Mariners 2, Athletics 0

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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Jarrod Washburn waited more than three weeks to get his first win. The timing couldn’t have been better, both for Washburn and the Seattle Mariners.

Washburn pitched a three-hitter for his third career shutout, outdueling Joe Blanton and leading the Seattle Mariners over the Oakland Athletics 2-0 Wednesday night.

“I was pretty locked in,” Washburn said. “It’s one of the best games I’ve ever pitched. I was by no means dominating, but I was able to make them mis-hit the ball.”

Washburn (1-2) struck out two and walked two in his first complete game since a rain-shortened, five-inning blanking of Kansas City for the Angels on July 3, 2005. His only other shutout was against the Chicago White Sox on July 7, 2004.

“It looked like he was pounding the corners, hitting the bottom of the zones,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “Not too many hitters’ pitches.”

Blanton (2-1) pitched a six-hitter for Oakland but gave up homers to Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima. Blanton threw 105 pitches, one more than Washburn. The game lasted 1 hour, 47 minutes, the quickest nine-inning game for the A’s since 1979.

“It really helps you get into a routine,” Blanton said. “At the same time, as soon as you sit down, you’re getting back up. It made for a quick game.”

Washburn was pitching after a rainout Tuesday in Texas pushed his start back a day. That’s been the norm this season for Washburn, who also had starts against Cleveland and Boston wiped out by weather.

Washburn, who had a 4.42 ERA in his previous three starts, retired 15 of his final 18 batters. He allowed just one runner to reach second and matched his low-hit complete game, set against the White Sox on May 8, 2001.

“He had that nasty changeup that was dominating and his command was great,” Johjima said through an interpreter. “His command was great. He was in a groove.”

After the first nine Oakland batters made out, Shannon Stewart singled to open the fourth. Eric Chavez singled with one out and Mike Piazza grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Washburn allowed only three other Oakland batters to reach base after that, on two walks and a ninth-inning single by Stewart.

Blanton struck out six and walked two for his fourth career complete game. He twice got Seattle to ground into inning-ending double plays but had nothing to show for his effort thanks to an Oakland offense that was shut out for the third time this season and the second by Seattle.

“We’re not swinging the bats well right now,” Chavez said. “Joe pitched well and we didn’t score any runs.”

Guillen hit a two-out homer in the second that bounced off the facing of the second deck. Johjima later homered leading off the eighth.

Seattle is 3-1 against the A’s this season and stopped its 10-game losing streak in Oakland.

Before the game, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez threw for 20 minutes before the game and reported no problems. Hernandez, on the disabled list with a strained right forearm, is on track to start May 4 against the Yankees in New York.

Notes

Oakland RHP Esteban Loaiza, on the DL since April 1 with spasms in his right shoulder, was cleared to resume throwing Wednesday. … A’s pitchers have not allowed a run in the first inning in all 21 games this season, an ongoing major league record, according to Elias Sports Bureau. … Oakland 1B/OF Nick Swisher (hamstring, ankle) did not play Wednesday and is day to day.

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