Mariners 4, Twins 3
SEATTLE (AP)—Soft-spoken Edgar Martinez has a flair for the dramatic.
Martinez homered in his first game since announcing he will retire at the end of this season, and Gil Meche pitched two-hit ball for eight innings in the Seattle Mariners’ 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the Minnesota Twins.
“I was hoping to hit the ball hard somewhere,” Martinez said. “It just went out. It was a thrill for me.”
Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire was hoping Martinez’s retirement was immediate—not at the end of the season.
“When they announced he was retiring, I personally hoped that he retired,” Gardenhire said. “That way we wouldn’t have had to face him any more because he has done that to us many, many times.”
Bucky Jacobsen also homered for the last-place Mariners, back in Seattle after a 3-11 road trip.
The first-place Twins lost their third straight and fifth in six games.
Meche was outstanding in his third start for the Mariners since being called up from Triple-A Tacoma on July 30. A 15-game winner last season, he got his only other win with the Mariners this season on May 2 at Detroit.
Meche walked two and struck out seven in his 13th major league start of 2004.
“It felt real good,” Meche said. “I think it felt real good to everybody in here to get a win. Obviously for me, I hadn’t won a game in a long time. This is definitely what I’m looking to come back here and do.”
Regular closer Eddie Guardado has a torn rotator cuff in his pitching shoulder that probably will require season-ending surgery. The left-hander is expected to miss eight to 12 months, the Mariners said.
Seattle gave Meche a 4-0 lead in the first on two-run homers by Martinez and Jacobsen off Terry Mulholland (3-6).
The 41-year-old Martinez, who announced Monday that he will retire after his 18th major league season—all with Seattle—received a stirring standing ovation from the Safeco Field crowd of 36,290 before the game. His ninth homer of the year came after a single by Ichiro Suzuki.
“That was great,” Martinez said. “They’ve always been great to me. That was pretty amazing to me.”
The designated hitter connected on a 1-0 pitch from Mulholland for a 394-foot shot to left.
“I knew I hit it good. I thought it was going to go farther,” Martinez said.
But he wouldn’t promise Mariners fans that he’ll hit a homer in every remaining game.
“That doesn’t happen every night,” he said with a smile.
Jacobsen hit his seventh homer in 21 games after Bret Boone doubled.
“I was lucky Terry threw a pitch I could hit,” Jacobsen said. “I wasn’t going up there getting ready to take a whole bunch of pitches.”
Mulholland, making his sixth start of the season, pitched seven innings and gave up four runs and 10 hits. He pitched in relief in the 18th inning Sunday against Oakland.
Mulholland acknowledged he lost the game in the first inning.
“It’s a nine-inning ballgame,” he said. “You’ve got to play the first one before you play the other eight. Unfortunately, I didn’t play the first one very well tonight.”
The Twins got their fifth pinch-hit homer of the season. … It was Ford’s second career pinch-hit homer. … Boone has a 14-game hitting streak. … The Mariners committed an error to give them 65 for the season, the total they had in 2003 when they set a major league record with the fewest errors in a season. They won 93 games last season.