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Originally published Sunday, August 31, 2014 at 8:09 PM

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No. 9 hitter Brad Miller gets things started for Mariners

Seattle’s scoring rallies Sunday afternoon began at the unlikeliest of sources: The No. 9 spot.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Seattle’s scoring rallies Sunday afternoon began at the unlikeliest of sources: The No. 9 spot.

Shortstop Brad Miller entered the game batting .198 but went 3 for 3 and scored two runs in Seattle’s 5-3 victory over the Nationals at Safeco Field.

“Brad had a huge day,” Seattle left fielder Dustin Ackley said. “He was a big reason for that whole game right there, us scoring runs, him getting it started.”

His hits sparked the Mariners’ opening rally in the third and the go-ahead one in the fifth.

Miller also contributed a key play in the field, gloving a sharp ground ball off the bat of Jayson Werth with the infield in and one out in the third. The out — plus Hisashi Iwakuma’s strikeout of Adam LaRoche one batter later — deflated a Nationals rally.

Mariners reliever Joe Beimel doesn’t have to look very far to see how much has changed since he made his major-league debut in 2001, a career that crossed 10 years of MLB service Saturday.

“It’s funny to look back at pictures of 2001 and see how young and innocent I looked,” Beimel said. “Now, I look in the mirror and look like a homeless person.”

Beimel has also made more practical tweaks over his 614 appearances.

“I’ve changed quite a few things mechanically, just the way that I pitch,” Beimel said. “It’d be nice if I could go back and have the stuff I had back then and be able to pitch the way that I do now. But that’s a part of the progress of growing and learning how to pitch at this level.”

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