Mariners win 4-2 as Beltre heads for surgery

Seattle Mariners second baseman Jose Lopez, left, tags Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin out at second on an attempted steal during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, June 28, 2009, in Los Angeles. <br><I>AP Photo

LOS ANGELES - Knowing they face the next couple of months without injured third baseman Adrian Beltre, the Seattle Mariners sounded a lot like the Dodgers did in early May when they learned that Manny Ramirez was suspended for 50 games.

The Dodgers still have the best record in the majors with less than a week to go before Ramirez is eligible to return. The key question facing the Mariners after Sunday's 4-2 victory over Los Angeles is whether they can stay afloat in the AL West without one of their top hitters.

"It's a big blow that we're losing him for a period of time, but hopefully we can keep it going and have some fun until he gets back," said Ken Griffey Jr. "Back in 1995, I was out for 70-something games, but we were still able to have a little fun at the end of the year."

Beltre singled in a run and Jose Lopez hit a two run double for the Mariners, whose final two stops on their nine-game road trip are Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park. But they'll be without Beltre, who is expected to miss six to eight weeks after having bone spurs removed from his left shoulder.

Beltre played the final two games of this three-game series after deciding to have surgery on his non-throwing shoulder. He hit 2 for 9 and had six assists, including an exceptional play in the hole to rob Russell Martin in the fourth inning Sunday.

"Here's a guy that played in a lot of pain, didn't have to play and didn't need to play today," manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We had talked about last night being his last game, but he came in and said: 'I'm not having surgery until Tuesday, so I'm going to give you one more. I want to be with my teammates and I want to gut it out.' He's such a special player and brings so much to our club, so that win today is for him."

Before leaving the clubhouse, Griffey interrupted a group of reporters interviewing Beltre to give him a big hug.

"It's a little emotional, but it's the best thing for me," Beltre said. "When I get back in seven or eight weeks, hopefully we're still in it and I can contribute. Right now we're doing well and I wanted to be a part of that. That makes my decision to have the surgery now even tougher."

Lopez, in his fourth game back with the club after spending the previous six on the bereavement list because of the death of his sister in Venezuela, was 8 for 12 with four RBIs in the series.

"I think he feels comfortable around these guys, and this is where he wants to be right now," Wakamatsu said. "He wants to help the team win, and it's a credit to him."

Left-hander Garrett Olson (3-2) threw 72 pitches over five innings, allowing two runs and four hits. David Aardsma pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.

Hiroki Kuroda (2-4) gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings, striking out five and walking none for the fourth consecutive start.

Ichiro Suzuki, vying for his third AL batting crown, faced Kuroda for the first time in the major leagues and finished the day 1 for 5 - lowering his major league-leading average to. 372. He beat out an infield hit to second base in third to trigger a three-run rally and extend his hitting streak to 11 games, but his streak of seven multihit games ended.

The Dodgers, who have baseball's best record at 48-27 despite losing four of their last five, were held to one hit until Matt Kemp led off the fifth with a homer. Four batters later, Andre Ethier hit a sacrifice fly.

Kemp's homer was the only time in the last two games that the Dodgers had a batter reach to start an inning.

"When you have a 162-game season, you're going to go through some (rough) spots," manager Joe Torre said. "We've lost four our of five, and that is something pretty unusual for us."

NOTES: As of Sunday, the Dodgers hadn't decided whether they'll discipline reliever Ronald Belisario after the 26-year-old rookie was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of DUI in Pasadena. That decision will be made by GM Ned Colletti. ... Franklin Gutierrez hit an RBI single in the second for Seattle.


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