Arizona raked Seattle starter Jason Vargas for eight earned runs, five on home runs, and held off the Mariners 14-10 in a wild final game of a three-game series Wednesday afternoon at The Chase in Phoenix The Diamondbacks and Mariners combined for 24 runs on 30 hits, including eight home runs.
Aiming to win their 11th series of the season, the Mariners (30-4) instead lost their 13th. The series featured a cycle by Arizona’s Aaron Hill Monday, Ichiro’s 2,500th career hit Tuesday, and a two-run, inside-the-park home by Ryan Roberts of the D-Backs Wednesday.
The Mariners have Thursday off and start a three-game series Friday night in San Diego against a Padres team that swept the Seattle June 12-14 at Safeco Field. The pitching staff, particularly, could use a one-day breather. They gave up 30 runs and 24 hits, including nine homers.
The Diamondbacks, who hit six home runs Wednesday, wasted no time bruising Vargas, Hill and Jason Kubel banging solo shots off the Seattle lefty on full counts in the first.
But Seattle busted loose for five runs in the third inning. Vargas singled (second this season), Ichiro singled and John Jaso doubled, scoring Vargas. Casper Wells singled, scoring Ichiro and Jaso. Kyle Seager homered on a first pitch, staking Vargas to a 5-2 lead.
Seattle’s lead didn’t last long. In the fourth, Arizona tied it at 5 on a two-run homer by Miguel Montero and a solo shot by John McDonald. The Diamondbacks tallied five times in the bottom of the fifth to take a 10-4 lead on a three-run homer by Justin Upton, a run-scoring single by Ryan Roberts and a run-producing double by McDonald.
Manager Eric Wedge hooked Vargas, who lasted 4.1 innings. Vargas allowed eight earned runs on nine hits. Prior to Wednesday, Vargas had never given up more than three homers in a game (three times), the last time July 14, 2011 vs. Texas.
The five home runs allowed also matched the single-game record by one Seattle pitcher. Mark Langston gave up five to the White Sox April 19, 1988. Jamie Moyer surrendered five to Boston July 21, 2006.
Vargas has allowed 10 home runs in his past four starts, surrendered at least one homer in eight past eight, and has been dinged for 20 homers for the year, making him the American League gopher ball leader.
The Mariners got a run back in the sixth when Dustin Ackley brought home Seager, who doubled and advanced to third on a Michael Saunders ground out, with a fielder’s choice. But the Diamondbacks exploded for four more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Following a two-run single by Montero, Roberts smacked a Hisashi Iwakuma offering off the center-field wall that caromed past Saunders. Roberts romped around the sacks with the first inside-the-park homer against Seattle since Jun 13, 2010, when Tony Gwynn Jr. victimized Felix Hernandez.
Trailing 14-6, the Mariners scored in the top of the eighth, Wells tallying on an infield single by Saunders. Franklin Gutierrez, pinch-hitting, ripped a three-run homer, his first of the season to cut the deficit to 14-10.
NOTES: Seager led Seattle’s hit parade, going 3-for-5 with a home run (10th) and two RBIs . . . Casper Wells also had a big day, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored . . . Mariners are now 10-13-1 in series and 7-5 in rubber games . . . Mariners Wednesday promoted LHP Danny Hultzen and INF Nick Franklin from AA Jackson to AAA Tacoma. Hultzen, 22, was 8-3 with a 1.19 ERA (10 ER, 75.1 IP) in 13 starts with Jackson in his first pro season. Hultzen has limited opponents to a .151 (38×252) batting average, while walking 32 and striking out 79 in 75.1 innings. Hultzen was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week in consecutive weeks, May 28-June 3 and June 4-10. Hultzen is scheduled to make his first Triple-A start with Tacoma Saturday at Colorado Springs. He was the Mariners first round selection (2nd overall) in the 2011 draft out of the University of Virginia. Franklin, 21, hit .322 (66×205) with 25 runs scored, 17 doubles, 4 triples, four home runs and 26 RBIs in 57 games with Jackson. He was named Southern League Player of the Week, May 28-June 3.