Mariners starting pitcher Jason Vargas is 3-0 over his past eight starts, including Wednesday's win at St. Louis.

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ST. LOUIS — The Mariners head back to Seattle on a much happier note thanks to Jason Vargas.

The southpaw befuddled the Cardinals bats on Wednesday night, while the Mariners’ offense scratched out just enough support and the bullpen turned it into a 2-1 victory at Busch Stadium.

“I can’t say enough about Vargas tonight, going out in some pretty hot weather but just really in command of all pitches,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “To me, he dominated an awfully good lineup over there.”

It was the final game of a rough stretch for the Mariners (25-41), who played 20 games in 20 days and went 7-13 during the stretch. Wednesday’s win was just the third in the 10-game road trip.

“It was a long one,” Vargas said. “I think we’re all ready to go back to Seattle and see our fans and get back home.”

Vargas (5-2) matched his career high for wins in a season with his first road victory of the 2010 campaign. He allowed just one run on five hits over a season-high 7-2/3 innings, the second-longest outing of his career.

The 27-year-old lefty struck out four and hit one batter as 62 of his 94 pitches went for strikes. Vargas lowered his ERA from 3.05 to 2.88 with his 11th quality start of the season.

“He did what he does,” shortstop Josh Wilson said. “He throws strikes. He keeps the ball down in the zone. He hits corners. The guy has been doing it all year.”

The Mariners, who are now 10-24 on the road this season, have gone 15 games without scoring more than four runs. But Seattle, which left six runners on base on Wednesday and went 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position, did just enough to help out its starting pitcher.

In the fourth inning, Milton Bradley and Jose Lopez — who later left the game with mild tendinitis in his left knee and is day-to-day — started it off with back-to-back singles. Wilson was hit by a pitch from Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia to load the bases with one out.

Ryan Langerhans then hit a ground ball to second base that looked like it would end the inning, but the Cardinals couldn’t turn the double play as Wilson slid hard into second base.

“I think the play of the day for me is Josh Wilson breaking up the double play that allowed the run to score,” Wakamatsu said.

Wilson said: “That’s what I’m out there to do, right there. That’s my one job, so I’m going to go out there and try to break it up.”

Bradley took a potential home run away from Albert Pujols in the bottom of the fourth when he reached over the wall in left-center and got a glove on a long drive by the Cardinals first baseman. The left fielder knocked the ball back into play and Pujols was left with a double after a five-minute video review by the umpires. Pujols advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Ludwick.

“With the way he looked at it I thought he knew he hit it out,” Vargas said. “Then I saw Milton keep going back and back and the gate gave way a little bit out there on him and he was able to bring it back.”

“I’m just trying to win a ballgame, trying to make a play,” Bradley said.

The Mariners went ahead 2-1 in the fifth on Chone Figgins’ two-out RBI single to center.

David Aardsma gave up a one-out double to Ludwick in the bottom of the ninth inning but retired the next two batters to earn his 14th save of the season.

“It was a tough road trip, tough 20 days, but we knew we had good games like this in us the whole time,” Aardsma said.