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Mariners spear Devil Rays behind Washburn's gem

SEATTLE (AP) -- Jarrod Washburn knew what was going on.

"I'm not going to lie," he said. "I'm not one of those guys
that says, 'Oh, I didn't even know.' I knew it."

Washburn didn't allow a hit until Ben Zobrist's bunt single
leading off the sixth inning, and Adrian Beltre homered to lead the
Seattle Mariners over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-0 Wednesday for a
three-game sweep.

"I can't be upset about that," Washburn said. "He is trying
to make something happen for his team. Maybe if that was the eighth
or ninth, that would have rubbed me the wrong way."

After walking Carl Crawford with one out in the first, Washburn
(6-11) retired 14 straight batters -- including nine on flyouts. The
single by Zobrist, the No. 8 hitter in Tampa Bay's batting order,
went one-third of the way up the third-base line.

"When you get to the fifth or sixth inning and don't have a hit
yet, you have to try and get something done," Zobrist said.

Beltre charged the ball but couldn't pick it up.

"I hate to see it," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said. "He's
trying to get on base and get something started for his ballclub,
so I don't have a problem with it."

Washburn allowed three hits in 6 2/3 innings, struck out four
and walked one, leaving after retiring Jonny Gomes on a flyout with
two on in the seventh.

"The defense played great for me -- like they have all season
long," Washburn said. "Which is key for me, because I don't
strike many people out."

Rafael Soriano fanned pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro and pitched
the eighth, and J.J. Putz finished the four-hitter for his 25th
save in 29 chances.

James Shields (4-6) pitched a five-hitter, striking out six and
walking one.

"I thought he got better as the game went on," Tampa Bay
manager Joe Maddon said. "At the end of the game, he was throwing
as well as he's thrown all year."

It was Shields' first complete game in 15 major league starts.

"I put it together," Shields said. "But I still made a few
bad pitches."

Ichiro Suzuki doubled on the second pitch of the game, Jose Lopez sacrificed and Beltre singled for a 1-0 lead. Beltre drove
Shields' second pitch of the third inning into the center-field
bleachers for his 13th homer.

"Little by little, my confidence is getting better," Beltre
said. "I'm having better at-bats."

Beltre has four homers in seven games.

"He's swung the bat well, really since before the All-Star
break," Hargrove said. "He's being more consistent with it and
hitting the ball harder more times. With the talent he has, if he
continues to do that, he's going to do awfully well here."

Game notes
It was Seattle's second win in 31 games during which it
scored three or fewer runs. The Mariners won 2-1 on Aug. 2 at
Baltimore. ... Seattle had its first shutout since Jamie Moyer
defeated Kansas City on June 2. ... Seattle All-Star 2B Jose Lopez
had his AL-leading 10th sacrifice bunt in the first inning. ...
Tampa Bay, 1-12 on the road since the All-Star break, was swept for
the fifth time this season -- third since the break. ... Gomes is
batting .065 (5-for-77) since the All-Star break. ... Suzuki,
3-for-13 in the series, is hitting .300 or better against every AL
team other than Tampa Bay.