Mariners' bats take down Jays
Beltre, Sexson homer as offense catches fire
SEATTLE -- It was a strange scene on Wednesday at Safeco Field, as the Mariners put a big hurt on the Blue Jays' typically dependable starting pitcher, A.J. Burnett.
But what might have merited even more astonishment were the names of the players who were responsible for Burnett's early exit in what became a 7-4 Mariners victory.
Sure, Ichiro Suzuki got his two hits. And yes, thumpers Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre -- players who get paid to produce big -- each drilled home runs to delight the crowd of 33,629.
But the lesser-known Mariners also came up big against Burnett (2-4), who lasted all of four innings before leaving after allowing six runs -- five earned -- on 10 hits, tying his shortest outing of the season.
It was reserve catcher Rene Rivera, designated hitter Greg Dobbs and No. 9 hitter Adam Jones who were largely responsible for chasing Burnett.
"The top of the lineup is so productive that you don't want to get left out of the party," Dobbs said. "You want to contribute."
With the Mariners (49-52) already leading 2-0 in the first inning, Dobbs -- who was 0-for-3 since he was selected from Triple-A Tacoma on July 14 -- lined an RBI single to right field for a 3-0 lead.
Dobbs, who later added a single in the third inning, was in the starting lineup because the Mariners designated Carl Everett for assignment earlier in the day.
Rivera -- who usually only starts day games that follow night games -- got just enough of a Burnett pitch in the fourth inning to send it into the right-field corner for a double that scored Yuniesky Betancourt.
"It wasn't his night," Toronto manager John Gibbons said of Burnett. "He had trouble locating the ball, and [Seattle] came out firing. They came out aggressive, and they got some big hits."
The next batter after Rivera was Jones, the 20-year-old center fielder who is still learning the position and getting acclimated to Major League pitching. Try telling that to Burnett, as Jones lined a RBI double to right field for a 6-1 advantage.
"This is a team, we are all together and we pick each up other," Rivera said. "One through nine [hitters] -- everyone did a great job all the way through the lineup."
There were other sources of offense for the Mariners as well, namely Sexson and Beltre going deep in the same game for the fifth time this season. Seattle is 5-0 in those contests.
Mariners starter Jamie Moyer (6-9) got off to a rough start when he allowed a run on three hits in the first inning.
But Moyer settled down thereafter and didn't allow a run again until the sixth inning, which was his last inning.
"In his last couple of starts, his command and the location of his pitches weren't what we were used to seeing from Jamie," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "He settled down and did a good job."
But the biggest accomplishment of the night for Moyer might have been keeping the ball in Safeco Field.
Moyer didn't allow a home run for the first time since June 7 -- a span of seven starts that saw him allow 15 long balls, including five in his last start against Boston at Safeco Field.
"Early on, I didn't get ahead of the hitters, but I thought they gave me some good at-bats," Moyer said. "This was a nice win."
Moyer left in the sixth inning after allowing the first three hitters of the inning -- Vernon Wells (single), Troy Glaus (walk) and Lyle Overbay (single) -- to reach base. Overbay's single to right field drove in a run to cut the lead to 7-2.
Seattle reliever Julio Mateo -- pitching for the first time since blowing a save on Sunday -- allowed two of Moyer's runs to score in the inning as Bengie Molina had a sacrifice fly with another run scoring on Eric Hinske's fielder's choice.
The Blue Jays brought the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning when they loaded the bases, but rookie reliever Mark Lowe -- who hasn't allowed a run in seven appearance this season -- coaxed Reed Johnson to pound a fastball into the ground that became an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play.
"This kid has been golden each time we've brought him out," Hargrove said of the hard-throwing 23-year-old. "He throws the ball really well and throws strikes. He's been a huge boost for us."
Closer J.J. Putz then pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 20th save of the season, but not before Toronto (56-45) got consecutive singles from Aaron Hill and Wells to begin the inning.
Putz then struck out Glaus for the first out and did the same to Overbay when he couldn't check his swing with two strikes. Finally, Gregg Zaun flied out to left field to end the game.
The victory completed a 4-2 home stand against Boston and Toronto. The Mariners open a three-game series in Cleveland on Friday.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.