Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners run the streak out to seven

The Seattle Mariners  have been a young team all season, but got younger 10 days ago when they traded Ichiro Suzuki, then again when they swapped Brandon League two days ago.

It's starting to show - in ways that should make any Mariners fan smile.

Not long after Seattle dispatched Toronto tonight, 5-3, closer Tom Wilhelmsen was shouting in the clubhouse: 'Who's the best team in baseball.'

And when someone inevitably said 'We are,' Wilhelmsen would nod and say 'Damned right.'

Ah, youth. The excitement may be more underdtandable when put in context. The last time the Mariners won serven consecutive games was June 23-July 1, when they won eight in a row - after which, then-manager Mike Hargrove resigned.

The man who beat the Blue Jays in this game, Blake Beavan? He was in high school that year.

The newest addition to the team, outfielder Eric Thames, made his first start in a Seattle uniform, then hit a game-tying, two-out, two strike pitch over the center field wall.

“I was trying not to strike out,” deadpanned Thames. “I had two strikes and Carlos (Villanueva) threw me a slider. I went down and got it.”

At the moment, given an Atlanta loss tonight, the Mariners have baseball's longest current winning streak.  Beavan, who went 7 2/3 innings, is now 4-0 with a 3.18 earned run average in four starts since being called up.

More impressive, perhaps, he's worked 28 1/3 innings, struck out 18 batters and walked ... one.

“I’ve found a rhythm my last few starts and tried to stay with it,” Beavan said. “They were real aggressive with fastballs early in the count – they hit two solo home runs – so I started mixing in more breaking pitches and they had more trouble.

“We’ve got a lot of momentum going right now. My mentality going out there is that no one can hit me. When I go out thinking that, my stuff plays better.”

John Jaso snapped the tie with a two-out single in the sixth inning, pushing home Michael Saunders, who had doubled. Seattle added an insurance run in the seventh on a two-out bloop single from Dustin Ackley.

Rule 5 rookie Lucas Luetge got the final out of the eighth inning, Wilhelmsen got all three in the ninth and the Mariners had won four of their last five series.

Now they'll see how the streak plays on Broadway, or at least the Bronx, when they play the New York Yankees on Friday.

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