Mariners 4, Blue Jays 2

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SEATTLE (AP)—Gil Meche often threw better in his nearly two months without a victory than he did while ending his winless stretch against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.

The right-hander was just glad his 5 1-3 average innings against the Blue Jays finally resulted in his 10th victory.

Meche was backed by solo homers from Adrian Beltre and Raul Ibanez in the Mariners’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jays. Meche (10-8) was 0-4 with five no-decisions since a 5-3 win against the Blue Jays on July 14.

He threw well in his last three outings, pitching at least seven innings without getting a decision each time, and also grew weary thinking about his winless streak.

“Everybody can quit talking about it, and me, I can quit thinking about it,” Meche said.

He was solid early against the Blue Jays, keeping them hitless through three innings, then turned the game over to Seattle’s bullpen.

Five Mariners’ relievers then combined to throw 3 2-3 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and four baserunners. Two of those hits came in the ninth off closer J.J. Putz, who got Vernon Wells to fly out to deep center field to end the game. Putz picked up his 32nd save in 38 chances.

Beltre homered into the Mariners’ bullpen in the first and Ibanez hit a line-drive homer to right-center field leading off the third, as Seattle got all 12 of its hits in the first five innings.

Ibanez’s homer was his 27th of the season and Beltre’s his 17th. Wells hit his 32nd homer in the fourth, a two-run shot that accounted for Toronto’s runs. Both teams struggled with runners in scoring position, leaving a combined 22 runners on base.

“A lot of times when you burn runs like that … they come back to bite you,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said.

Meche gave up a single to Aaron Hill to start the fourth, followed by Wells’ homer to left field that pulled him within one of his career high of 33 in 2003. Meche worked out a two-out bases loaded jam in the fifth, and was removed with one out in the sixth after giving up singles to Lyle Overbay and Bengie Molina. Meche threw only 91 pitches, striking out seven and walking two.

Meche twisted his right ankle throwing his last warmup pitch before the start of the second inning. Hargrove thought the ankle might have been bothering Meche, but the righty said it wasn’t a problem and that his pitches simply weren’t as crisp as they were earlier in the game.

“The first three, four innings I felt great. I kind of hit a little wall and that’s probably why I got taken out so quick,” Meche said. “I was losing my stuff a little bit and we had the bullpen set up.”

Left-hander Eric O’Flaherty retired the only batter he faced. Righty Jon Huber walked pinch-hitter Gregg Zahn with two outs to load the bases, but struck out Russ Adams to end the threat.

“We had the right guys coming to the plate, but it didn’t happen,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

Huber, lefty George Sherrill and righty Joel Pineiro combined to throw the seventh and eighth before giving way to Putz.

Toronto starter Shaun Marcum (2-4) lasted just 2 2-3 innings for the second time in 12 starts. He was battered for nine hits, but managed to allow only three runs, as Seattle left six runners on base in the first three innings.

“I felt like I threw the ball OK. They had some hits that I thought were pretty good pitches,” Marcum said.

Seattle’s Chris Snelling snapped an 0-for-14 slump with an RBI single in the second that scored Kenji Johjima. Jose Lopez added an infield single in the fifth to score Richie Sexson, who led off with a double.


Seattle improved to 25-18 against the AL East this season, with its final game against the division coming Wednesday in the series finale. … Meche has a 1.98 ERA in his last four starts, lowering his season ERA to 4.28. … Toronto’s Frank Catalanotto started in right field for the first time this season. … Toronto 3B Troy Glaus was 0-for-4 and is 0-for-15 on the Blue Jays’ road trip.

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