Seattle at Toronto

W: F. Hernandez (5-5) L: B. Ryan (1-3)
S: B. Morrow (1)
HR: SEA - None   TOR - None

M's Ibanez comes through in ninth to give Hernandez victory wire reports

TORONTO -- Ninth innings don't come much more eventful or nerve-racking than the one the Seattle Mariners overcame Wednesday.

Raul Ibanez singled home the go-ahead run with two out in the ninth, the Mariners lost their closer to injury and almost watched his replacement give up a winning home run before holding on to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1.

The win kept an eight-inning, eight-strikeout gem from Felix Hernandez from being wasted, too.

After closer J.J. Putz was forced out in the bottom of the ninth with a sore elbow, the Mariners watched anxiously as Brandon Morrow nailed down his first career save, but not until Ibanez ended it by catching Lyle Overbay's drive at the wall in left, stranding a runner at first.

Morrow's first thought was that he had surrendered a game-winning two-run homer.

"I almost had a heart attack out there after that," Morrow said. "I definitely thought it was gone. Raul kind of slowed up at the fence, and I thought he was just going to watch it fly over. It fell right into his glove. That was huge."

Ibanez said defensive positioning was key to making the play.

"We were playing deep, playing no doubles, and it was a good thing we were," Ibanez said. "If we're playing shallow or normal, that's a tough ball to catch. He hit it pretty well."

Seattle, which is 10-23 away from home, won a three-game road series for the first time since taking two of three at Tampa Bay, April 8-10. Seattle also swept two in Oakland, April 16-17.

"It's a real good win for us," manager John McLaren said. "I feel good for the guys. They played hard. Big Felix stepped up big time. That's as good an outing as he's had all year. He threw the ball extremely well."

Putz, who missed 18 games with sore ribs earlier this season, had to be replaced after walking Joe Inglett to begin the ninth.

McLaren said he noticed Putz grabbing his elbow and shaking his arm before sending trainer Rick Griffin to the mound.

"It sent a red flag up," McLaren said. "We're not going to take any chances. He was honest with us and said (the elbow) was barking."

Putz did not speak to reporters after the game, but sent word through a team official that he had not felt the pain before. He will update his condition before Seattle's next game, Friday at home against Washington.

Morrow said he preferred being called into a save situation with almost no time to prepare.

"It was better for me," he said. "I hadn't had a save before. If I knew I was going into a save situation, kind of thinking about it, maybe that would have amped me up a little more and I would have been erratic. Who knows what would have happened?"

The Mariners came back against Blue Jays closer B.J. Ryan (1-3). Ichiro Suzuki drew a one-out walk and stole second and third while Willie Bloomquist struck out. Miguel Cairo walked and took second on defensive indifference before Ibanez lined an RBI single to right, advancing to second as the throw went to the plate.

An irate Blue Jays manager John Gibbons came out after the play and both he and Ryan were ejected for arguing with plate umpire Andy Fletcher.

Catcher Rod Barajas said Fletcher's strike zone was inconsistent in the final inning.

"What you don't like to see is the strike zone change," Barajas said. "For me, from my at-bat to going behind the plate and working, it seemed like it changed a little in the ninth."

Both Ryan and the Blue Jays have struggled lately. Toronto has lost eight of 11, while Ryan is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA in five June appearances.

Hernandez (5-5) gave up one run and four hits in eight innings to win his third straight start. He walked one and struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 2.91.

"All my pitches were working unbelievably today," Hernandez said. "My changeup was unbelievable."

This one figured to be a low-scoring affair. Toronto right-hander Shaun Marcum came in tied with Cleveland's Cliff Lee for the AL ERA lead (2.52), while Hernandez entered tied for fourth with Toronto's Roy Halladay (3.07).

Marcum was especially sharp early, striking out seven of the first 11 batters he faced. He finished with nine strikeouts and allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.43.

"He had a good changeup," McLaren said. "He really had us off stride. I don't remember him throwing changeups like that."

