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Red-hot Nationals already hit a million in attendance

WASHINGTON (AP) -- John Patterson finally feels like he's
contributed to the Washington Nationals' winning streak.

Jose Guillen's bases-loaded single snapped a seventh-inning tie
and propelled the Nationals to their ninth straight victory, 2-1
over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

"I feel like I've turned the corner. ... The team's going to
win if the starting pitchers can keep the game under control for
the first five or six innings," said Patterson (3-1), who allowed
a run and six hits over seven innings.

Patterson walked one and struck out five to win for the first
time since April 26, a span of six starts.

The Nationals' winning streak is the franchise's longest since
the Montreal Expos won 10 straight in June 1997. Washington
improved to 12-1 on a 14-game homestand that concludes Sunday. The
Nationals have won seven straight home series.

"This has been an unbelievable run. And we do, we find a way
every night to win a ballgame," Patterson said.

Chad Cordero pitched the ninth for his 18th save.

Seattle starter Jamie Moyer frustrated the Nationals with an
assortment of offspeed pitches over six innings -- allowing a run
and four hits -- but Washington got to reliever J.J. Putz (1-2) in
the seventh.

With one out, the Nationals loaded the bases on a pinch-hit
single by Carlos Baerga and walks to Brad Wilkerson and
pinch-hitter Ryan Church. Guillen worked the count to 2-2 before
hitting a single to short center that scored pinch-runner Tony
Blanco.

"All of a sudden, he couldn't find the strike zone," Seattle
manager Mike Hargrove said of Putz. "He finally gathered himself,
but it was a day late and a dollar short."

Guillen didn't stay around to discuss his heroics. He and
teammate Livan Hernandez were whisked out of RFK Stadium with a
police escort to MCI Center for the Mike Tyson-Kevin McBride
heavyweight fight.

"We won. I'll see you tomorrow," Guillen said as he was driven
away from the Nationals clubhouse on the back of a golf cart.

A crowd of 39,108 pushed the Nationals past one million fans on
their 32nd home game. The team has drawn 1,019,462 during its
inaugural season in Washington.

"Maybe the word has spread," Washington manager Frank Robinson
said. "The fans are responding."

Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 1-for-4 and is one hit
shy of 1,000 for his major league career. His bad-hop RBI single in
the fifth gave Seattle the early lead.

But as they have done so often this season, the Nationals
rallied -- 25 of Washington's 36 victories have come after trailing.
Their 25 comeback wins are the most in the majors.

Cristian Guzman started the bottom half with a ground-rule
double over the center field fence and moved to third on
Patterson's sacrifice. After Wilkerson struck out, Marlon Byrd
laced a run-scoring triple deep into the right field corner that
skittered past Suzuki.

Suzuki had trouble grabbing the ball at the base of the wall and
Byrd appeared primed to try for an inside-the-park homer, until he
slipped rounding third base. As Byrd scampered back to third,
Suzuki sailed a wide cutoff throw that was gloved by first baseman
Richie Sexson halfway between home and first base.

Robinson visited the mound with two outs in the seventh. Suzuki
was up and Morse was on third after a leadoff single, a stolen base
and an infield groundout.

But Robinson stuck with Patterson, who was making his third
start since returning from a stint on the disabled list because of
back spasms. He gave Patterson the option of pitching to Suzuki or
pitching around him, and Patterson got Suzuki to fly to left.

"He did an outstanding job of keeping them off balance, off the
bases and off the scoreboard, mostly," Robinson said.

Game notes
Before the game, the Nationals designated INF Rick Short
for assignment to clear a roster spot for RHP Ryan Drese, who was
acquired on waivers from Texas on Friday. ... Seattle OF Randy Winn
had his 20th multi-hit game. ... Washington 1B Nick Johnson's
franchise record of scoring a run in 11 straight games ended.