On the night the zeroes ended for the Seattle Mariners, two third-inning runs turned out not to be enough, so they pushed another home in the eighth inning to beat the Oakland Athletics, 3-2.
That qualified as an offensive explosion for a team that went 25 innings without scoring a run.
Jason Vargas went 6 2/3 innings and struck out 10 A’s, Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager pushed home the two early runs, but in the end it came down to the Mariners bullpen and an eighth-inning rally.
Casper Wells singled, stole second base and scored the tie-breaking run on a single by Brendan Ryan, he of the .182 batting average.
“We’ve really been struggling lately,” Ryan said. “At the plate, it seems to me like there are bodies everywhere. When you’re hitting .182, it seems like they’re catching everything.”
“I was pretty happy to see that ball hit grass,” he said.
Charlie Furbush pitched a shutout eighth inning and has now thrown 20 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings, the fourth-longest stretch by a reliever in franchise history. And once the Mariners had the lead, they went to Tom Wilhelmsen, who pushed his own scoreless streak to 15 2/3 innings and earned his sixth save.
The Mariners managed seven hits – six singles – but came away with their 32nd win of the season.
With his 10 strikeouts, Vargas joined Monday’s starter, Erasmo Ramirez, as the first Seattle starting pitchers to strike out 10 or more batters in consecutive games since Paul Abbott and Freddy Garcia did it Aug. 23-24, 1999.