|Seattle (43-70) «||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||x||3||6||0|
SEATTLE -- Daren Brown began his Monday boarding a 6:30 a.m. flight in Omaha, headed to manage the sunken Mariners.
The 43-year-old ended it by dutifully climbing into a laundry bin in Seattle and being rolled down a hallway by closer David Aardsma into his first major-league beer shower. He looked like an oversized baby in a stroller, smiling with his feet dangling over the front edge and arms over the sides.
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He celebrated like a man who had finally made it to the big leagues after 1,485 games managing in the minors -- and won.
"I told them I would do it," a grinning Brown said of submitting to the suds.
Last-place Seattle welcomed its new interim manager by getting its first triple play in 15 years in a 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics, on a night that was far more efficient and successful than the ones that got Don Wakamatsu fired hours earlier.
"If I was going to sit down and draw it up, that's how I would have done it," Brown said in his Oklahoman drawl, after moving up from Triple-A Tacoma earlier Monday.
He got the game ball from center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who caught the final out. It will be the first souvenir for Brown's new office, which was empty after Wakamatsu was forced to clear it out following one good season and about half a terrible one.
Brown became the 10th of Seattle's 17 managers to win their first game. Only one of the other 16 finished his Mariners tenure with a winning record: Lou Piniella.
Oakland remained flailing in the clutch while sliding back to eight games behind idle and first-place Texas in the AL West.
"It's definitely a frustrating loss, especially after seeing our friend get fired from that team," A's second baseman Mark Ellis said of Wakamatsu, Oakland's bench coach in 2008 who still keeps in regular contact with many A's players.
Brown, a 10-year veteran of Seattle's system, is the team's sixth manager in the eight seasons since Piniella left in 2002. He said he got word the Mariners were promoting him at 11:30 Central time Sunday night, following Tacoma's 12-inning victory at Omaha.
"Uh, I'm pretty tired," Brown said.
Aardsma didn't care. He said Brown was still due a traditional postgame celebration.
"It's sad to see 'Wak' go. We played ourselves into that position," Aardsma said after his 21st save in 25 chances. "But we got to start anew with 'Brownie.' "
"Brownie" looked tired while hanging on the padded dugout railing early on. But he and the rest of the 19,943 attending were awakened in the top of the fourth by Seattle's first triple play since July 13, 1995, against Toronto.
"I'd say we were due," Brown said dryly employing "we" with the Mariners for the first time.
Jose Lopez took a chopper by Ellis and immediately stepped on third base for a forceout. Lopez then threw to second base for a forceout there and Chone Figgins' throw to first baseman Casey Kotchman appeared to arrive at the same time as Ellis' foot hit the bag, but first base umpire Cory Blaser called Ellis out.
Ellis argued the call to no avail. Seattle's lead remained 2-0 -- and Oakland's string of consecutive hitless at-bats with runners in scoring position stayed on its way to 35.
The 5-4-3 play was the 10th triple putout for the Mariners, who began play in 1977. Doug Fister, Seattle's 26-year-old starter, said it was the first time he had ever been part of a triple play, dating through Little League.
Fister won for the first time in eight decisions and 12 starts, since May 14. He allowed seven hits and one run in six innings. He walked one and struck out five. Oakland's only damage off him was a single by Coco Crisp and a double by Rajai Davis to begin the sixth.
Seattle pitchers retired the final 12 A's batters to end it.
Touted outfielder Chris Carter became the last of Oakland's haul of six prospects received in the Dan Haren trade a couple of years ago to reach the major leagues. Carter went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts in his debut.
|Chone Figgins gets the out at second before going to first to complete the M's first triple play in 15 years. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Coco Crisp, CF||4||1||2||0||0||0||1||.264|
|Rajai Davis, RF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.278|
|Kurt Suzuki, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.254|
|Jack Cust, DH||4||0||2||0||0||2||1||.287|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B||3||0||0||0||1||0||2||.268|
|Mark Ellis, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||1||2||.259|
|Chris Carter, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||2||.000|
|Jeff Larish, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.154|
|Cliff Pennington, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.260|
|2B - Rajai Davis (20, Fister), Cliff Pennington (18, Fister)|
|RBI - Rajai Davis (37)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Outfield Assists - Coco Crisp 1|
|E - Kevin Kouzmanoff (10, Throwing)|
|Vin Mazzaro (L,6-4)||7||5||3||3||2||5||0||3.86|
|WP - Henry Rodriguez (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Vin Mazzaro 113-69, Jerry Blevins 3-2, Henry Rodriguez 7-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vin Mazzaro 11-6, Jerry Blevins 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Vin Mazzaro 29, Jerry Blevins 2, Henry Rodriguez 2|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.311|
|Chone Figgins, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.254|
|Casey Kotchman, 1B||4||1||0||0||0||0||2||.212|
|Russell Branyan, DH||3||1||1||0||1||1||1||.243|
|Michael Saunders, PR-DH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.234|
|Jose Lopez, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.239|
|Franklin Gutierrez, CF||3||1||1||1||1||2||1||.246|
|Ryan Langerhans, LF||2||0||1||0||0||1||2||.214|
|Adam Moore, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||2||.169|
|Josh Wilson, SS||2||0||0||1||0||2||0||.253|
|SF - Josh Wilson (1)|
|SH - Ryan Langerhans (1)|
|RBI - Jose Lopez (45), Franklin Gutierrez (46), Josh Wilson (17)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jose Lopez (19), Franklin Gutierrez (13)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Wilson-Figgins-Kotchman|
|Doug Fister (W,4-8)||6||7||1||1||1||5||0||3.86|
|Sean White (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||5.27|
|Brandon League (H,9)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.10|
|David Aardsma (S,21)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.34|
|Pitches-Strikes - Doug Fister 91-64, Sean White 10-7, Brandon League 10-7, David Aardsma 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Doug Fister 8-2, Sean White 1-1, Brandon League 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Doug Fister 23, Sean White 3, Brandon League 3, David Aardsma 3|
|Attendance - 19943|
|Game Time - 2:16|
|Temperature - 64|
|Umpires - Home - Jerry Meals, First Base - Cory Blaser, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott|