It's not often Michael Pineda has started a game for the Seattle Mariners this season hoping to pitch as well as a rookie pitcher had a day earlier ... in fact, until Blake Beavan's 3-1 win yesterday, it had never happened.
Pineda has more important things on his mind than Mr. Beavan, however. In a week that will see the Mariners take on American League West rivals Oakland and Los Angeles, he has the chance to open up with a win that would get Seattle to 42-43.
Yes, it's Independence Day, and the Mariners are with 2 1/2 games of first place. What the Mariners need now are wins - lots of them. If they can use the Athletics to pick up two or three, all the better.
If they can't, this race could slide away quickly.
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Here's today's lineup against RHP Brandon McCarthy:
Ichiro RFBrendan Ryan SSAdam Kennedy 3BJustin Smoak 1BDustin Ackley 2BJack Cust DHGreg Halman CFCarlos Peguero LFJosh Bard CMichael Pineda P