Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Jason Vargas threw seven shutout innings and Franklin Gutierrez’s two-run homer in the second inning stood up in Seattle’s fifth straight win, a 2-0 decision over the Chicago Cubs.
Vargas (6-2) allowed four hits, walked one and had seven strikeouts to win his fourth consecutive decision. His last loss came May 4 against Tampa Bay.
The pitching for the Mariners has been phenomenal of late, allowing one run or fewer in five straight games. They’ve needed the arms because Seattle has scored more than four runs just twice this entire month.
David Aardsma put runners on the corners in the ninth inning, but fanned Tyler Colvin to end the game and notched his 16th save.
The Mariners are on their longest victory streak since capturing six in a row, April 9-15 last season, and they are winning with solid pitching. The staff has thrown shutout ball over the last 23 innings, having given up a total of two runs during their five-game surge.
Ryan Dempster (5-6) threw his 11th career complete game, giving up five hits and two runs while logging eight strikeouts.
Alfonso Soriano had three of Chicago’s six hits, but the Cubs suffered their third loss in four games. They’ve been blanked twice in the last three contests.
Jose Lopez singled to start the Seattle second and Gutierrez then cracked a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left field.
The Cubs wasted a Marlon Byrd two-out double in the third. Soriano doubled to right to begin the fifth, but then was caught off second base on Colvin’s fly ball.
Vargas fanned Byrd and John Baker to end the sixth before escaping a 1st- and-3rd jam in the seventh. Colvin grounded a ball in the hole on the right side, but first baseman Mike Carp made a diving stop and flipped the ball to Vargas for the final out.
Brandon League had a shaky eighth inning on the mound for the Mariners, walking Starlin Castro and allowing a single to Ryan Theriot. Byrd then grounded into a double play and pinch-hitter Chad Tracy flied out to center to end the inning.
Aardsma walked Geovany Soto with two outs in the ninth before Soriano singled to right field, but Colvin struck out swinging.
Cubs right-hander Carlos Silva will miss his scheduled start Thursday against his old club due to a sore right hamstring…The Cubs are making their second- ever visit to Seattle, having taken two of three tilts from the Mariners at Safeco Field back in 2002. Chicago also won two of three from Seattle at Wrigley Field during the 2007 season…Dempster threw 116 pitches, 80 for strikes…The Mariners traded minor league infielder Tommy Everidge to the Houston Astros organization in exchange for cash considerations.