Franklin Gutierrez may have covered more ground on this trip than most folks run in a year, so the Seattle Mariners have given him the night off - combining it with tomorrow's off-day to let his legs spend a couple of days somewhere other than center field.
In his place tonight, Ryan Langerhans, who hit a pinch-hit home run in Tuesday's 4-2 loss. Michael Saunders and Eliezer Alfonzo are back in the lineup, too.
On the mound? Jason Vargas, making his 13th start of the season, looking for his fifth win. The Mariners could use it, having gone 2-7 in the first nine games of this trip.
Tonight, that trip ends - and 3-7 sounds better than 2-8.
It's Vargas vs. Jaime Garcia. Garcia has already won six games ...
- Ichiro doubled to open the game, but Chone Figgins, Milton Bradley and Jose Lopez each failed to advance him. Another run the Mariners had to score and didn't.
- Bradley singled with one out and Lopez rolled a ball into right field, pushing Bradley to third base. Josh-not-Jack Wilson was hit by a pitch, loading 'em up. Ryan Langerhans grounded out, but when Wilson broke up the double play at second base with a hard slide, Bradley scored. Small things can win games. In the fourth inning: Seattle 1, St. Louis 0.
- Albert Pujols hit a ball that sent umpires scurrying into the replay booth to see whether it had cleared the fence in left center field. Pujols waited near second base for the decision - originally ruled a double, umpires stuck with that call. Pujols took third on a wild pitch and scored on Ryan Ludwick's sacrifice fly. In the fourth: Seattle 1, St. Louis 1.
- Creative managing? Michael Saunders singled and, with Jason Vargas up, Don Wakamatsu called a hit-and-run. Vargas grounded out, but he got Saunders to second base. Ichiro struck out. Figgins singled, scoring Saunders, with Figgins taking second on the throw to the plate. In the fifth: Seattle 2, St. Louis 1.
- A word on Mr. Vagas: Six innngs in, one run allowed, 70 pitches thrown. That's efficiency. That is pitching.
- Note on Mr. Lopez: After flying out in the sixth inning, Jose Lopez left the game with tendinitis in his left knee. Matt Tuiasosopo now playing third base.
- Pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha doubled past Langerhans at first base, and Randy Winn ran for him. Brendan Ryan sacrificed. With the Mariners infield in, Felipe Lopez popped out. With Matt Holliday at the plate, Wakamatsu brought in Brandon League to pitch. Holliday struck out. After eight: Seattle 2, St. Louis 1.
- David Aardsma time. Seattle failed to score in the top of the ninth innin, so Aardsma is in to close out a one-run game. It's a final: Seattle 2, St. Louis 1.