The Seattle Mariners are on the move, the Arizona Diamondbacks are in a free fall. So, of course, the Mariners rallied with two runs in the ninth inning to beat the beleaguered Diamondbacks 3-2 on Thursday night. Raul Ibanez hit a disputed homer and Kenji Johjima tripled to set up the go-ahead run. Yuniesky Betancourt's two-out single drove in pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist to give the Mariners their fifth consecutive victory and 10th in 12 games. Eddie Guardado (1-3) pitched a scoreless inning of relief to get the victory. J.J. Putz threw the ninth for his 14th save in 15 tries.
Second base Umpire Dale Scott, center, exchanges words with Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin, left, after throwing Melvin out of the game, for arguing a home run by Seattle Mariners Raul Ibanez, during the ninth inning of their baseball game, Thursday, June 29, 2006, in Phoenix.
The Diamondbacks have lost 20 of their last 23 games and finished the homestand 1-5. Enrique Gonzalez allowed three hits over seven innings and scored both Arizona runs to give Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead entering the ninth. But closer Jorge Julio (1-3) blew a save for the first time in seven tries, giving up the leadoff homer to Ibanez, his 17th, to tie it at 2. The 422-foot shot to straightaway center was initially ruled a triple, but after the umpires huddled, they decided it had it hit the wall above the home run line. Melvin was ejected for arguing the call, the third time he's been tossed in the last eight games. Although he acknowledged that it may have been a homer, he was upset that second base umpire Ron Kulpa was overruled. The homer came on a 3-1 pitch.
After one out, Johjima followed with his first major league triple, into the right field corner. Julio struck out Jeremy Reed, but Betancourt singled to center on the first pitch to put Seattle ahead. The blown lead spoiled a strong outing by Gonzalez, who has been called up from Triple-A Tucson twice this season. He gave up a triple to Adrian Beltre and an RBI infield single to Jose Lopez in the first, then shut down the Mariners on one hit over the next six innings. Seattle's Gil Meche allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits in seven innings. He struck out four and walked one, but balked to allow Gonzalez to score the tying run in the fifth.
Arizona went ahead 2-1 with an unearned in the fifth when Gonzalez reached on a two-out error by second baseman Lopez, who failed to backhand the sharp grounder. Craig Counsell walked, then Gonzalez scored from second on Eric Byrnes' single. Beltre doubled and tripled to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. His triple came with one out in the first, then he scored on Lopez's infield single, a play initially ruled an error on third baseman Chad Tracy. Gonzalez helped himself with his second big league single to lead off the third. Counsell singled, but was erased on a double play that sent Gonzalez to third. He scored on Meche's balk to make it 1-1.