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Strong-armed Tigers throw out Mariners


Strong-armed Tigers throw out Mariners
Two throws decided Saturday night's game between Seattle and Detroit at Safeco Field.

That was hardly a shock. The game figured to come down to a couple of arms after neither starting pitcher allowed a run over the first five innings.

The surprise was whose arms made the difference in Detroit's 2-0 victory. While starters Erik Bedard of the Mariners and Edwin Jackson of the Tigers were impressive, two outfielders made the most important throws in this arms race.

Detroit center fielder Curtis Granderson got his man, throwing out Jose Lopez at the plate in the bottom of the fifth and squelching the Mariners' best scoring chance.

Ichiro's aim was off half an inning later when he tried to throw out Miguel Cabrera at home after a single. Ichiro's throw from right field was high and off line, skipping into a camera well. Not only was Cabrera safe, but a second Tigers run scored on the error.

"It was a tough play to make," Ichiro said afterward, according to translator Ken Barron. "But considering the speed of the runner, there was a possibility of getting him out."

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was asked if he would have preferred that Ichiro hit the cutoff man.

"I've seen him make some tremendous plays over his lifetime," Wakamatsu said. "He can really throw. Just, the ball got away from him, just happened to be high."

The Mariners stayed in the game because of sterling defense and strong starting pitching.

Adrian Beltre made a diving, backhanded stop behind third base in the second, throwing Marcus Thames out at first and saving a double. Left fielder Endy Chavez threw out Granderson at the plate in the bottom of the seventh.

The Mariners (9-4) had the tying run at the plate in the ninth, but Ken Griffey Jr. popped out to shortstop, Beltre lined out to left field and Mike Sweeney grounded out to third to end the game. The Mariners advanced only three runners as far as second base, and a crowd of 31,966 saw them get shut out for the first time this season.

Jackson (1-0) allowed five hits and struck out six in 7-2/3 innings. He didn't allow a run, but only because of Granderson's throw in the fifth, a wicked, no-hop strike from medium center field. Lopez was trying to tag up and score on Yuniesky Betancourt's one-out fly ball.

The Mariners only got one more runner in scoring position in the final four innings. Franklin Gutierrez advanced to second with one out in the sixth, but was left there.

Bedard didn't allow a run through five innings, stretching his scoreless-innings streak to 14.

"He just keeps getting better and better," Wakamatsu said. "He pitched well and gave us a chance to win."

Bedard (1-1) struck out eight and ranks second in the league with 23 strikeouts. The Mariners have scored a total of one run in the left-hander's past two starts, and Brandon Morrow blew a save in Bedard's first start of the season.

As well as Bedard pitched, Jackson might have been even better. He was certainly more efficient. Jackson threw 49 pitches through four innings, Bedard 69. The only Mariners hit in the first three innings was Chavez's first-inning double to right-center.

The only other Seattle runner in the first four innings was Griffey, who singled in the fourth before being erased when Beltre grounded into a double play.

Jackson left after 98 pitches. Mark Seay relieved him in the eighth, striking out Ichiro, the only batter he faced. It was the second time in the game Ichiro was called out on strikes.

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth and earned the save, his third of the season.

Danny O'Neil: 206-464-2364 or doneil@seattletimes.com

Today

Detroit @ Mariners , 1:10 p.m., FSN


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 21, 2009

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