Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Jason Vargas outdueled Cole Hamels and the Seattle Mariners claimed a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the rubber match of a three-game interleague set.
Vargas (5-4) recorded the third complete game of his career, limiting the majors’ top club to three hits and a pair of walks while fanning six. He retired 16 of the final 17 batters he faced and needed 119 pitches to finish his second shutout of the month.
"I think your focus has to be there a little bit more, not that it should go away when you’re up five runs, but you’re definitely more dialed in and focused on what you have to do," Vargas said on his mindset while throwing in close games.
Meanwhile, Hamels (9-3) was denied his chance to be the majors’ first 10-game winner, exiting after 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander yielded seven hits and a pair of runs with six strikeouts — including the 1,000th in his career.
Justin Smoak and Adam Kennedy drove in a run each for the Mariners, who took two of three in the series.
Ryan Howard collected two hits for the Phillies, who still hold the best record in baseball at 45-28 but were blanked for the fifth time this season.
Hamels retired 11 in a row until Ichiro Suzuki’s one-out single in the sixth. He advanced on a groundout then scored when Smoak blooped a hit to left.
Dustin Ackley began the seventh with a triple, didn’t move on a Franklin Gutierrez groundout but came in on a bloop hit to left from pinch-hitter Kennedy. That spelled the end for Hamels, and Jose Contreras managed to keep a lid on the situation by getting Chone Figgins to ground into an inning-ending double play.
David Herndon turned in a scoreless eighth, but his offense only managed a two-out single from Howard in the ninth before Ben Francisco flied out to end the game. The hit snapped a streak of 15 in a row retired by Vargas from a walk to Carlos Ruiz in the fourth.
"You have to give him credit, he mixed it up well," Howard said of facing Vargas. "He didn’t necessarily have to throw stuff for strikes. He threw enough for strikes to where it kind of got us to get a little bit out of our element, guys were just a little bit out in front of pitches, he threw well."
The Phils couldn’t push a run across in the first despite two runners in scoring position.
Hamels shook off a Smoak single in Seattle’s turn, then struck out three batters in the second before retiring the side in order in the third.
Philly had two on with one out in the fourth, but Raul Ibanez hit into an inning-ending double play with a liner to third.
Hamels reached his milestone by fanning Miguel Olivo swinging for the second out in the home fourth.
Vargas blanked the Tampa Bay Rays on four hits in a 7-0 victory on June 3…Hamels is the third youngest pitcher to record his 1,000th strikeout, after Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and Tim Lincecum of the Giants…Entering play, the Mariners sported the worst batting average in baseball at a paltry .239…With 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, Phillies relievers extended their streak to 17 1/3 frames in the last eight contests.
|Final - 6.19.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|WP: Jason Vargas (5 - 4)
LP: Cole Hamels (9 - 3)
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