06/20/08 10:30 PM ET
Riggleman wins managerial debut
Mariners score eight late runs to support bullpen, skipper
By Guy Curtright / Special to MLB.com
The lowest scoring team in the Majors suddenly found its missing offense on Friday night, making Jim Riggleman a winner in his first game as interim manager.
The Mariners tied a team record with eight doubles and ripped the faltering Atlanta Braves, 10-2, at Turner Field.
"Hopefully, this is something we can build on."
Seattle's 15 hits matched a season high, and its 10 runs were the most since May 12. Only twice in the 1-5 stretch that led to McLaren's firing on Thursday had the Mariners scored more than three runs.
"It indicates what we can be and hoped to be," Riggleman said.
But Riggleman wasn't taking any credit for the revived attack or the victory.
"It's still a night I feel for John," Riggleman said. "We just did the things he was preaching."
Seattle starter Erik Bedard had to leave with back spasms after three scoreless innings, and the Mariners trailed, 1-0, going to the sixth inning.
Then the Mariners' fortunes began to change.
After running themselves out of a scoring opportunity in the fifth, the Mariners tied the game an inning later. Jose Lopez led off with a double and scored on Adrian Beltre's double with one out.
Jeremy Reed put Seattle ahead with a pinch-hit double off Braves starter Jorge Campillo, who was replaced by Jeff Bennett after an intentional walk to Ichiro Suzuki.
Lopez greeted Bennett with an RBI single, and the third run of the inning scored on a sacrifice fly by Beltre.
"It got us going," Reed said of his double off Campillo's changeup on a hit-and-run. "He's tough, especially with all those pitches he throws."
Once the Mariners got into the Braves' bullpen, they really went to work.
Seattle scored five runs in the eighth inning off Will Ohman to put the victory away. Lopez had a three-run double, Ibanez an RBI double and Beltre a run-scoring single.
Lopez had three hits, including two doubles, and drove in four runs. Beltre had two hits and three RBIs after being robbed by Braves left fielder Omar Infante of a home run in his first at-bat.
Yuniesky Betancourt and Willie Bloomquist each had two hits, while Ibanez is now 16-for-42 during a 10-game hitting streak.
But the Mariners' victory wasn't just about hitting. The Seattle bullpen came through after Bedard had to leave early.
Six relievers allowed five hits and two runs over the final six innings. Ryan Rowland-Smith got the win, throwing 1 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.
The Mariners are still 26-47, but there were smiles in the clubhouse for a change.
"We need to change the way we've been thinking and use this as a catalyst," right fielder Suzuki, who had a hit and two walks, said through a translator.
"It's a little better feeling than what we've had lately," Riggleman added.
"But we've still go so many losses, we're not gong to get too excited about this."
Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.