You know, of course, about the Seattle Mariners offense and how most everyone on the team not named Ichiro is batting below .250 and being rather unproductive.
Well, life isn't all roses for the American League East-leading Tampa Bay Rays, either. First baseman Carlos Pena, for instance, is batting a Mariner-like .198. Unlike anyone with Seattle, Pena also has 27 home runs and 81 RBI - numbers that would easily lead all Mariners hitters.
With Russell Branyan out, the leading Mariner home run hitter is Franklin Gutierrez, who has 12. And Gutierrez leads all Mariners with 60 RBI.
The Mariners can, however, come close to matching Pena's batting average. Their own first baseman, Justin Smoak, is hitting .196.
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- On the first pitch of the game, Ichiro grounded hit No. 203 into left field. Chone Figgins bunted Ichiro to second base. Swinging at anything thrown in his direction, Jose Lopez struck out. Franklin Gutierrez struck out. Thanks for the thought, Ichi.
- Luke Frenchhelped himself in the Tampa first inning. Jason Bartlett singled with one out - and Pauley picked him off first base. Take that. After one: No score.
- Ichiro singled with two outs - No. 205 - and Figgins legged out an infield hit. A threat? No. Lopez grounded out. In the third: No score.
- Gutierrez singled and, as Justin Smoak struck out, Gutierrez stole second base - his 25th of the season - and took third on a throwing error. Mangini struck out. Josh Bard grounded out. Yikes!
- French continues to give the Mariners an opportunity - in theory - to win this game with a run or two. He's worked four innings, allowing two hits, no runs. Behind him, Seattle has four hits and no runs. After four: No score.
- Ichiro walked with two outs, and Figgins doubled him to third. Lopez singled home two runs. In the fifth: Seattle 2, Tampa Bay 0.
- Sean Rodriguez doubled and, with one out, scored on a Desmond Jennings double. B.J. Upton tied it with a single. In the fifth: Seattle 2, Tampa Bay 2.
- Smoak singled and Mangini walked. Bard bunted both runners up a base. Greg Halman struck out. Josh Wilson homered, his second - and first since May 10.. In the sixth: Seattle 5, Tampa Bay 2.
- An arm weary French, who threw 30 pitches in the fifth inning, gave up back-to-back singles in the sixth and was lifted for reliever Jamey Wright. Pinch-hitter Ben Zobrist flied out. Pinch hiter John Jaso grounded into a double play. That's big-league relief.
- With two out, Gutierrez was safe on an error and Smoak singled. Mangini singled Gutierrez home. In the seventh: Seattle 6, Tampa Bay 2.
- In to pitch the eighth inning, Dan Cortes. Throwing heat - 95-to-97 mph - he struck out Reid Brignac. Pena went down on a 97 mph fastball, after taking an 83 mph changeup for a strike. Kelly Shoppach swung and missed a 98 mph fastball. If Mr. Cortes has not yet caught your attention, he should have. He certainly has impressed the Rays in this series with two scoreless innings and four strikeouts.
- Brandon League on to pitch the ninth. A one, two, three inning makes it look easy, but four scoreless innings from the bullpen will do that for a team. Win No. 59 is in the books. It's a final: Seattle 6, Tampa Bay 2.