Aaron Sele threw 6 2-3 strong innings and Pat Borders hit a rare homer to help the Mariners snap a seven-game road skid with a 3-2 win Saturday. Seattle, which concludes a six-game road trip, has not won a series away from home since taking two of three at Texas from April 26-28.
Borders hit the eventual game-winner with his first home run since July 16, 2004 and second since 2000. He was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on May 20 after being acquired from the Milwaukee organization.
The 42-year-old catcher, who began his major-league career in 1988 with Toronto, had his second hit in three games with Seattle, which had also lost four straight overall.
“I learned a long time ago that nothing surprises me in anything Pat does,” Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. “He’s just a little short of amazing in what he brings to the park.”
Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 and struck out twice Saturday. He is hitting .320 and has two hits in nine at-bats through the first two games of the series.
Suzuki led the majors with a .372 average last season, but hit just .281 (9-for-32) against Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays were the only AL opponent he hit less than .300 against in 2004.
Aubrey Huff homered for Tampa Bay, which had a four-game winning streak snapped.
“Momentum is how you play on a particular day,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “It’s how you play Monday, how you play Tuesday and how you play Wednesday. It’s not like football where you have all week to prepare. You just go out and play.”
Huff, who had 29 homers last season, hit his first since April 18. He had gone 114 at-bats before connecting for his third homer of the season.