Hernandez looked comfortable through the first three innings, but was touched for a run in the fourth. Inglett led off with a double down the first base line and went to third when right fielder Jeremy Reed mishandled the ball. Inglett scored one out later on Matt Stairs' RBI grounder.

Seattle survived a botched sacrifice to tie it in the seventh. Reed and Richie Sexson began the inning with singles, but Kenji Johjima popped his bunt attempt to catcher Curtis Thigpen, who doubled Reed off second base. Yuniesky Betancourt took Reed off the hook with an RBI triple.

Reed was yanked from Monday's game after being picked off second, but McLaren was more forgiving this time.

"That ball was in no-man's land," McLaren said. "You couldn't tell if it was going to bounce or not."


  • Toronto outfielder Alex Rios, who played Tuesday despite soreness in his back and groin, got the day off, as did third baseman Scott Rolen.
  • Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre was held out of the starting lineup but came on as a pinch hitter in the eighth.
  • Toronto second baseman Aaron Hill (concussion) has been symptom-free for the past three days. Hill, who was injured in a collision May 29 at Oakland, must be symptom-free for seven straight days before he can return.
Copyright 2017 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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Felix Hernandez strikes out eight in eight innings to even his record at 5-5.  (US Presswire)
Felix Hernandez strikes out eight in eight innings to even his record at 5-5. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game

S. Marcum
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 9

F. Hernandez
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 8

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3100221 .288
Willie Bloomquist, 3B-RF5000043 .152
Jose Vidro, DH3020100 .222
    Miguel Cairo, PR-DH0000100 .218
Raul Ibanez, LF5021001 .264
Jose Lopez, 2B5000026 .292
Jeremy Reed, RF3010000 .271
   a- Adrian Beltre, PH-3B0000100 .222
Richie Sexson, 1B3110120 .216
Kenji Johjima, C3010103 .226
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4011012 .284
a-walked for Reed in the 8th
3B - Yuniesky Betancourt (2, Marcum)
RBI - Raul Ibanez (40), Yuniesky Betancourt (22)
2-OUT RBI - Raul Ibanez (9), Yuniesky Betancourt (8)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki 2 (28, 2nd base off Ryan/Barajas, 3rd base off Ryan/Barajas), Miguel Cairo (2, 2nd base off Downs/Thigpen)
Team LOB - 12
DP - J. Lopez-Betancourt-Sexson
E - Jeremy Reed (2, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (W,5-5) 8410180 2.81
J.J. Putz0000100 5.21
Brandon Morrow (S,1) 1000020 1.00
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 97-67, J.J. Putz 7-3, Brandon Morrow 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 11-4
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 28, J.J. Putz 1, Brandon Morrow 3
Toronto Blue Jays
David Eckstein, SS4010000 .282
Joe Inglett, 2B3120100 .296
Vernon Wells, CF4000034 .289
Matt Stairs, DH3001113 .261
Lyle Overbay, 1B4000002 .264
Kevin Mench, LF3010000 .255
Brad Wilkerson, RF3000021 .239
Marco Scutaro, 3B3000010 .259
Curtis Thigpen, C2000020 .167
   a- Rod Barajas, PH-C1000010 .287
a-struck out for Thigpen in the 8th
2B - Joe Inglett 2 (3, Hernandez, Hernandez)
RBI - Matt Stairs (23)
Team LOB - 4
DP - Thigpen-Eckstein
Toronto Blue Jays
Shaun Marcum 7711290 2.43
Scott Downs 1000310 1.61
B.J. Ryan (L,1-3) 0.2111210 3.00
Shawn Camp 0.1000000 3.44
IBB - Suzuki by Shaun Marcum
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 97-62, Scott Downs 29-14, B.J. Ryan 26-12, Shawn Camp 4-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 7-4, B.J. Ryan 1-0
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 29, Scott Downs 6, B.J. Ryan 5, Shawn Camp 1
Game Information
Attendance - 35702
Game Time - 2:34
Temperature - 74
Umpires - Home - Andy Fletcher, First Base - Mike Reilly, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez