SEATTLE (AP)—Maybe Miguel Cairo is one of those players who was born ready.
The 34-year-old utilityman has built an 11-year major league career out of hard work and preparation. He said if he didn’t have his strong work ethic, “I’d be home (retired) already by now.”
He drove in the game’s first run with a two-out double off the wall in center field in the third after Dustin McGowan (6-7) had walked Ichiro Suzuki. Raul Ibanez followed with a run-scoring single to center that just eluded second baseman Marco Scutaro.
The Blue Jays tied the game on Adam Lind’s two-run homer in the fifth.
Yuniesky Betancourt reached on a one-out single in the bottom of the inning. Suzuki followed with a single and Cairo then hit McGowan’s first pitch into the gap in left-center as both runners scored easily.
“Miguel is just a real pro,” Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. “We needed to get him in there for some at-bats. He just went over and above for us tonight.
“His preparation every day is as if he’s going to play. He doesn’t take anything for granted. He may get a big at-bat or be called on to play defense but he’s always ready to go.”
Cairo’s two doubles doubled his season total to four. He has 10 RBIs.
Under previous manager John McLaren, Cairo was used mainly as a pinch-runner, defensive replacement at first, second and third, and as an occasional pinch-hitter. He had just 68 at-bats entering the game.
“You always have to be ready and prepared to play in the game, no matter what,” Cairo said. “You have to come to ballpark expecting to play, expecting to help the team. I always take pride in what I do. I always tell myself, ‘If they fire you, it’s not because you are lazy.”’
Jarrod Washburn (4-7) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four.
In his last seven starts, Washburn is 2-1 with a 2.98 ERA and four no-decisions.
“I feel good physically. Mechanically, I feel great,” Washburn said. “I’m making pitches. Guys are making plays behind me. Everything is working for us right now.”
The Mariners are 8-4 since Riggleman took over on June 20 and have won three straight series.
“We had the bases loaded, probably one hit away from breaking it open but it didn’t happen,” Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said. “I guess it was the Miguel Cairo show tonight, huh?”
“I felt more comfortable pitching to Barajas than Rolen. I kind of pitched around him and got the matchup I wanted,” Washburn said. “Then I made pitches. Sometimes you get the matchup you want and it doesn’t work out. I threw one of the better splits I’ve ever thrown (to strike out Barajas). Wish they all could be that good.”
The Blue Jays are 7-17 against left-hander starters, worst in the American League. They have lost 11 of their last 14 road games.
McGowan went six innings, allowing four runs and six hits with five strikeouts and a walk.
Lind has driven in five runs in his last two games in Seattle.
Suzuki, the two-time American League batting champion, had three hits to move his average to .301, the first time he has been above .300 since April 9.
Was he thinking about .300 before his final at-bat, an infield single?
“Yes, I did,” Suzuki said. “For me, .297 was a kind of wall so far. After I passed that, I thought .300 is the next (wall to pass).”
Riggleman said his three injured pitchers, Miguel Batista (back, ribs), J.J. Putz (elbow) and Felix Hernandez (ankle), are progressing well. He said Batista has recovered and was available to pitch Wednesday. There is no timetable for Putz, who is eligible to come of the DL any time, but he had a long throwing session before the game and reported no pain. Hernandez, eligible to come off the DL July 8, threw without pain before the game. “Right now, we would hope we can get an appearance before the All-Star break,” Riggleman said of Hernandez. “It’s looking more that way.” … Former Negro League player John ‘Mule’ Miles was honored before the game. The 86-year-old was taken by the Mariners as part of a ceremonial Negro League draft in which all 30 teams participated. “I’m glad the Seattle Mariners drafted me, 60 years too late,” he said. “But I’m present.” Miles was a third baseman and outfielder for the Chicago American Giants from 1946-49. In 1947, he homered in 11 straight games.