ATLANTA — Jim Riggleman couldn’t help but think about his predecessor as he watched the Seattle Mariners enjoy one of their best offensive games of the season.
Jose Lopez drove in four runs with three hits, including a three-run double in the eighth, and the Mariners beat the Atlanta Braves 10-2 on Friday night in Riggleman’s first game since taking over for the fired John McLaren.
The Mariners matched their season high with 15 hits, including a season-high eight doubles. They scored five runs in the eighth, also matching their high mark for an inning this season.
“It’s still a night where I feel for John,” said Riggleman, who was promoted from bench coach to manager. “I feel like we did a lot of things that John talked about. We had good at-bats, we had patience, all the things that John had been preaching all the time. That particular win has a lot to do with everything that he said.”
Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki also said he was thinking about McLaren.
“He’s a special person to me and before each game until now I would always see his face and then go into the game,” Suzuki said. “To not see his face made me very sad.”
Still, Suzuki said the change of managers is an opportunity for the team.
“We need to change the way we’ve been thinking and change the way we were doing things,” said Suzuki, who was 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. “It was important for the manager and for the team to build a different atmosphere.”
Riggleman managed his first game since Oct. 3, 1999, the end of hs five-year run with the Chicago Cubs.
“ I love to manage,” he said. “When you manage, you win and lose and you don’t get too high or too low. ... We’ve got so many losses, we’re not going to get too excited about that one win.”
Ryan Rowland-Smith (1-1) gave up no hits and one walk in 1 2-3 scoreless innings as the second reliever behind starter Erik Bedard, who left with back spasms in his right side after three scoreless innings, giving up only two hits.
Bedard said it was too early to know if he’ll miss a start, but he said he needed support just to make it to the clubhouse.
“I couldn’t even walk down,” Bedard said.
Added Riggleman: “As he walked off (the field), the closer he got to the dugout you could see the pain he was in.”
Braves slugger Chipper Jones also left the game after aggravating his strained right quadriceps. Jones said he expects to miss at least two games.
“It’s happened so many times I can’t recall,” Jones said. “This is definitely the worst, though.”
The Mariners were without fill-in closer Brandon Morrow, who remained in Seattle while also suffering from his own back spasms.
Jorge Campillo (2-2) gave up four runs on eight hits, including five doubles, in 6 1-3 innings. Will Ohman gave up five runs while recording only two outs.
Roy Corcoran, who relieved Bedard, walked Jones and Mark Teixeira in the fourth. Jones scored on Omar Infante’s single to center. Corcoran gave up another hit to Brian McCann, loading the bases, but Jeff Francoeur hit into a double play to end the inning.
Seattle tied the score 1-1 in the sixth when Lopez doubled to left and scored on Beltre’s double to right.
Seattle took the lead with three runs in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed’s double to left drove in Willie Bloomquist with the go-ahead run. Lopez and Raul Ibanez added run-scoring singles.
The Mariners put the game away in the eighth. Lopez hit a bases-loaded double to left to drive in three runs. Ibanez added a run-scoring double.
Kelly Johnson’s double in the eighth drove in Yunel Escobar for Atlanta’s second run.
Notes: Infante, making a rare start in left field, reached over the wall to take a homer away from Beltre in the second inning. ... Escobar left the game in the ninth with a strained right hip flexor and was listed as day to day. ... Seattle won in its first visit to Atlanta. ... Lopez tied his career high with four RBIs.