CINCINNATI (AP) — To get ready for their interleague series, the Seattle Mariners read the scouting reports about Cincinnati’s bullpen and how it’s prone to giving up runs and leads. The first game followed the script.
Dae-Ho Lee’s bases-loaded single completed Seattle’s late rally against the major leagues’ worst bullpen on Friday night, and he later added a solo homer as the Mariners pulled away to an 8-3 victory over the Reds.
"They’ve struggled, no doubt," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You look at the scouting reports coming in. They’ve had a lot of injuries."
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Seattle opened a weekend dedicated to Ken Griffey Jr. by getting four runs in the seventh inning against a bullpen that has blown 10 of its 14 save chances. Overall, the Mariners piled up seven runs and two homers against Reds relievers over the last three innings.
"We’re having too many problems finding that magic potion to finish the ninth," manager Bryan Price said.
Blake Wood (3-1) relieved in the seventh and loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Wood walked Seth Smith to force in a run, and Tony Cingrani came on and hit Robinson Cano with his first pitch to tie it. Lee’s pinch-hit single with two outs knocked in the go-ahead runs.
Nelson Cruz and Lee homered in the ninth off Jumbo Diaz, the 35th and 36th homers allowed by Reds relievers this season. It was Cruz’s 250th career homer.
Hisashi Iwakuma (2-4) gave up three runs in six innings, including Zack Cozart’s solo homer.
Griffey grew up in Cincinnati and became a star with the Mariners before being traded to his hometown team, which is honoring his career this weekend. He will be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame this summer.
Junior’s first team improved to 11-2 all-time against the Reds. Seattle is an AL-best 16-7 on the road.
The Reds have lost five straight and 10 of 12, done in by a rotation that can’t get deep into a game and a bullpen that gives up runs nearly every game. They have been outscored 51-19 in the last five games.
The start of the game was delayed by 45 minutes because of rain, which threw Iwakuma out of sync.
"Today was a different game," he said, through a translator. "We didn’t know what time we were going to play. I didn’t get as much time to get ready. It threw me off my routine."
Brandon Phillips snapped an 0-for-11 slump with an RBI double in the first inning. Cozart led off the third with a homer, and Tucker Barnhart singled home another run in the fourth.
Reds starter Dan Straily didn’t allow a run until Kyle Seager’s RBI double made it 3-1 in the sixth. Only two Reds starters have gone seven innings this season, compounding the bullpen’s problems.
The Mariners got at least one runner aboard in all but one inning. Reds pitchers have gone 46 innings in the last five games and retired the side in order only seven times.
Reds center fielder Billy Hamilton made a diving catch at the edge of the warning track to rob Adam Lind of what would have been a run-scoring hit in the sixth.
Mariners: Reliever Joaquin Benoit got the day off after he made his first appearances in 28 days on Thursday in Baltimore. He had been sidelined by a sore shoulder.
Reds: Tim Adleman went on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique, suffered during the fourth inning of a 7-2 loss to Cleveland on Thursday night. … Anthony DeSclafani (oblique) threw 45 pitches in batting practice on Friday. He’s expected to make at least three minor league rehab starts. … RHP Jon Moscot (sore left shoulder) gave up four homers and nine runs in four innings of a rehab start for Triple-A Louisville.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (3-3) will make his second career appearance against the Reds. On June 19, 2010, he got his ninth career complete game by throwing a five-hitter and allowing one run.
Reds: LHP John Lamb (0-1) is coming off a 15-6 loss in Cleveland on Monday, when he gave up seven runs in four innings. The Reds lost all of his three starts this season.