As they did a year ago, the Seattle Mariners have started a season 1-2, and splitting this series would make the upcoming series in Texas look a little less daunting.
In a park where the Rangers rake, the Mariners don't want to start a three-game series with a 1-3 record - so Doug Fister's first start of the year becomes a game Seattle needs.
Fister doesn't have much big league time in, this being his 12th career appearance, but he's 1-0 with a 1.50 earned run average against Oakland in two previous starts.
He's going to neeed runs and the bullpen, and he's going to need to to get past five innings.
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- Aggressiveness looks wonderful when it works. When it doesn't? Not so much. Chone Figgins singled with one out in the first inning, then tagged and dartred for second base on a deep fly to right field Ryan Sweeney threw him out to end the inning.
- Bad sign? The Mariners desperately need innings from Fister, but the right-handed threw 24 pitches in the first inning, walking one man and wild-pitching him to second before Franklin Gutierrez ran down a long fly ball.
- Oh, you want to play that way? Rajai Davis just robbed Milton Bradley of a home run with a brilliant catch at the wall in left center field.
- Yikes! Fister throws another 24 pitches in the second inning and now has 48 - about half what the Mainers are going to let him throw.
- Brett Anderson was breezing along until he ran into Tuiasosopo in he third inning. Tui made Anderson throw 13 pitches before sriking out.
- Trouble! A one single by Davis, then a balk, a wild pitch and a walk put Oakland runners at first and third ih the third. Sweeney doubled home a run on Fister's 64th pitch, then intentionally walked Kevin Kouzmanoff to load the bases but set up a double play. Fister pitched out of it, but after three innings, he's thrown 74 pitches.
- Game of inches: Bradley dove for a Davis leadoff single in the third inning and just missed a fine catch, and Davis eventually scored. Now, the the fourth inning, Mark Ellis gets a single when Ichito Suzuki slides for a fly ball and has it kick away. Daric Barton grounds an RBI single up the middle on Fister's 93rd pitch, then gets out of the ining with his 95th. Oakland 2, Seattle 0.
- Jesus Colome is in to pitch the fifth inning, Fister is done. Colome restores order, retiring the side on nine pitches.
- Double to left opens the Oakland sixth, double to right scores a third Oakland run. A two-out single by Barton brintgs in another. Oakland 4, Seattle 0.
- Mariners threaten in the seventh, using a Figgins single and a walk to Gutierrez to chase Anderson. Reliever Chad Gaudin struck out Bradley. Mike Sweeney fouled out. Jose Lopez popped out. Threat resolved.
- Here's one for you. After a walk, Cliff Pennington bunts toward third. Lopez bobbles the ball and catcher Adam Moore scoops it up with ... his mask. Oops. That's against the rules, and both runners move up a base on what is ruled a double. Barton singles home two. Oakland 6, Seattle 0.
- Breakthrough! Gutierrez doubled with one out in the ninth inning, Bradley walked and the veteran Sweeney singled Gutierrez home to end the shutout. Oakland went to closer Andrew Bailey, and a passed all let both runners move up, and Lopez walked to load 'em up. Tuiasosopo singled home a run. Casey Kotchman grounded into a double play. It's a final: Oakland 6, Seattle 2.