SEATTLE(AP) While the rest of
's Seattle teammates celebrated his three-run homer in the eighth inning against Texas on Thursday night, Mariners closer
stayed focused and in the moment.
''It was awesome. It was amazing, but I was already kind of throwing, just in case,'' said Aardsma, who worked the ninth inning
of the 3-1 victory over the Rangers for his 18th save. ''I can't enjoy it. I can't go out and celebrate it because I have
to get ready.
''It's kind of that negative point. I wish I could cheer and give high-fives like everyone else was, all my teammates. But
I have to do my job. I don't get to enjoy it until after the game.''
Aardsma had something else on his mind.
Just 24 hours earlier he had his second blown save of the season, allowing five runs without getting an out in a 5-3 loss
''He's a competitor. He wants the ball in his hand. You can't take that away from him,'' Seattle's Ken Griffey Jr. said. ''Yesterday
was yesterday. He's like anyone in the bullpen, half nuts, half crazy. He forgot about it. He had a job to do and he got it
, who had three hits to raise his major league-leading average to .361, opened the eighth with a single off C.J. Wilson (4-4).
After two outs, Griffey walked and Gutierrez launched a 1-0 fastball into the bleachers in center field.
''I wasn't sure if it was out, but I felt like I hit it good,'' said Gutierrez, who was given a curtain call. ''You never
know when you hit it to center field here. When I first hit it and saw it go out I was pretty excited. This was a great victory.
We have had some tough losses the last two games.''
(9-3), heading to his first All-Star game, went eight innings, allowing one run and three hits, striking out seven and walking
During the Mariners' half of the eighth inning, Hernandez sat on the bench with a towel over his head.
''I see it after the ball got out of the park,'' Hernandez said. ''It was a great win.''
Wilson, who had not given up a home run since June 4, said the pitch to Gutierrez ''was supposed to be down and away and it
cut back a little bit. It didn't have the action I wanted it - not in the right spot.''
, making his seventh major league start, went six innings, allowing four hits, walking three and striking out four.
The Mariners got a runner to second base three times against Hunter, but couldn't advance any of them. Their biggest threat
was in the second when Griffey opened with a walk and Gutierrez singled, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 12
lined out to right,
struck out and
Hernandez ran into his only trouble in the sixth. He retired the first two batters on three pitches, then
singled to center. On a 2-2 pitch to
, they pulled off a double steal. On the next pitch, Hernandez's fastball skipped into the dirt and off catcher
's glove for a wild pitch, allowing Kinsler to score.
''I thought we were set up perfectly with who we had in the game but we didn't get it done,'' Rangers manager
said. ''They won the game tonight. We didn't give it to them.''
said, given the chance, he wanted Aardsma in another save situation as soon as possible.
''He gave up (five) runs last night, but we put him right back on the horse and he gave us a 1-2-3 inning,'' he said. ''It
was great for him mentally and great for the team. This shows that he's for real.''
The Rangers had been 39-1 when leading after seven innings. This was the sixth time the Mariners have come back to win when
trailing after seven innings.
NOTES: The Mariners sent LHP
to Triple-A Tacoma to control his innings and refine his delivery. He was 3-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 11 starts. The club does
not need a fifth starter until July 25. ... INF
was called up to replace Vargas on the roster. He played third in Tacoma out of necessity. Wakamatsu will use him the DH against
left-handers and occasionally at first base. ... SS
, on a rehab assignment in Tacoma (hamstring), is expected to play one more game Friday and could be activated by the weekend.
... Texas 3B
had his third consecutive multihit game. ... Young is hitting .464 (13 of 28) against Seattle.