Seattle bats come alive in win over Giants

Seattle bats come alive in win over Giants

Seattle bats come alive in win over Giants
SEATTLE -- Brendan Ryan had been waiting for this for a long time. Much like his entire Mariners team, Seattle's shortstop felt like his offensive game had been on ice before finally warming up in a 7-4 victory over the Giants on Saturday at Safeco Field.

Ryan's two-run single in the sixth inning ended an 0-for-18 slump of his own and helped push the Mariners over the top as they snapped a six-game losing streak during which they'd totaled just 13 runs.

"I'm going to be the greediest person in the show. I'll take every single one of them," Ryan said after he finished the night 2-for-3 with a bloop single in the eighth that raised his batting average to .165. "I'm glad the bat stayed in one piece because I'll be using it again tomorrow.

"It's just nice to get on base and contribute in some small way, other than defensively. One step at a time. Hopefully this will be a launching point. We'll see."

All the Mariners breathed a sigh of relief after a 12-hit night against San Francisco's Tim Lincecum and two Giants relievers, as they equaled their biggest scoring output at Safeco Field since a 7-0 win over the Twins on May 5.

Catcher Jesus Montero, who went 3-for-4 and joined Casper Wells with a solo home run in the first off Lincecum, said this was exactly what the Mariners needed to turn things back around after a rough stretch in their own park.

It was just the third time the Mariners have hit two home runs in a game at Safeco Field this season and the first since April 18 against Cleveland.

"Today was very nice. That's what we needed," said Montero. "Every time we play, we're fighting, but it's been hard. Seven in a row, I don't feel happy about that, you know? I was like, 'Let's go. Let's turn this up.' And we did. We did a nice job together."

Pinch-hitter Franklin Gutierrez's bases-loaded single behind the third-base bag, followed by Ryan's two-run base hit, pushed Seattle into a 7-4 lead in the sixth after Lincecum was knocked out of his hometown return.

Seattle's starter, Kevin Millwood, didn't have nearly the same fortune as in his last outing -- the combined no-hitter -- as he surrendered nine hits and four runs in five innings. But Seattle did win for the first time since Millwood and five relievers shut down the Dodgers on June 8.

Hisashi Iwakuma picked up his first Major League victory after replacing Millwood in the sixth and pitching a pair of hitless innings with one walk and two strikeouts. Charlie Furbush threw a perfect eighth to extend his scoreless streak to 13 1/3 innings and Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out for his fourth save.

"The Major League level is a different stage for me," said Iwakuma, who had 107 wins as a starter in Japan before earning a bullpen role this season in Seattle. "So whatever situation I have, this first win is very important and I'm very happy. But if I can help get a win for the starter, I'm even happier."

Manager Eric Wedge clearly has increasing confidence in Iwakuma, who is becoming a bigger part of the bullpen after being used sparingly early in the season.

"That was big tonight," said Wedge. "We've been kind of baby-stepping him a little bit, from what his role was at the beginning of the season to break him in and giving him some outings to having some time off and picking spots with him. He's done a great job.

"Now what you got is a guy that I think is comfortable and we feel comfortable with throwing into situations like we did tonight because he's going out there and pitching with confidence and executing pitches."

The Mariners jumped to a 2-0 lead with the first-inning home runs by Wells and Montero, then tied the game back up at 4 after the Giants got to Millwood for a pair of runs in both the third and fourth.

Montero ended Lincecum's night with a leadoff single in the sixth, then wound up scoring the go-ahead run after Michael Saunders and Dustin Ackley singled to load the bases and Gutierrez followed with his second RBI single since coming off the disabled list Wednesday.

Lincecum allowed five runs and five hits in five-plus innings. The two-time National League Cy Young Award winner is now 2-8 with a 6.19 ERA in a difficult season, but had given up just six home runs in 13 starts prior to the Mariners' first-inning jolts.

"It's hard to explain, because he is so good at times," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "Then he has his hiccup innings and has a tough time staying out of the big inning."

Wells launched a 2-1 fastball into the Giants' bullpen in left and Montero followed two batters later with a second-deck shot to left on a 1-2 changeup.

Wells has looked locked in at the plate since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Wednesday. He went 2-for-4 on Saturday and is 5-for-9 since rejoining the team. The home run was his second of the year and he lifted his batting average to .268.

Wells is hitting .346 (9-for-26) at Safeco Field, the only Mariners player batting above .240 at home this season.

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.