SEATTLE (AP)—Those free-swinging, home run-slugging Florida Marlins actually have a patient side, however rare its appearance.
But it was the Marlins’ season-high 10 walks that left them chuckling in the dugout about the unlikely effort from a group averaging only three walks per game this season.
“Very uncharacteristic. We were actually laughing about that,” Uggla said. “Just one of those things. I guess everybody just had extra good eyes tonight.”
Uggla and his teammates could share a laugh after taking two of three in the interleague matchup, and winning their first road series since a sweep of the Washington Nationals from May 9-11.
While the walks were nice, it was again the long ball taking center stage. Jacobs ripped his 17th homer of the season in the third off Seattle starter R.A. Dickey, and Uggla followed in the sixth with his 21st, thudding off the out-of-town scoreboard behind the Marlins bullpen for a 7-2 lead.
The Marlins have 106 homers, three ahead of NL East rival Philadelphia. Uggla, who homered off Seattle’s Felix Hernandez on Tuesday night and claimed not to even see the pitch, said he saw the offering from Mariners reliever Ryan Rowland-Smith just fine.
“I pretty much closed my eyes and swung yesterday and got lucky,” Uggla said. “Today I felt like I was seeing the ball better and had a better approach.”
The two homers were plenty of offense for 21-year-old Florida starter Ryan Tucker, who held down the punchless Mariners in just his third start of the season. Tucker, who never pitched above Class A before this season, went a career-high six innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out four.
Tucker (2-1) was magnificent in his Marlins debut, giving up just one run and two hits in five innings against Cincinnati on June 8. Then was battered in his second start against Tampa Bay when he struggled to control his fastball.
Facing the light-hitting Mariners, Tucker allowed an RBI single to Raul Ibanez in the first, then scattered four hits over his final five innings. Jeremy Reed had a two-out RBI single in the fourth, but otherwise the Mariners did little against the hard-throwing right-hander.
“It gave me a lot of confidence to know I can face these lineups and get through them two or three times,” Tucker said. “As a starter that’s what I’m going to have to learn how to do, work through the game, work through situations as hitters come up. It helped my confidence a little bit getting through the sixth.”
Seattle was trying for consecutive wins for just the third time since mid-April when it won a season-best three straight.
Florida got to Dickey (1-3) early, as the journeyman knuckleballer struggled. Manager John McLaren said after the game that Dickey would get another starting chance, despite his second consecutive bad outing.
“Dickey had a tough time with his release point,” McLaren said. “He pitched out of a couple of jams, but it finally caught up with him.”
Dickey was moved into the starting rotation last week to face Washington, but was battered for seven runs and eight hits in 1 2-3 innings against the Nationals.
He didn’t fare much better versus Florida. Dickey gave up five runs on six hits and walked four batters in 3 2-3 innings. He left after a two-out walk to Jorge Cantu in the fourth, but Rowland-Smith couldn’t close the inning. Jacobs followed with an RBI single and consecutive walks forced home another run. Cantu also had an RBI single in the first and doubled ahead of Jacobs’ homer.
“They had a good approach,” Dickey said.
Rowland-Smith settled down in the fifth, but then allowed Uggla’s two-out shot in the sixth, moving Uggla one homer behind Philadelphia’s Chase Utley for the major league lead.
Dickey’s start was just his third of the season with the Mariners. He’s made seven starts at Triple-A Tacoma as well. … Florida improved to 25-6 when hitting at least two homers. … Injured Marlins OF Josh Willingham (back) could be ready to rejoin the team next week, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Willingham is on a rehab assignment with Double-A Carolina.