Olson gets first Majors 'W' with gutsy 10th

Reliever benefits from putout at home, escapes bases-loaded jam

Olson gets first Majors 'W' with gutsy 10th

OAKLAND -- Tyler Olson's first Major League victory might have been just a one-inning effort in relief, but it came with a highlight reel of adventures.

The Mariners rookie out of Gonzaga University needed help from his defense -- a relay throw to the plate by shortstop Brad Miller in time for what would have been the winning run for Oakland -- and then pitched his way out of a bases-loaded jam to send the game to the 11th inning.

From there, the Mariners scored the go-ahead run, and veteran closer Fernando Rodney slammed the door on Saturday's 5-4 victory, which will go into the books as Olson's win, since he was the pitcher of record when Seattle took the lead.

"It was an experience that I needed, just to show I can kind of bear through it," said Olson, making just his third MLB appearance since jumping from Double-A ball this spring. "I put myself in a jam by not getting ahead with first-pitch strikes. So having to battle through that showed myself a lot, that it doesn't really matter what situation I'm in. I can still fight through it."

The 25-year-old southpaw showed his manager a little something with the gutsy effort. With three veteran relievers -- Charlie Furbush, Yoervis Medina and Tom Wilhelmsen -- essentially off limits after extensive duty in Friday's 12-0 loss, manager Lloyd McClendon was living or dying with his rookie in the 10th, as no one was warming behind him.

"He continues to impress," McClendon said. "He's a cool customer. He doesn't get flustered. I thought he made quality pitches. He left one breaking ball up that was hooked foul, but his sinker was working great, and he just missed spotting a fastball on [Stephen] Vogt for strike three. He pitched extremely well. He deserved to win."

Olson wound up walking Vogt to load the bases, but then induced Marcus Semien into an inning-ending groundout. Equally big was the earlier relay throw to nail Zobrist at the plate.

"It was crazy, seeing the whole thing unfold," he said of the out on Ike Davis' double. "I saw where the runner was as the throw was coming in and I knew we had a shot. I was just glad we got it."

And in the end, Olson wound up as the winning pitcher for the team he used to drive over to see at Safeco Field from Spokane, Wash., as a kid growing up.

"First one, it's great," he said. "Hopefully more to come."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.