Mariners earn first extra-inning win, 2-1 over Twins
Ichiro drove in pinch-runner Ryan Langerhans to give Seattle a 2-1 win over the Twins. Seattle had been 0-6 in extra-inning games.
Seattle Times staff reporter
For the record
vs. AL West: 6-15
vs. L.A.: 2-4
vs. Oakland: 3-6
vs. Texas: 1-5
vs. AL East: 6-8
vs. AL Cent: 8-6
vs. NL: 1-2
vs. LHP: 6-11
vs. RHP: 15-20
Extra inngs.: 1-6
Wednesday's crowd: 20,414
Season total: 694,911
Biggest crowd: 45,876 (April 12)
Smallest crowd: 14,528 (April 19)
Average (28 dates): 24,818
2009 average (28 dates): 26,547
Ichiro wanted the final hit to go right to the numbers that honored his hero.
That the ball pretty much stopped right on the 24 drawn in the dirt to honor the retired Ken Griffey Jr. proved good enough.
Ichiro's single allowed Ryan Langerhans to score from second base and give the Mariners an emotional 2-1, 10-inning win over the Twins at Safeco Field.
"It's pretty befitting that we win on the day that Griffey retires," said Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, adding that a lot of players stated they wanted to get the victory for Junior. "It's a pretty special day for us to kind of give back a little bit."
Cliff Lee pitched eight solid innings, allowing only a solo home run to Michael Cuddyer in the seventh, to keep the Mariners in it. Seattle had scored in the fifth on a single and two steals by Milton Bradley, who then came home on a sacrifice fly by Casey Kotchman.
The score remained tied at 1-1 to the bottom of the 10th with Kotchman then singling with one out (Langerhans coming on as a pinch-runner) and Josh Wilson singling with two out.
Ichiro then fouled off six pitches from Twins reliever Jose Mijares with two strikes before lining one up the middle right to Griffey's number.
"I felt a special bond going to that direction," Ichiro said. "I wanted the ball to go through 24 but it didn't. But I think it has a special meaning, as well."
Twins second baseman Matt Tolbert got the ball and flipped to shortstop J.J. Hardy, and replays showed the Twins might have made the play. But umpire Dale Scott ruled that Wilson, sliding head first, beat the throw. Langerhans, never stopping, rounded third and beat the throw home for the winning run in Seattle's first extra-inning win this year in seven tries.
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