MIAMI (AP)—Aaron Sele was winded after racing home from second base in the seventh inning. It may have been the only time he exerted himself all night.
Sele needed only 77 pitches to get through seven innings, allowing five hits, and Randy Winn celebrated his 31st birthday with his first homer of the year to help the Seattle Mariners beat the struggling Florida Marlins 8-0 on Thursday night.
“I was tired, but it wasn’t the baserunning,” Sele said. “Ninety-seven percent humidity. I think the warmest weather we’ve seen in Seattle this year has been 58 degrees. The temperature was nice, but you sweat through four T-shirts. It just sucks the energy right out of you.”
If this is how Sele pitches without energy, the Marlins would hate to see him otherwise. Thanks in part to four double plays turned by the Mariners, no Florida baserunner advanced past first base in the game; team officials said that hadn’t happened since a 1-0 loss at Atlanta on Sept. 19, 2003.
“We got waxed,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “Their guy did a good job of keeping us off-balance. We couldn’t get anything going against him.”
Sele (5-5) won for the third time in his last four starts, and is clearly in his best groove of the season. He was 2-4 with a 6.31 ERA on May 10; in his five starts since, he’s 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA.
“The worm’s turned for him,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “Baseball’s a game of cycles, and position players have cycles they go through individually also. Right now, he’s got a good string going.”
Winn had two RBIs, as did Richie Sexson and Raul Ibanez—both of whom knocked in their runs in Seattle’s six-run seventh inning that knocked out Marlins starter Josh Beckett, who lost at home for the first time in six decisions this season.
Beckett (7-4), who’d allowed just one earned run entering the seventh, was tagged for six earned in what was his final inning. He allowed 10 hits, eight runs and seven earned runs—tying career highs in each of those categories— and his ERA rose from 2.58 to 3.13.
It was Florida’s sixth loss by eight runs or more this season, and the 12th defeat in the last 15 games for the last-place Marlins (29-28).
“We lost the game because of me,” Beckett said, “not because of anything else.”
Mike Lowell had two of Florida’s five hits.
Seattle opened the scoring in the fourth, when Sexson’s sharp single got past a diving Florida shortstop Alex Gonzalez and into center field—where it skipped away from Juan Pierre and kept rolling, allowing Winn to score from first for a 1-0 lead.
Winn, who was drafted in the third round by the Marlins 10 years ago, hit a leadoff homer in the sixth—just the third allowed by Beckett this season and the first for Winn in his last 276 at-bats. It helped set the tone for Seattle’s win, one that clinched the Mariners’ fourth straight series win.
“We always thought we could turn this around and start winning some ballgames,” Winn said. “We never got down. We just thought it would take some time. Now we’re playing some good baseball.”
In the seventh, the Mariners did all their scoring with two outs, including Winn’s single that brought Sele home. Ichiro Suzuki also had a run-scoring single, and Sexson and Ibanez had big hits later in the inning to increase Seattle’s margin.
Sexson’s double ended Beckett’s night; Ibanez hit the first offering from reliever Valerio de los Santos—who was making his Marlins’ debut—into center field for an 8-0 Mariners lead.
Suzuki was 1-for-5, drawing him within three hits of 1,000 in his Mariners’ career. … Pierre and Luis Castillo, two of the Marlins’ fastest players, both grounded into double plays. … Winn’s last road home run was on Aug. 21, 2004—a span of 46 games away from Safeco Field. … Beckett struck out six; he could have had seven. He lost a strikeout in the fifth inning, thanks to complicated Rule 10.17 (a)(4)—and his catcher, Paul Lo Duca. Sele popped a sacrifice bunt try softly in the air with two strikes; Lo Duca caught it barehanded. A ball bunted foul with two strikes is a third strike—but only if it isn’t caught by a fielder. … The first four Seattle batters of the game struck out, as did the last four.