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TOR@SEA: Carp and Wells hit back-to-back home runs

SEATTLE -- There's something going on these days with the Mariners, something intriguing indeed, if you believe in the power of the young guns that have begun blazing in recent days.

On a night when Michael Pineda didn't have his best stuff, fellow Mariners rookies Mike Carp and Casper Wells got their teammate off the hook with a power display at Safeco Field in a 6-5 victory Monday over the Blue Jays.

Carp hit a pair of home runs and Wells smacked the go-ahead blast in the bottom of the eighth -- going back-to-back with Carp's second -- as the Mariners rallied for their third straight win.

"It's a lot of fun, just to show the fans in Seattle what we've got ahead of us in the next couple years," said Carp, who has been on fire since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma four weeks ago. "We've got a month and a half left and we're going to play some good ballgames. We've been playing pretty well, now we get a chance to show everybody what we've got building into next year."

It took Carp a while to get his shot with the Mariners, but the 25-year-old is looking like a guy who'd like to stick around for a while after ripping his fifth and sixth home runs and extending his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active run in the Majors.

His eighth-inning shot tied the game at 5 and Wells, acquired July 30 from the Tigers, followed with his fourth home run in his past five games at Safeco for the winning run.

"We're just feeding off each other," said Wells, now batting .359 in 11 games with Seattle. "Hitting is definitely contagious and when you feel comfortable at the plate, good things happen. We've got a lot of young guys that can mesh."

Carp also hit an opposite-field blast in the fourth inning and became the 14th Mariners rookie to hit two home runs in the same game. He is batting .371 with six home runs and 26 RBIs since being recalled on July 19.

Carp's tying shot in the eighth came on an 0-2 count against Jays reliever Trever Miller.

"I hung a breaking ball terribly bad," Miller said. "Probably one of the top five worst pitches I've thrown 0-2 in a game with a one-run lead. He did what you're supposed to do with that ball, put it in the seats."

The Mariners started six rookies and had big relief outings from two more first-year players in Tom Wilhelmsen and Dan Cortes. The late rally gave Wilhelmsen his first career win after he pitched a perfect eighth.

Cortes blanked Toronto in the sixth and seventh innings, and veteran closer Brandon League got his 30th save to help pick up Pineda, who gave up three home runs in his first rough outing of the season at Safeco.

Wilhelmsen, who worked as a bartender for four years in Tucson, Ariz., while he was out of baseball from 2004-08, said he didn't get a game ball afterward. He got something better.

"I got a nice beer shower," he said. "I've had beer spilled on me before, or thrown on me, or sprayed on me. But not like that. That was definitely the best."

Rookie left fielder Trayvon Robinson chipped in with a 3-for-4 night with a double, a run and an RBI.

"It's a good feeling," Robinson said of being part of the youth movement. "It makes it a little more comfortable, not being a really big veteran clubhouse. There's a lot of young guys in here."

The only Mariners youngster not wearing a broad smile was Pineda. The 22-year-old Dominican gave up a career-high three home runs and walked four in a five-inning outing that tied for his shortest home start this season.

Pineda had been 5-2 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts at Safeco, but he gave up a two-run blast to Eric Thames, the second batter he faced, in the first inning and then another two-run shot to Adam Lind that hit the top of the right-field wall in the third.

Blue Jays rookie third baseman Brett Lawrie finished the fireworks against Pineda with a home run leading off the fourth, but that was all Toronto got as Seattle's bullpen slammed the door.

"That was a tough night for Michael," said Mariners manager Eric Wedge. "He was very erratic tonight. He didn't have anywhere near the fastball command we've seen in the past."

The Mariners did some early damage of their own against Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez, a 21-year-old rookie making his second Major League start, scoring four runs in his five innings of work.

Three Seattle runs came across in the second, courtesy of a Robinson double, Jack Wilson single and Ichiro Suzuki sacrifice fly.

Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez continued his August revival, extending his hitting streak to eight games with a first-inning double. Gutierrez is batting .433 (13-for-30) over that span, raising his average from .194 to .223. Comments