The Seattle Mariners have reached the last line of defense in their effort not to losee 100 or more times in 2010 - with two games left, they simply cannot lose again.
Given the way this series has gone so far, with Oakland out-scoring the Mariners, 17-1 in two games, it's hard to see their bats come alive at Safeco Field against solid pitching. Two managers, a couple of hitting coaches and most everyone in the Northwest has waited for that to happen this summer.
How bad is it? Tonight, their cleanup hitter, Justin Smoak, is batting .214. And the No. 5 hitter, Adam Moore, is at .194. And they're hot.
David Pauley will try to hold Oakland as long as possible on the off-chance his teammates score. Hey, it could happen.
- Ichiro chopped a ball off the plate, and by the time it came to earth he was at first base with his 59th infield hit of the season. With two outs, Justin Smoak lined out to third.
- This just in: Ex-Mariner Mike Morse homered again tonight, his 15th, for the Washington Nationals. He has fewer than 270 at-bats.
- Adam Moore doubled to open the second inning. Matt Mangini struck out. Greg Halman struck out. Michael Saunders grounded out. After two: No score.
- Mark Ellis hammered a pitch down the left field line for his fifth home run. With two outs, Jack Cust homered, inches beyond the glove of left field Saunders.In the fourth: Oakland 2, Seattle 0.
- Franklin Gutierrez singled and took second on a passed ball. Smoak doubled him home. In the fourth: Oakland 2, Seattle 1.
- AFter Jeremy Heredia singled, Chris Carter homered, his third. In the fifth: Oakland 4, Seattle 1.
- Saunders led off the fifth inning with a single, and Seattle has out-hit Oakland, 5-4. The difference? Three of the Athletics hit left the ballpark.
- Smoak doubled and, with two outs, Greg Halman singled off the pitcher for an RBI single. In the sixth: Oakland 4, Seattle 2.
- Kirby Arnold of the Everett Herald points out that if the score holds, the Mariners will end the night with 100 losses - and 100 home runs. That is symetry. Meanwhile, Mr. Pauley has pitched seven innings and kept his team in the game - precisely what a team asks of its fifth starter. In the seventh: Oakland 4, Seattle 2.
- Against rookie Dan Cortes, Athletics add a run when Rajai Davis singled, stole second, stole third and trotted home on a sacrifice fly. In the eighth: Oakland 5, Seattle 2.
- In the ninth: Three outs from their 100th loss, Halman struck out. Saunders homered, his 10th - and the Mariners 101st. Josh Wilson was safe on an error. Ichiro grounded out, Wilson to second base. Figgins flied out, It's a final: Oakland 5, Seattle 3.