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Mariners 3, Reds 1

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Left-hander Joe Saunders allowed one earned run in seven innings, and Nick Franklin and Justin Smoak homered to lift the Seattle Mariners to a 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon at Great American Ball Park.

Saunders (7-8) struck out two and did not walk a batter.

Tom Wilhelmsen needed just five pitches in a perfect ninth inning to pick up his 18th save.

For the third time in the series, the Mariners hit a home run in the first inning. For the second time, it came off the bat of Franklin, whose sixth home run of the season on a 1-2 pitch from Reds starter Bronson Arroyo put Seattle ahead 1-0.

The Mariners had runners on first and second with one out in the first, but Shin-Soo Choo's sliding catch of Endy Chavez's line drive ended the inning.

Seattle extended its lead in the third when Smoak launched a two-out, two-run homer to make the 3-0.

Arroyo (7-7) settled down after Smoak's home run, retiring 10 of the next 11 batters he faced. He gave up three earned runs and five hits, including two homers, in six innings. Arroyo walked one and struck out six.

Saunders retired 11 straight batters before Chris Heisey doubled in the fifth. He was efficient throughout the game, needing 83 pitches to get through six innings.

The Mariners missed a chance to extend their lead in the seventh when Dustin Ackley led off with a single and reached second on a sacrifice. He was left stranded when Alfredo Simon struck out Brad Miller and Franklin in succession.

Cincinnati got on the board in the seventh when Todd Frazier doubled and scored on Heisey's double to cut the Mariners' lead to 3-1. But the Seattle bullpen helped the Mariners maintain the lead.

NOTES: Reds manager Dusty Baker received a text message from National League All-Star manager Bruce Bochy saying Reds OFs Jay Bruce and Shin-Soo Choo and RHP Homer Bailey and Mat Latos were given "strong consideration" for the NL All-Star team. "It's a tough job," Baker said of being the ASG skipper. ... Seattle leads the majors with 22 home runs in the first inning. ... Seattle's Raul Ibanez extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a first-inning single. ... Arroyo moved into first place on the Reds' career list for home runs allowed with 236. ... Franklin's home run was just the second first-inning run allowed by Arroyo in his past 22 starts.
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