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Johjima knocks in five runs as M's outslug D-backs

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners have climbed back to .500
thanks to some big swings from Kenji Johjima.

The rookie from Japan drove in five runs for the first time in
his young major league career to power the Mariners to an 11-7
victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

It was his second two-homer game in as many starts. Johjima, who
sat out Sunday's game at San Diego with a bruised shin after a
four-hit, two-homer game on Saturday, hit a two-run shot in the
first inning and three-run drive in the ninth.

Asked through an interpreter if he had ever had consecutive
two-homer games in Japan, he insisted he couldn't remember.

"I remember I hit about 200 home runs back in Japan," he said.
"That's all I remember."

Johjima has nine RBI in his last two games.

"I don't know what the reason is," he said of his recent
success. "If I knew what the reason is I don't think that everyone
would struggle. It's something I think that's just an instinct."

The Mariners won their eighth in 10 games and pulled to .500
(39-39) for the first time since they were 6-6 on April 15.

"I don't think it's a goal we have reached. I think we can do
better," manager Mike Hargrove said. "We've been as low as what,
10 games under .500? And it's taken us a long time to get back to
here. We sure don't want to stop right now."

The Diamondbacks rallied to tie it at seven, but reliever
Brandon Lyon (1-2) gave up four runs in the ninth.

After Adrian Beltre's second double, Lyon intentionally walked
Raul Ibanez with two outs to get to Richie Sexson, who was hitless
on the night. Sexson, booed loudly by the crowd at every at-bat
after leaving Arizona following one injury-shortened season,
singled in the go-ahead run, then Johjima homered to make it 11-7.

"It's a good baseball move," Sexson said of the walk, "it
just backfired tonight."

Sexson missed nearly all of his only season with Arizona with a
shoulder injury after he was acquired in a trade with Milwaukee. He
said he wasn't surprised by the reception from the fans.

"I think I'll get it as long as I come here," he said. "I'm
not exactly sure why. Believe me, I wish I didn't get hurt. It's
the last thing I wanted to have happen. But I guess they don't see
it that way."

Arizona had runners at first and third with two outs in the
ninth when closer J.J. Putz came on to retire Luis Gonzalez for his
13th save in 14 chances. Jake Woods (2-1) pitched 1 2-3 innings of
scoreless relief.

"We keep coming back, we just didn't have an answer for them on
the mound today," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "Usually when
you score that many runs, you win, but we just couldn't hold them
down."

Shawn Green was 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two doubles for
the Diamondbacks, who lost for the 18th time in 21 games. Luis
Gonzalez hit his first home run since April 20.

Johjima homered and Jose Lopez tripled in two runs against
Arizona's Brandon Webb in the first.

Webb failed to win for the sixth consecutive start after opening
the season 8-0. He allowed seven runs and nine hits in seven
innings and left trailing 7-4.

But the Diamondbacks tied it with three in the seventh.

With runners on second and third with no outs, Damion Easley and
Craig Counsell struck out looking against George Sherrill. But
Julio Mateo relieved Sherrill and Eric Byrnes' doubled down the
left-field line on a 3-2 pitch to drive in two runs. Chad Tracy
followed with an RBI double.

"The first inning seems to be the key right now for me," Webb
said. "If I can get through that, I seem to settle down. But five
runs is a huge deficit to come back from."

The Diamondbacks scored four runs in the first two innings,
three on Gonzalez's homer, but Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn
settled down and retired the last 11 he faced.

Washburn allowed five hits and four runs in six innings. He
struck out five and walked one.

Gonzalez had gone 204 at-bats without a home run, by far the
longest drought of his career.

"It doesn't mean much to me right now," he said. "I'm sure I
was going to hit one before the end of the season, but it's another
tough loss for us."<

Game notes
C Johjima was hurt when he was struck by a foul ball
against San Diego on Saturday. ... With his second-inning single,
Ichiro Suzuki has hit safely in 24 of his last 25 games and 45 of
his last 48. ... The Diamondbacks have not won two in a row since
sweeping four at Atlanta from June 1-4.