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Mariners bounce Angels in 10th as Griffey returns to Seattle

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Ken Griffey Jr. had only one concern about his first Mariners home game in 10 years.

"Don't trip on the red carpet!"' the 39-year-old slugger said.

The Mariners rolled out that and much more for Griffey in their latest -- and perhaps loudest -- home opener since 1982.

 Eight Angels to attend Adenhart's private funeral

More strong starting pitching, this time from 2008 flop Carlos Silva, preceded Franklin Gutierrez's leadoff double in the 10th inning. Gutierrez then scored the winning run on a throwing error by pitcher Scot Shields, giving Seattle a 3-2 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday.

The surprising Mariners (6-2) are off to their best start since 2001, the last time they reached the playoffs. They have won five consecutive games, longer than any winning streak in 2008.

"It's more about the 25 guys in here, not just me. It just so happens for me it was my return, but we've got something special going on in here," Griffey said.

Baseball's active leader with 612 home runs went 1-for-3 with a walk in his first home game for the Mariners since Sept. 26, 1999.

Seattle remade itself last winter -- from first-time general manager Jack Zduriencik and his new scouting staff, through Don Wakamatsu, the first Asian-American manager in the major leagues, and new players such as Gutierrez. Playing his first game in Seattle since being acquired from Cleveland in December, the dynamic center fielder tracked down two more long drives, like Griffey used to do during the star's Gold Glove heyday here 15 years ago.

And for this game, anyway, Seattle felt like it did during the Mariners' highest times of a decade ago.

Griffey has the same parking spot and same corner locker inside "The House that Junior Built" that he had for half a season before Seattle granted his request and traded him to his hometown Cincinnati Reds nine years ago.

That house, Safeco Field, was sold out for just the second time in 12 months. It rocked when he was introduced before the game and again before he singled in his first at-bat -- "Why wouldn't I?" Griffey said, shrugging about the hit.

The stadium's public-address system blared the same Hip Hop Hooray song from Naughty By Nature that was Griffey's walk-up song during his first go-round here.

"When they called 'Ken Griffey Jr.!' I was still on the mound [in the bullpen], but I stopped to watch," Silva said of the pregame scene. "It was amazing. I never saw anything like that, that crowd, that intensity."

Seemingly every one of the 45,958 fans in attendance was standing for Griffey in the first inning, and he tipped his batting helmet to both sides of the stadium. Longtime team president Chuck Armstrong, instrumental in getting Griffey to return, also stood in his box high above home plate, pointing and marveling at a raucous scene that seemed almost unfathomable while last year's 101-loss season was mercifully ending.

This season's home opener didn't sell out until after Griffey signed in February.

Griffey, who was going to start in right field until his back stiffened, was the designated hitter. The only fielding Griffey did was catching the ceremonial first pitch from friend Harold Reynolds, a former Mariners Gold Glove second baseman who helped show the teenage Griffey around the major leagues beginning in 1989.

Gutierrez doubled off Shields (0-1) before Yuniesky Betancourt deftly dropped a sacrifice bunt near the third-base line. Shields fielded it cleanly but his hurried throw was well high and wide of first base.

The ball caromed off the railing at the box seats and down the right-field line. Gutierrez ran joyously home, holding the top of his batting helmet and bracing for the pounding he received near the plate from his new teammates.

Silva, a bust in 2008 to begin a $48 million, four-year contract, allowed only four hits and two runs in seven innings. His biggest mistake was a 3-1 fastball that Torii Hunter sent soaring just under the second deck beyond left field for a solo homer. That tied the game at 2 in the sixth.

The Angels left the bases loaded in the fifth and eighth. Roy Corcoran (1-0) escaped a jam in the 10th.

Seattle grabbed 1-0 and 2-1 leads early against Shane Loux, who took Nick Adenhart's turn in the rotation less than a week after the 22-year-old rookie was killed in an automobile accident that has left the Angels grieving. The Mariners held a moment of silence before the game for Adenhart, among others who have died recently in baseball.

