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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 24, 2008 3:41 PM

Mariners earn 3-1 win

Posted by Geoff Baker

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A much better performance by the Mariners today, nailed down by Eric O'Flaherty (pictured above) on a strikeout of Nick Swisher in the ninth. So, it's a 3-1 win by Seattle over the Chicago White Sox. Jarrod Washburn went seven innings, allowing just three hits, while Mark Lowe pitched on back-to-back days for the first time since August 2006. A big test for Lowe, who gave up a leadoff triple to Swisher in the eighth, then consecutive singles before settling down and preventing the big inning.

Despite the run, both Lowe and manager John McLaren were pleased with what happened out on the mound.

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"I was happy with keeping those guys on second and third and walking off the field after the third out,'' Lowe, talking to us above, said of stranding the two Chicago runners.

Lowe said his velocity was the same as it had been the previous day, up around 93 m.p.h. That isn't easy to do, he added, when you're throwing on a second consecutive day.

"You really have to be strong mentally,'' he said. "You don't feel the same as you did the day before.''

Hear some more of Lowe in this audio clip.

"He had bad location, but as far as velocity and his stuff, he was fine and I was glad to see that,'' Mariners manager McLaren said of Lowe.

Hear more of McLaren right here as he talks about Lowe and O'Flaherty, who got drilled on his bare pitching hand while trying to snag a comebacker in the ninth. Caused a bit of a stir, but he's fine. McLaren also explained why Chris Reitsma didn't pitch today. Apparently, there was some rejigging of pitcher schedules, but Reitsma will go back-to-back.

How did Washburn throw so effectively? Part of the reason was, he woke up yesterday morning with a stiff back. it still hurt him today, which meant he couldn't overthrow or do anything too hard that might wrench it.

"I'm hard-headed and I get real excited and emotional during games and I have a lot of adrenalin,'' Washburn said. "Sometimes it's hard to hold me back. Today's a perfect example of why I have to. My back hurt like crazy today, I could barely move, so I couldn't throw hard, I couldn't jump off the mound. I just stayed fluid and stayed within my mechanics and concentrated on trying to throw a quality pitch.''

So, hurting your back is all it takes, huh? Maybe Washburn and Miguel Batista are on to something? Maybe not.

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