Back in April, May, June and July, the Seattle Mariners would have killed for an offense capable of coming back from a six-run deficit and scoring seven times - but those Mariners likely wouldn't have allowed 13 runs.
When the Toronto Blue Jays beat Seattle tonight, 13-7, it was a reminder that yes, the Mariners have made significant progress with their lineup in 2011.
And yes, it's still a fourth place team. With reason.
Mike Carp continued his 16-game hitting streak and Casper Wells has now homered in each of his last four games. Rookies Trayvon Robinson and Kyle Seager chipped in a couple of RBI apiece, while catcher Miguel Olivo hit his 15th home run of the season.
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Jason Vargas gave up six first-inning runs, eight in four innings and while the bullpen didn't help him out he lost this one on his own.
And there was a little Ichiro controversy. Coming up in the fifth inning with two men on and two outs, Ichiro tried to bunt for a hit and tapped back to the mound for an easy out. Afterward, manager Eric Wedge said he didn't like the play.
“I talked to Ichi – I know what he’s trying to do, keep the inning going – but in that situation with two outs, I want him to swing the bat,” Wedge said. “He understood. It was just a quick conversation we had.”
Vargas as now lost six of his last seven decisions. The Mariners young hitters may not care what the score is when theycome to bat, but this isn't a team likely to score 14 runs.
When Jose Bautista homered in the fifth inning, it illustrated that point. It was his 35th home run of the season. The entire Mariners starting lineup had 36 when the game began.