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Saturday, June 17, 2006 - Page updated at 04:40 PM

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M's throw Meche over Bonds, Giants

The Associated Press

SEATTLE – Richie Sexson and Raul Ibanez each homered and Gil Meche held Barry Bonds without a home run in the Seattle Mariners' 8-1 win over San Francisco on Saturday.

Bonds had a seventh-inning double after grounding out and lining out against Meche. The sore-legged slugger jogged to second base on his double, but didn't limp as much as he did Friday night while chasing down a fly ball in left-center field.

He had homered in each of his previous two games to get within 37 home runs of Hank Aaron's major league home run record. Todd Greene pinch-hit for Bonds in the ninth.

Meche tossed his first complete game since a 2-0 win over Boston on Sept. 12, 2004. Since allowing a season-high six runs in a loss to Texas on May 30, Meche (7-4) has given up a total of four runs in three starts.

The key Saturday was getting ahead in counts. Meche threw first-pitch strikes to 21 of his first 29 batters. He only went to three-ball counts twice — on his only walk, to Randy Winn, leading off the game and before striking out Ray Durham in the seventh inning.

Ibanez had a season-high tying four RBIs, including a three-run home run in the eighth inning off Kevin Corriera, who relieved Jason Schmidt. Sexson's two-run homer off Schmidt in the second inning began the scoring as the Mariners won for the eighth time in 12 games since a six-game losing streak.

Schmidt (6-3) had his first subpar start in nearly two months, allowing a season-high six runs and nine hits in 6 1-3 innings. He was pitching before nearly 300 relatives, friends and Little League coaches from his native area of Kelso and Longview, Wash., about two hours to the south.

One out after Sexson's 250th home run, part-timer Jeremy Reed plopped a Schmidt slider over the right-field wall for a 3-0 lead. It was the first time since an opening day loss to San Diego that Schmidt had allowed two home runs in a start.

In the third, Jose Lopez singled with two out. Ibanez than hit another 94 mph fastball for a sharp double that made it 4-0.

Schmidt rebounded with more off-speed pitches until tiring in the seventh. Yuniesky Betancourt tripled off the left-field fence when Moises Alou jumped but missed reaching the ball with his glove. Betancourt scored one out later when Adrian Beltre doubled off Schmidt's 115th pitch before Correira relieved.

Schmidt struck out six and walked one. He had gone nine starts without allowing more than two runs, dating to April 21.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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