Getting swept at home by Kansas City just before the New York Yankees come in for four games isn't what the Seattle Mariners had in mind this week.
Their only chance to beat the Royals is tonight, and they'll send Doug Fister to the mound to try and get it done. As always, the issue goes beyond pitching, however - can the Mariners score enough runs to win?
In their first 19 innings in this series, Seattle has been out-scored 9-6. Six runs in two games, against anyone, is rarely enough to win in the American League, and the Mariners wasted solid starts by Felix Hernandez and Ryan Rowland-Smith.
Fister hasn't won a ame since May 14. Now would be a good time.
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- With one out, Jason Kendall walked, David DeJesus singled him to third base and Billy Butler flied out deep enough to chase Kendall home. In the first: Kansas City 1, Seattle 0.
- A leadoff walk in the second inning put Wilson Betemit on base and with two outs Chris Getz doubled him to third. On his 47th pitch, Fister retired Scott Podsednik, but he's working way too hard, too early.
- Casey Kotchman hit his fifth home run with two outs and no one on, tying the game. Hey, it's a start. In the second: Seattle 1, Kansas City 1.
- In the third, Fister gives up a pair of singles but gets out of it on his 68th pitch. He's been in trouble each inning but limited the damage. That's pitching.
- Ichiro's 112th hit of the season was his 27th infield single, coming with one out, and Chone Figgins walked. Russell Branyan singled into right field and Ichiro stopped at third base - even though third base coach Lee Tinsley was waving him home. Cosly? Jose Lopez grounded into a double play. After three: Seattle 1, Kansas City 1.
- Fister has retired seven consecutive Royals, and Kyle Davies has had a lot of help in the Seattle fifth - center fielder Mitch Maier made two marvelous running catches to rob Josh Wilson and Ichiro of hits.
- Butler lined a ball off the old-school scoreboard down the left field line and when Saunders fielded it and threw to Figgins, who threw behind the runner to Kotchman, Butler was tagged out trying to get back to first base. In the sixth: Seattle 1, Kansas City 1.
- A two-out walk to Franklin Gutierrez and Kotchman hammered his second home run of the night, his sixth of the seasaon. In the sixth: Seattle 3, Kansas City 1.
- After 97 pitches and six innings, Fister is gone, replaced by Brian Sweeney to open the seventh inning. Yuniesky Betancourt doubled and took third on a one-out fly ball, then scored on a two-out wild pitch. In the seventh: Seattle 3, Kansas City 2.
- Brandon League started the eighth inning for Seattle, and walked the first two Royals he faced, then gave up a three-run home run to Alberto Callaspo on a 3-2 pitch. Garrett Olson came in, got an out and gave up a long solo home run to Maier. In the eighth: Kansas City 6, Seattle 3.
- With two outs in the ninth, Chad Cordero gave up a home run to Butler. In the ninth: Kansas City 7, Seattle 3.
- Pinch-hitter Ryan Langerhans walked and Josh-not-Jack Wilson singled. Joakim Soria came in to pitch. Ichiro flied out. Figgins popped out. Branyan struck out. It's a final: Kansas City 7, Seattle .