Notes: Putz's control a plus

Notes: Putz's control a plus

SEATTLE -- When J.J. Putz walked Jeff DaVanon in the ninth inning of Seattle's 3-2 victory over Arizona on Thursday, a television camera caught Seattle manager Mike Hargrove rolling his eyes.

Hargrove only became aware of this when one of his daughters called and informed him of what she witnessed.

Hargrove likely wasn't so much miffed as he was surprised at the sight of Putz walking a batter.

Putz's walk of DaVanon was his first walk since May 13. He didn't walk a batter in 17 consecutive outings.

"It's remarkable," Hargrove said. "Other than just having great stuff, you've got to throw strikes. You can't afford to put people on base via the walk. With J.J., the more he's been out there, the better he's been and more consistent he's been. The results show that."

Putz, who recovered from the walk to earn his 13th save of the season Thursday, has walked only six batters in 37 1/3 innings this season and hasn't allowed a run in a save situation since taking over as closer in early May.

"The good thing with throwing the ball 96, 97 mph is you don't have to be perfect," Hargrove said. "If you throw the ball 88-91, you better be pretty good as far as commanding the ball and keeping out from over the plate.

"A guy throwing 96, 97 is he can get away with a lot more. The thing with J.J. is he has command of all his pitches. He's not just lucky, he's good."

Not dazed, just confused: Left-hander Jarrod Washburn is 0-1 with two no-decisions in his last three starts. In that stretch, Washburn has allowed 14 earned runs in 17 innings.

But Washburn hasn't pitched poorly as much as he's been done in by one bad inning -- or one bad pitch.

In his last start against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, Washburn yielded three runs in the first inning and then just one over the next five innings.

On June 21 against the Dodgers, Washburn gave up one run through the first five innings before allowing four runs in the sixth inning.

"It's just one of those things that happens," said Washburn, who is 4-8 with a 4.91 ERA. "I've just made a few bad pitches in time when it's really going to hurt you. Why does it happen? I don't know. The only thing I can do is try not to let it happen again."

Washburn has taken comfort that he hasn't been troubled by anything mechanical, though that hasn't helped him solve his big-inning blues.

"If it was a (mechanical) problem where it was going on all game, you could try to fix it," he said. "But with one pitch ... how can you inhibit it from happening again? There's nothing to say that won't happen again."

About June: When the Mariners left Safeco Field on June 18, they were 34-37 and about to embark on a nine-game road trip to Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona.

On Friday, the Mariners returned home, and reporters peppered Hargrove with questions about the team's recent play, especially after a 7-2 road trip.

"The good thing is our players are starting to believe in their ability to compete with no matter who they play," Hargrove said. "That's a very important thing for us to establish.

"I don't think we're playing over our heads. What we're doing what we're capable of doing and trying to be consistent with it."

Mariners log: Looking for a reason for the Mariners' success on their road trip to Los Angeles, San Diego and Arizona? Look no further than the team batting average the Mariners compiled on their 7-2 trip. The Mariners hit .308 on that road trip with 17 home runs. ... The Mariners entered Friday's game with a 12-7 Interleague mark against the Rockies. This is the first time these two teams have faced each other since the 2002 season. ... Tracy Ringolsby, the Rockies beat writer for the Rocky Mountain News, will receive the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for meritorious contributions to baseball writing at the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 30. Ringolsby is a former Mariners beat writer for the Seattle Post Intelligencer. ... The Mariners' 3-2 victory over Arizona on Thursday snapped Seattle's 21-game losing streak when the team has scored three runs or fewer.

On deck: Seattle continues its three-game series against the Rockies on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. PT as Joel Pineiro (6-7, 5.38) faces Byung-Hyun Kim (5-4, 4.31). FSN will televise the game.

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.