Seattle—The Seattle Mariners have had their share of one-run games. Some good....some bad.
"They didn't warn me when I took the job there would be this many games this close," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu joked.
Ken Griffey Jr. drove in Ichiro Suzuki with a two-out double in the eighth inning and the Mariners edged the Minnesota Twins 2-1 on Saturday.
It was the major league-leading 27th one-run game for Seattle in just its 56th game overall. The Mariners have played six one-run games in the last week alone, going 3-3 to move to 15-12 in those contests.
"(It's) because we pitch so well. That's it," Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn said. "We're in every ballgame and the guy who takes the mound to start gives us a chance to win and the bullpen does it's job after that."
A day after his club-record 27-game hitting streak ended, Suzuki went 3 for 4 against the Twins, including a two-out RBI double in the fifth that tied it at 1.
Suzuki also sparked Seattle's winning rally in the eighth, chopping a leadoff single over the head of left-hander Sean Henn (0-1). Russell Branyan struck out and Adrian Beltre popped up before Griffey came up with his tiebreaking hit.
Wakamatsu opted to send the lefty-hitting Griffey to the plate against Henn and the Mariners star - hitting just .172 entering the day against southpaws - rewarded his faith with his 511th career double.
"You make a mistake they hit you. That's why he will be in the Hall of Fame," Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Washburn was largely responsible for the win even though he didn't get a decision. He threw six strong innings, giving up an RBI double to Mike Redmond in the fourth and striking out six.
Washburn also saved a run in the third when his wild pitch with the bases loaded caromed off the backstop and back to catcher Guillermo Quiroz. He hustled to the plate to take Quiroz's throw and tag out Delmon Young trying to score from third.
Washburn won his first three turns in the rotation but is 0-4 with a 3.65 ERA in eight games since his fast start. Seattle is 1-7 during his winless stretch.
"I don't care if I get the win or not. I like us to win," said Washburn, who allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one against the Twins. "I don't care if it's me, but it was getting pretty frustrating every time I pitch and we lose."
Chris Jakubauskas (4-5) got two outs in the eighth to earn the win. The Twins put runners on the corners with two out in the ninth against David Aardsma, who got Denard Span to ground out to finish his ninth save in 10 chances.
Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn also couldn't get any support, missing out on his fourth straight victory. He gave up one run and six hits in seven innings.
Franklin Gutierrez used his speed to help Seattle tie it in the fifth. He reached on an infield single with two out and scored without a throw when Suzuki hit one-hop double off the wall in right-center. Not surprisingly, it was the one pitch Blackburn wanted back.
"You've got to mix it up with him," Blackburn said of Suzuki. "I was trying to come inside with it and it didn't get all the way in."
Minnesota threatened in the seventh when Alexi Casilla doubled and went to third after second baseman Jose Lopez bobbled Span's one-hop line drive. Garrett Olson entered to face Joe Mauer and got the All-Star catcher to ground out. Notes: Seattle wore "Marineros" jerseys as part of "Salute to Latin American Baseball" day. ... Minnesota SS Brendan Harris extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to center in the second inning. ... Seattle LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith was supposed to make his first start since April on Thursday night in Baltimore but may be headed for another rehab start. Rowland-Smith gave up 12 runs and 14 hits Friday at Triple-A Tacoma. Wakamatsu said a decision would be made in the next day about Rowland-Smith's status.