Kansas City, Mo. Hugging everybody in sight is not recommended for somebody fresh off shoulder surgery, but John McLaren didn't care.
"I'll take the hurt," he said, reeking of beer.
Jarrod Washburn and J.J. Putz combined on a five-hitter and Seattle beat Kansas City, 4-0, Wednesday night, giving McLaren his first victory as a big-league manager, a job that was thrust upon him Sunday with Mike Hargrove's unexpected resignation.
Though shocked at Hargrove's decision, the Mariners were pleased to see McLaren, a popular career coach, finally get his dream job at the age of 55. For three days, an autographed champagne bottle had been quietly stashed away, waiting to be presented upon his first win.
"I've got an autographed champagne bottle here and I've got a ball and I've got the lineup card and I've got a memory that'll never leave me," McLaren said. "It was special for me. The first one's always the toughest I guess."
Although his right arm will be in a sling for about six weeks following rotator cuff surgery last Thursday, McLaren still hugged his players as they mobbed him.
"I'll feel it tonight on the plane," he said. "My shoulder is really sore, to be honest with you."
Once in the clubhouse, the Mariners sprayed their skipper with beer.
"It's emotional for me because we needed a win," he said. "We went through a shock as a team, myself included, when Grover stepped down. We needed a pick-me-up."
The Royals, after banging out 16 hits for 17 runs the night before, were almost completely handcuffed by Washburn (8-6), who won his third straight start and raised his career record against Kansas City to 8-4. In Kansas City, the 32-year-old lefty is 6-1 with an earned-run average of 2.43.
"All wins are big," said Washburn, who gave up five hits and one walk, with five strikeouts. "But this one was a little extra special for Mac. I think everyone was pretty pumped to get it out of the way."
Washburn yielded a single and a walk to start the ninth before giving way to Putz, who got Shane Costa to ground out and Alex Gordon to hit into a double play for his 24th save in 24 chances.
"He's just a good man," Washburn said of McLaren. "He's a real honest guy. He'll tell you to your face what he thinks, and that's pretty much all you can ask for a manager. We're all looking forward to getting a whole lot of wins for him."
Adrian Beltre and Jose Guillen each had three hits and drove in two runs. Guillen was 3-for-4 with two singles and a triple, and Beltre was 3-for-4 with two singles and a double.
Esteban German doubled with one out in the first, and turned out to be the only Kansas City batter to get as far as second until the ninth. Billy Butler had a two-out single in the fifth, David DeJesus singled with one out in the sixth and Tony Pena Jr. reached with a two-out single in the eighth.
Ichiro Suzuki, who entered the game hitting .369, tied with Detroit's Magglio Ordonez for the major league lead, singled leading off the game against Brian Bannister and was 1-for-4, lowering his average to .368.
After Jose Vidro walked, he and Suzuki scored on Guillen's two-run single. Ben Broussard drew the second walk of the inning and Beltre's double made it 4-0.
Bannister (5-5), who won five games in six decisions in June and was named AL rookie of the month, was roughed up for four hits and four runs in the first inning but pitched six shutout frames after that. He was relieved starting the eighth by Jimmy Gobble.
"I know this is a good team and with their loss last night I knew they were going to come out tough," Bannister said. "I lost my timing a little bit and I lost my release point. I got my release point back and I was fine the rest of the game."
DeJesus almost made a spectacular running catch of Guillen's two-out drive to center in the eighth, catching the ball as he banged into the wall. But the ball popped out of his glove and Guillen easily made it to third for a triple. Gobble got Broussard on a pop fly to end the inning.