Well, the Mariners are looking for a mini-sweep and they will do so against Pasco native Jeremy Bonderman, who 2-2 on the season with a 4.43 ERA. The Mariners faced Bonderman earlier this season and scored 10 runs on nine hits in four innings on April 16th. Bonderman also walked four batters.
So as Wak would say, there is a "belief system" for success against Bonderman.
Ichiro has probably the best success against Bonderman. He's hitting .389 (14-for-36) in his career against hijm.
For the Mariners, Jason Vargas (3-2, 3.08 ERA). Vargas is on a run of seven straight quality starts, which is tied for second most in the AL with CJ Wilson of Texas. Jeff Niemann leads the AL with eight straight quality starts.
Vargas currently ranks first in the AL in opponent batting average, holding hitters to a .193 (37-for-192) average and an average of .174 (21-for-121) at Safeco Field. He has also limited lefties to a .123 average (7-for-57).
The potential for a bad inning was squelched by the indecision of Ryan Raburn and Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont. Magglio Ordonez doubled to right and the ball took a funny bounce off the wall in foul territory. Raburn, who was on first, came around third and hesitated and looked at Lamont, who didn't know what to do either. So Lamont kind of sent him home and that pause was big since Ichiro threw home easily getting it there and beating Raburn and Josh Bard applied the tag.
Brennan Boesch makes an unreal catch on Ichiro's pop foul in left, crashing into the stands. The Mariners pick up a pair of walks, but Milton Bradley and Mike Sweeney ground into fielders choices.
Another adventure for Vargas, but none if it from his doing. He gives up a single to Boesch, when he hits a ground ball to second that Mike Sweeney kind of gets lost on and forgets to cover first base. Vargas balks him to second. Josh Wilson misses a backhand at short, but it's ruled a hit. But with runners on first and second with one out, Vargas gets Danny Worth to ground out and strikes out Adam Everett swinging.
The Mariners get some good news and bad news. The good news is that Josh Bard reaches on a Jeremy Bonderman throwing error. The bad news is that Bard appears to have injured his leg trying to advance to second. He was taken out of the game and replaced by Rob Johnson. Johnson moved to third on Josh Wilson's single and then later score on Michael Saunders broken-bat RBI single.
The Tigers go up 2-1 as Vargas walks Johnny Damon and then later leaves a fastball up in the zone that Magglio Ordonez rips out of the park and off the scoreboard in left for a two-run homer.
The M's could have another injury issue as Milton Bradley is hit on the shin with a 92 mph fastball from Bonderman. He stayed in the game, but was getting it looked at on the bench by the trainers.
Vargas issues a two-out walk to the Tigers No. 9 hitter Adam Everett - something uncharacteristic of him. But he gets out of it.
The M's go 1-2-3.
Vargas finally get a 1-2-3 inning, but a 14-pitch at-bat to Ryan Raburn killed his pitch count. His string of quality starts will come to an end.
Gutierrez and Bradley with back to back singles, but Sweeney swings at two pitches that were nowhere near strikes before grounding out.
Ryan Rowland-Smith replaces Vargas and gets two quick outs, but the inning is kept alive by a Lopez error and a double from Everett pushes the lead to 3-1. Wakamatsu pulls Rowland-Smith for Brandon League, who promptly gives up a single to Austin Jackson to score Everett. Tigers lead 4-1.
Bonderman cruises through the bottom of the order. 1-2-3.
Leagues gives up a single, but nothing else.
Bonderman needs just seven pitches to retired the Mariners in order.
Brandon League looks sharp in that inning. Three ground ball outs. That's what you expect to see from him.
The Mariners cut the lead to 4-3 on Mike Sweeney's two-run homer to left-center. Reliever Ryan Perry started Sweeney off with an offspeed pitch, but he left it in the strike zone and hung it and Sweeney went down and got it. Jose Lopez followed with a single and then Rob Johnson doubled off the wall in left. The rally keeps going as Josh Wilson scores both runs with a single to left-center. The Mariners have a 5-4 lead.
The biggest deficit that the Mariners have overcome in a win this season is 2 runs.
David Aardsma comes out and retires the side for the save. That's a big win. The type of win you build off of.