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Guthrie four-hits anemic Seattle for first complete game

SEATTLE (AP) -- From his spot on the mound, Baltimore's Jeremy Guthrie couldn't tell that Jay Payton had provided the perfect capper to the first complete game of Guthrie's career.

With two outs in the ninth, Payton made a leaping grab against the left-field wall to rob Jose Lopez of a hit and finish off the Orioles' 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

Problem is, Guthrie didn't know Payton made the catch.

"I didn't realize he caught it," Guthrie said. "It was a tremendous play to end the game."

Payton's catch was spectacular. But it was just a complement to Guthrie's gem, a four-hitter where he retired 26 of the final 28 batters he faced. Guthrie overcame a rocky first inning to win for the sixth time in his last seven decisions, tossing the Orioles' third complete game this season.

"I'm glad I was just here to witness it," Orioles' manager Dave Trembley said. "It was extraordinary. He made it look easy."

Guthrie (8-8) allowed one-out doubles to Jeremy Reed and Raul Ibanez in the first and walked Adrian Beltre before settling into a groove. He set down 22 of the next 23 batters after Beltre reached, taking advantage of Seattle's impatience at the plate. Guthrie's only hiccup during the impressive stretch was an infield single by Jose Vidro in the fourth that easily could have been ruled an error on second baseman Brian Roberts.

Guthrie did face a potential problem in the eighth. With two outs, Ichiro Suzuki laid down a perfect bunt to the third-base side of home plate. Guthrie rushed the throw and whipped the ball into the seats down the first-base line, moving Suzuki to second.

Guthrie regrouped, getting Reed to fly out to end the inning. Even with closer George Sherrill standing in the bullpen ready, Trembley gave Guthrie a chance to finish off the effort. The only question asked of Guthrie as the bottom of the ninth approached: "How do you feel?"

"It was there for him to win or lose. It was a no-brainer," Trembley said. "It would have been disrespectful to him if we had taken him out and gone to the bullpen."

Guthrie threw 24 pitches in the first inning -- including 14 balls -- then tossed just 81 over the next eight innings. He struck out two and walked only one, getting his record back to .500 after going 2-6 in April and May.

"I feel as confident now as I've felt all season and have a nice little groove going," Guthrie said.

Aubrey Huff extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a pair of singles, including a two-out base hit in the seventh that scored Adam Jones and gave Guthrie a little cushion. Jones, traded from Seattle to Baltimore in the Erik Bedard deal, had three hits and scored twice.

Melvin Mora had an RBI double in the first inning and Ramon Hernandez singled in a run in the fourth for the Orioles, who have won five of six and inflated the pitch count of Seattle starter Felix Hernandez early by taking pitches and extending at bats.

Hernandez (7-7) was fortunate to last five innings for Seattle, giving up just two runs, but threw 109 pitches. He allowed at least one runner to reach second in four of his five innings and went to a three-ball count on eight of the 25 batters he faced. Hernandez also escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth, striking out Mora and coaxing Luke Scott into an inning-ending groundout.

Hernandez allowed eight hits and struck out six, losing for just the second time since May 26.

"That had a chance to be a great pitching duel with those two arms out there, but their hitters forced our guy out of the game after five innings," Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said. "I think (Guthrie) threw less pitches in nine innings than we threw in five."

Lopez also saw his career-high 19-game hitting streak end thanks to Payton's catch. Lopez went 0-for-4.

Game notes
Bedard is expected to throw on the field Sunday for the first time since going on the disabled list July 10 with a tight left shoulder. ... Seattle called up LHP Jake Woods from Triple-A Tacoma to take the roster spot of Arthur Rhodes, who was traded to Florida on Thursday. Woods pitched the ninth inning for Seattle.