SEATTLE (AP) — Yuniesky Betancourt highlighted Milwaukee’s five-run fifth inning with his second grand slam of the season, and the Brewers beat the Seattle Mariners 10-5 on Friday night.
Once the Mariners starting shortstop, Betancourt came back to haunt his former club as the teams opened a three-game series. Betancourt’s slam was his 13th homer of the season and he enjoyed every second of going deep against his former team. Betancourt drove the pitch from Joe Saunders out to left, walking and watching as he left the batter’s box, then flipped his bat before excitedly running the bases. It was his sixth career grand slam.
Norichika Aoki also drove in three runs as the Brewers scored 10 runs for the first time since June 12.
While the Brewers were knocking around Seattle’s pitchers, Kyle Lohse was putting in another strong performance. Lohse (8-7) won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions, holding the Mariners to three runs in seven innings. Kyle Seager had a two-run single in the third for Seattle, but Lohse pitched out of trouble in the third, fifth and seventh innings. Lohse has lost just once since May 30.
The Mariners big weekend honoring former star Ken Griffey Jr. with his induction into the team’s Hall of Fame got off to an ugly start thanks to another sloppy defensive effort and Saunders’ struggle pitching out of jams. Seattle committed three errors while Saunders was on the mound, and five of the nine runs Milwaukee scored against him were unearned.
But Saunders (10-11) caused his own trouble the led to Betancourt’s slam. Jean Segura led off the fifth with a single and Saunders issued consecutive walks to Carlos Gomez and Khris Davis to load the bases for Betancourt. Saunders then hung a 1-1 slider in the middle of the strike zone and Betancourt didn’t miss. It was his second home run in 18 career games against the Mariners. Betancourt spent parts of five seasons playing in Seattle.
Betancourt wasn’t the only one battering Seattle pitching. Aoki had a two-run double in the third inning and added an RBI single to cap the Brewers’ big fifth inning. Martin Maldonado also had a two-run double with two outs in the fourth inning.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke wasn’t around to see Betancourt’s slam after getting ejected by home plate umpire Dan Bellino in the fourth inning. Betancourt’s one-out grounder bounced off Seager’s glove for his second error of the night and rolled into foul territory down the left-field line. Gomez scored from first on the play, but acting Seattle manager Robby Thompson claimed a fan touched the ball.
The umpires met and agreed with Thompson, sending Gomez back to third base. That brought out Roenicke, who argued that Gomez should still have been awarded home plate. After a few minutes, Roenicke was ejected, the second time this year Roenicke has been tossed.
The argument became moot as Jeff Bianchi followed with a bloop single to score Gomez and give the Brewers a 3-2 lead.
Notes: Justin Smoak hit his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot, in the eighth inning for Seattle. ... Griffey took part in a luncheon and met with the media on Friday. He'll be formally inducted to the team Hall of Fame on Saturday. ... Milwaukee 2B Rickie Weeks will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a torn left hamstring. Weeks was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday. ... Friday was Milwaukee’s first game in Seattle since 1997.