Here's how the Mariners won the game in the ninth inning.
1. It was a sun-drenched day at Safeco Field with the roof open. How many of those have we had?
2. Possibly one of the slowest players on their team, Jack Cust, who's known for walking, striking out and hitting home runs (though he has yet to do that this season) takes a check swing at a ball, it goes about 20 feet and he beats it out for an infield hit.
3. The Mariners second leading home run hitter Adam Kennedy, who also has the team's second highest slugging percentage and was hitting No. 5, dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Cust to second. Luis Rodriguez then moved Cust to third with a groundball out.
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4. With two outs, Wedge chose to leave in rookie Carlos Peguero to face lefty Scott Downs, who has been tough on lefties his whole career. Peguero then manages to lift a high fly ball to center field where a nine-time gold glover Torii Hunter loses the ball in the sun and can't recover. The ball hits the ground, Cust scores, the Mariners win.
Unusual sequence? Kind of slightly.
“The baseball gods were looking down on us,” Wedge said.
In the past few weeks, the Mariners (19-24) have been treated like Job by the baseball gods. So on an infrequent Thursday day game with the Safeco roof wide open, they were rewarded for their faith.
Here's what they had to say:
Peguero: “I just tried to put the ball in play and see what happened. Something happened, a good something happened.”
Hunter: "I saw it off the bat and ran after it till it's highest point and didn't see it anymore,” he said. “I just battled, tried to find it, stand there as long as I could, put my glove where I thought it would fall in. I just couldn't see it. You can't catch what you can't see."
"But (I've) never lost the ball to lose the game. That stings even more."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia: “Torii [Hunter] was looking into the sun and that one just never came out, and he just dropped it. It’s unfortunate and a lot of people are going to remember that play. But, we put ourselves in that position from the offensive side; we just couldn’t get enough to absorb any balls in the sun or anything like that. It was a tough game. He was trying to move with the ball and, as the ball slices, it’s tougher to get around it. With [Michael] Saunders, he was able to get on both sides of the ball, and it came out for him. Torii didn’t have the opportunity to get on the other side because he had to track the ball and it just never came out. Believe me, if he could have seen it, he would have caught it.”
Saunders: “I was doing the two-step out there. I lost it for a good two to three seconds probably. Luckily it came out of the sun for me. Obviously you saw one of the greatest out there and he lost it in the sun. It was awful.”
"The sun is pretty high up there and I was able to track the ball. I knew where it was going to be. When it got to its highest point is when I started losing it. I tried to get around it on left side, couldn’t' find it, tried to get around the sun on the right side, couldn't find it and that's when you really saw me dancing out there and then it came out last second and I was able to react. There is no worse feeling than having it up there. Your heart starts going and like I said it's really unfortunate, but luckily it came out for me."
- Starting pitcher Dan Haren’s 19.1 consecutive scoreless innings streak vs. Mariners was snapped with Luis Rodriguez’s run in the 5th…the streak dated back to 2007 when Haren was with OAK (9/17/07, 7th inning)…he also retired 13 of his first 15 batters faced.
- Haren is winless in his last 6 starts despite posting a 2.35 ERA (42.1 IP, 11 ER)…has left game tied or with the lead in 8 of 10 starts…Angels are 5-5 in his starts.
- The Angels have now dropped 5 straight (previously 4: 4/21-24 vs. BOS) and 7 of their last 8 games.
- The Angels’ 24 consecutive scoreless inning streak was snapped with Howie Kendrick’s 7th home run of the season in the 4th inning…last score was 5/16 @ OAK (2 runs in 7th inning).
- Kendrick tied a season-high with 3 hits (5x, last: 5/5 at BOS0 and extended his team leading 6-game hitting streak with a base hit in the 2nd…during the streak he is batting 8x20 (.400) with 2 RBI…is also batting .382 (34x89) with 17 runs scored in his last 23 games.
- Kendrick left today’s game in the 9th inning with tightness in his right hamstring.
- Bobby Abreu has now reached base safely in 36 of 44 games and is batting .304 (77x253) in his career vs. Seattle.
- With a double in the 5th, Alexi Amarista has hit 3 of career 4 for extra bases (2 2B, 3B).
- Carlos Peguero recorded the first walk-off hit of his career and the Mariners recorded their 3rd walk-off win of the season (last: May 6 vs. CWS on Brendan Ryan’s 2-out RBI)...it is Seattle’s 5th win in their last at-bat (last: May 6 vs. CWS).
- The Mariners swept the 2-game series vs. the Angels…was the first time to beat LAA in consecutive games at home since Sept. 1-2, 2009…it is the first series win for the Mariners against the Angels since taking 2 of 3 games, Aug. 31-Sept. 2.
- Doug Fister is now 1-1, 3.54 ERA (11 ER, 28.0 IP) in 4 career starts against the Angels…in 3 starts against Los Angeles at Safeco Field, he is 1-0, 2.02 ERA (5 ER, 22.1 IP)…has tossed at least 6.0 innings in 22 of his 28 career home starts.
- Fister, over his last 6 starts, is 2-1, 2.50 ERA (11 ER, 39.2 IP) with 25 strikeouts.
- In 3 day starts this season, Fister has a 1.83 ERA (4 ER, 19.2 IP)…in his career in day games, he is 2-4, 2.84 ERA (25 ER, 79.1 IP in 13 starts. Mariners pitchers’ 20 consecutive scoreless innings streak was snapped with Howie Kendrick’s home run in the 4th.
- Chris Gimenez got his third RBI of the season with a sac fly in the 5th, driving in Luis Rodriguez to tie the score at 1.
- Today’s game makes the 6th straight that Mariners starters have gone for 7.0 or more IP (last: 6/8-6/15/04 vs. HOUx2, MONx3, @MIL)…starters have tossed at least 7.0 innings in 11 of 15 games this months
- 22 of 43 games have now been decided by 2 or fewer runs (8-9 in 1-run, 2-3 in 2-run).
- Chone Figgins has now hit in 15 of his last 18 G (.293/22x75) and extends his hitting streak to 5 games (.263/5x19).