PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Maybe Jerome Williams just needed a new catcher.
Williams took a three-hitter into the eighth inning, Andres Blanco hit his first homer in three years, and the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Seattle Mariners 4-1 in an interleague game Monday night.
Making his second start since joining the Phillies, Williams (1-0) allowed one run and three hits in seven-plus innings.
“I’m doing things I haven’t done before because he has confidence in me,” Williams said about catcher Carlos Ruiz. “My game plan wasn’t working this year. That’s why I’m on my third team. We’re just using the same weapons, but moving the ball around. With Chooch behind the plate, I’m not shaking him off. I trust him. I was hard-headed before. I wanted to do it my way. My way got me off two teams.”
The Phillies claimed Williams off waivers from Texas to fill a spot in the rotation after Roberto Hernandez was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Williams was 2-5 with a 6.71 ERA for the Rangers and Houston this season. But he has a 2.19 ERA in 12 1-3 innings with Philadelphia.
“Jerome was solid, had a stress-free outing,” manager Ryne Sandberg said. “He was outstanding.”
Mariners rookie Roenis Elias (9-10) gave up one run and three hits in four innings. The left-hander constantly pitched out of jams because he walked six and hit one batter with a pitch.
“I was erratic with my fastball,” Elias said through a translator. “I felt good physically, but it just wasn’t my day.”
Blanco connected for a three-run shot off reliever Dominic Leone in the fifth to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. It was his first home run since July 1, 2011, for Texas against Florida.
“I feel proud coming back,” Blanco said of returning to the majors after missing two years following shoulder surgery.
Marlon Byrd’s RBI double in the third gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. Elias escaped further trouble by striking out Cody Asche with the bases loaded. Elias also left the bases full in the fourth by retiring Ryan Howard on a grounder.
Williams left after hitting Chris Taylor with a pitch leading off the eighth. Ken Giles entered and allowed an RBI double to Dustin Ackley with one out. Giles then struck out Robinson Cano and Kendrys Morales to leave runners on second and third.
Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 32 tries.
Seattle had won 12 of its previous 16 games. The Mariners fell into a tie with Detroit for the second wild-card spot in the AL. They’re seeking their first postseason appearance since 2001.
The last-place Phillies, who are heading toward their second straight losing season, opened a nine-game homestand with just their third win in the last 10 games.
Mariners: RHP Felix Hernandez is fine after an early exit and plans to start at Boston on Friday night. The five-time All-Star left after five innings because he was hit by a one-hopper off Ian Kinsler’s bat in the fourth inning of his most recent start Saturday in Detroit.
Phillies: OF John Mayberry Jr. is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. Mayberry has been sidelined since July 21 because of an injured left wrist. He’s batting .213 with six homers and 21 RBIs.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (11-6, 2.72 ERA) goes Tuesday night. He is 3-1 with a 1.27 ERA in his last four starts.
Phillies: RHP A.J. Burnett (6-13, 4.35 ERA) tries to snap a five-game losing streak. Burnett hasn’t won since July 11. He’s 0-5 with a 6.54 ERA in his last six starts.
Phillies CF Ben Revere was 2 for 5, raising his average to .315, second in the NL to Justin Morneau’s .323. The Phillies haven’t had a batting champion since Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn hit .350 in 1958. Revere has only 13 RBIs. The fewest RBIs for a batting champ is 27 by Matty Alou in 1966.
WELCOME TO PHILLY
The Mariners played their first game in Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004. Seattle swept a three-game series at Veterans Stadium in 2003 in its only other trip to Philadelphia.
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