"Every inning I thought about it. Every time I came back to the dugout I thought about it," Loux said. "It was more difficult than I thought."

The Angels hung Adenhart's No. 34 jersey in their dugout. After the game, Shields carried it back to the clubhouse. Each Angels player wore a No. 34 patch on his chest.

"Right over my heart, so it wasn't real tough to dig for inspiration," Loux said.

The 29-year-old allowed five hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings, his first start since Sept. 24, 2003, for Detroit at Kansas City.

Loux dressed four lockers to the right of Adenhart's, which had his jersey hanging over a bouquet of cream-colored roses.

Notes

  • Two of Hunter's three career hits off Silva are home runs, in 10 at-bats.
  • Mariners RF Ichiro Suzuki (bleeding ulcer) is expected to return from the disabled list Wednesday.
  • Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said LHP Darren Oliver is likely to start Saturday in Minnesota as a stopgap while the Angels continue to adjust the rotation without Adenhart.
 
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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M's fans give Ken Griffey Jr. a warm welcome in his first game back in Seattle.  (AP)
M's fans give Ken Griffey Jr. a warm welcome in his first game back in Seattle. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

C. Silva
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 1
K 4
Anaheim

T. Hunter
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B3010200 .273
Howie Kendrick, 2B3100015 .267
Bobby Abreu, LF5020001 .310
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4001101 .250
Torii Hunter, CF3111211 .238
Kendry Morales, 1B4000113 .259
Mike Napoli, C5000012 .286
Gary Matthews Jr., RF4010010 .200
Erick Aybar, SS4020000 .188
Totals3527265  
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (1, Silva), Erick Aybar (2, Silva)
HR - Torii Hunter (2, Silva)
SH - Howie Kendrick (1)
RBI - Vladimir Guerrero (3), Torii Hunter (3)
2-OUT RBI - Torii Hunter (1)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Gary Matthews Jr. 1
DP - Aybar-Kendrick-Morales
E - Scot Shields (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
Shane Loux 5.1522320 3.38
Darren Oliver 3100040 2.45
Scot Shields (L,0-1) 0.2110000 1.80
Pitches-Strikes - Shane Loux 80-45, Darren Oliver 40-31, Scot Shields 11-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shane Loux 9-3, Darren Oliver 3-2, Scot Shields 2-1
Batters Faced - Shane Loux 22, Darren Oliver 10, Scot Shields 4
Seattle Mariners
Endy Chavez, RF4021001 .394
Ronny Cedeno, LF3100112 .118
Ken Griffey Jr., DH3010110 .167
Adrian Beltre, 3B4001011 .233
Russell Branyan, 1B4010022 .280
Jose Lopez, 2B4000002 .200
Kenji Johjima, C4010000 .182
Franklin Gutierrez, CF2210110 .207
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3010001 .360
Totals3137236  
Batting
2B - Franklin Gutierrez (3, Shields)
SH - Franklin Gutierrez (3), Yuniesky Betancourt (1)
RBI - Endy Chavez (5), Adrian Beltre (4)
SB - Adrian Beltre (1, 2nd base off Loux/Napoli)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Beltre-J. Lopez-Branyan
Seattle Mariners
Carlos Silva 7422141 6.00
David Aardsma 1100200 0.00
Brandon Morrow 1100110 7.36
Roy Corcoran (W,1-0) 1100200 0.00
IBB - Guerrero by David Aardsma
HBP - Kendrick (by Carlos Silva)
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Silva 99-58, David Aardsma 23-13, Brandon Morrow 16-9, Roy Corcoran 15-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Silva 7-10, David Aardsma 1-2, Brandon Morrow 1-1, Roy Corcoran 2-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Silva 27, David Aardsma 6, Brandon Morrow 5, Roy Corcoran 5
Game Information
Attendance - 45958
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 48
Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Wally Bell, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Marvin Hudson