Luetge gets big assist from Ichiro

Luetge gets big assist from Ichiro

Luetge gets big assist from Ichiro
TORONTO -- Lucas Luetge hasn't allowed an earned run in his first nine Major League appearances, but he found a new way to keep opponents off the scoreboard in Friday's 9-5 victory over the Blue Jays.

The Mariners' Rule 5 rookie replaced Steve Delabar with runners on first and second and two out in the seventh, immediately gave up a single to Adam Lind ... and got out of the inning when right fielder Ichiro Suzuki threw out J.P. Arencibia at the plate to preserve the 3-3 tie.

That run would have been charged to Delabar, but Luetge happily avoided his role in that fate with Ichiro's help.

"That's why they tell us to throw strikes, for that reason right there," Luetge said. "You know you're going to give up hits sometimes. You just hope something like that helps you out."

The sinking sensation of seeing a pitch lined into right field was quickly replaced by elation for Luetge, who has allowed five hits now in 5 2/3 innings.

"You don't even care. You gave up a hit, but we got an out that helped us win the game," said Luetge. "If they score there, we probably lose. Initially off the bat, you're upset. But as the play progresses, I gave a little fist pump and everything. You try not to think about it. I made a bad pitch, he hit it and Ichiro threw him out. That's why he's out there. I wasn't too worried about giving up a hit after that."

The outfield assist was the 99th of Ichiro's career, tying him with Torii Hunter and Carlos Lee for sixth among active players. Since 2001, he's second to Jeff Francoeur's 100.

Manager Eric Wedge appreciated that play on both ends.

"It was the throw and the tag," said Wedge. "With Ichi going to the line and having to throw across his body like that, he's been one of the best in the game throughout his career at that. And Miguel Olivo did a great job snatching it and putting the tag right on him there. That was a great play."