Dodgers take series from Mariners with 8-2 victory
For the second time since six Mariners pitchers combined to no-hit the Dodgers on Friday night, Los Angeles put up eight runs and collected double-digit hits, defeating the Seattle Mariners 8-2 Sunday to win the three-game series.
The biggest of the Dodgers’ 11 hits was a grand slam by Andre Ethier in a six-run second inning. With a 3-2 count and two out, Ethier hit a pitch off M’s starter Blake Beavan 422 feet into the seats in right-center field.
“He’s a great hitter. Very consistent. He has a very good swing, (and was) able to do some damage with it,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He was ready to hit a fastball in his zone and that’s what he did.”
The grand slam gave the Dodgers a 6-1 lead and all but sealed their first series win against Seattle since July of 1999. The M’s had won four straight series against the Dodgers.
The six-run inning ended the game for Beavan (3-6), who was moved up in the rotation because of an injury to Felix Hernandez. It was the second straight rough outing for the right-hander, who gave up six runs and 10 hits to the Los Angeles Angels in his previous start on June 5.
“He was fine, he wasn’t on short rest,” Wedge said, noting the off day Thursday. “He’s a guy that just has to go out there and locate the baseball. (Beavan has to) use all of his pitches and do what he needs to do to execute pitches, and that’s just not what we’re seeing right now.”
Beavan said he’s making good pitches, but isn’t getting much luck.
“The last two games I thought I made a lot of good pitches and gave up some runs on good pitches,” he said. “Today, you know the grand slam, if I don’t walk two guys right there, make a pitch and get a call, (that) saves four runs.”
Wedge, Beavan and pitching coach Carl Willis all said Beavan tried to mix in more changeups during Sunday’s game. The biggest challenge in that process, Willis said, is confidence.
“I think the challenge is to trust it,” Willis said. “It’s just a matter of having confidence in that pitch to throw it when he needs to throw it.”
Most of the pitchers who followed Beavan to the mound fared better. Left-hander Charlie Furbush didn’t allow a hit and struck out three batters in 22⁄3 innings, the longest stint of any pitcher Wedge used. Furbush threw 32 pitches, 10 fewer than Beavan threw in the second inning alone.
Hisashi Iwakuma, who pitched the day before, threw 21⁄3 innings. He allowed one hit and struck out two. Lucas Luetge pitched a scoreless ninth, and has still not allowed a run in his first 23 major-league appearances, a Mariners record.
Former closer Brandon League allowed two runs and four hits in the eighth inning.
“I felt like Iwakuma and Furbush threw the ball very well today,” Wedge said. “It was nice to see Iwakuma come out and throw the ball the way he did after throwing yesterday as well.”
The Mariners gave the 34,807 fans in attendance hope early on when third baseman Kyle Seager hit a solo home run with two out in the bottom of the first to give Seattle a 1-0 lead. It was Seager’s 24th two-out RBI this season, which leads the American League. He trails only Ethier, who has an MLB-leading 29 after Sunday’s game.
But the Dodgers countered in the top of the second. Bobby Abreu led off the inning with a double, and scored on a single by Tony Gwynn Jr. Leadoff hitter Dee Gordon followed that with another RBI single, scoring ex-Mariner Adam Kennedy, who had walked.
On Gordon’s single, Seager cut off the throw home and dove toward third base to tag Gwynn. It appeared Seager got his man, but the ball rolled out of his glove.
“If I hold on to that ball, I think he’s out,” Seager said. “I believe I got to him before he got to the bag.”
Instead of recording the final out of the inning, the Mariners watched two batters later as Ethier came to the plate and hit the fourth grand slam of his career.
Those six runs were more than Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley (4-4) needed. He cruised through seven innings, striking out eight and allowing only one run and two hits. After a leadoff single by first baseman Justin Smoak in the second, the M’s didn’t get another hit until the eighth — another leadoff single by Smoak.
“He did a good job against us,” Wedge said of Billingsley, “but I didn’t feel like we did a very good job. Obviously, we’ve proven that we’re a lot better than that.”
The Mariners added their second run in the eighth when Smoak scored on an RBI double by Michael Saunders.
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