in 11 months and beats Texas for the first time in three years. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

R. Ibanez
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Texas

M. Bradley
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000012 .279
Gerald Laird, C4110010 .266
Michael Young, SS4120000 .302
Milton Bradley, RF4112001 .317
David Murphy, CF4010011 .268
Brandon Boggs, LF4001022 .333
Chris Shelton, 1B2000010 .067
   a- Frank Catalanotto, PH-1B2010002 .254
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH3000001 .250
German Duran, 3B2010010 .259
Totals3337307  
a-doubled for Shelton in the 7th
Batting
2B - Michael Young (10, Washburn), Milton Bradley (9, Washburn), David Murphy (12, Putz), Frank Catalanotto (6, Green)
RBI - Milton Bradley 2 (14), Brandon Boggs (3)
Team LOB - 4
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,2-3) 3977122 4.94
Josh Rupe 4100030 4.74
Eddie Guardado 1000010 3.60
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 76-52, Josh Rupe 41-28, Eddie Guardado 9-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 1-6, Josh Rupe 4-5
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 19, Josh Rupe 13, Eddie Guardado 3
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF4110002 .279
Jose Lopez, 2B4121000 .295
Raul Ibanez, LF4022002 .308
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000001 .274
Richie Sexson, 1B4111032 .216
Jeff Clement, DH3100121 .176
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000001 .279
Kenji Johjima, C4220000 .198
Wladimir Balentien, RF3123010 .238
Totals34710716  
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (4, Millwood), Raul Ibanez 2 (8, Millwood, Rupe)
HR - Richie Sexson (7, Millwood), Wladimir Balentien (2, Millwood)
RBI - Jose Lopez (18), Raul Ibanez 2 (23), Richie Sexson (18), Wladimir Balentien 3 (6)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (5), Wladimir Balentien 3 (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Betancourt-J. Lopez-Sexson
Seattle Mariners
Jarrod Washburn (W,2-4) 6433030 4.81
Sean Green 2100030 1.56
J.J. Putz 1200010 7.50
HBP - Duran (by Jarrod Washburn)
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 87-57, Sean Green 19-15, J.J. Putz 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 4-10, Sean Green 2-1
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 22, Sean Green 7, J.J. Putz 5
Game Information
Attendance - 16637
Game Time - 2:20
Temperature - 62
Umpires - Home - Rick Reed, First Base - Chad Fairchild, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Jeff Kellogg