Fri. Final: Brewers 6, Mariners 5
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Ken Griffey Jr. homered for the first time since rejoining Seattle, but the Mariners lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 6-5 Friday.
The 39-year Griffey, who signed with Seattle on Feb. 18, was batting just .105 before his two-run shot off Brewers left-hander Lindsey Gulin in the bottom of the eighth pulled the Mariners to 6-5.
"It stirs a lot of feelings that he still has got some things," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "To me, the ability for him to pull the ball, lately his body's been getting out there (and) sometimes that makes everything come together."
J.J. Hardy homered, doubled twice and scored three runs. Milwaukee manager Ken Macha is not sure where Hardy will bat in the lineup this season -- only that it won't be as low as seventh, where he batted most of last season.
"We'll see where it all plays out when Ryan (Braun) gets back, but J.J. was one of the best hitters on the team in the second half last year and he's certainly living up to that," Macha said. "When you get a guy who has plate coverage like he does, when you stick him up in the lineup where they have to throw it to him, that has a lot to do with it."
Casey McGehee and Mike Rivera also homered for Milwaukee, which has won three straight and six of eight.
Milwaukee's Seth McClung gave up three runs in 4 1-3 innings but didn't get the decision. McClung faced the minimum 12 batters through four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. He gave up a one-out double to Russell Branyan then a two-run homer to Rob Johnson before issuing back-to-back walks and an RBI double to Chris Woodward.
"I thought Seth had a great outing," Macha said. "He ran out of gas a little bit there and in the matter of two pitches, boom, he gave up the lead. But he had everything working, good control, good pop on the ball. A whole lot of positive things came out of that."
Seattle starter Jason Vargas scattered seven hits and allowed one run over five innings, but the Mariners bullpen failed to hold a lead.
Reliever David Aardsma gave up three runs in one inning while Messenger allowed McGehee's two-run homer.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)