Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners end homestand with 6-3 win over Sox

Final: Obviously a happier clubhouse in the afternoon than it had been in the morning.

A few quotes:

JOHN MCLAREN

When we got behind in the first inning we kept our composure and kept after it, and that's what we've got to do. This is going to be a battle, and as soon as we can start feeling good about ourselves, then we can start taking off. And I think we're starting to feel better about ourselves.

The bullpen pulled together, which was a very nice sign. J.J.'s velocity was very good. We go to Texas and we're looking for a big series there.

J.J. PUTZ

I felt really good. I felt like I had good command. My arm felt good and it was nice being in the energy like that again.

RAUL IBANEZ

The last couple of days … we're seeing guys having a better approach at the plate and a lot of good sounds coming off the bats. ... We were able to string together some hits and put some pressure on the defense out there. We had guys on base a lot. A good effort by everybody.

And a few notes:

The win ended a five-game losing streak. … Seattle is 15-8 when scoring four or more runs. … Ichiro Suzuki doubled in his first at bat, extended his season-high hitting streak to 11 games. Ichiro also stole his 16th base of the season and 288th of his career, leaving him two short of the Julio Cruz's club record 290… … Ibanez's third-inning home run was his 56th at Safeco Field, leaving him five short of Bret Boone's park record.

4:10 -- It sure looks easy when the big three of offense, starting pitching and relief pitching are working for you.

Miguel Batista got his third win, the offense got its most runs since Monday, and Arthur Rhodes, Sean Green Rob Morrow and J.J. Putz made it stand up without undue suspense.

A nice -- if chilled to the bone -- crowd of 30,346 looked on.

2:20 -- Raul Ibanez just gave the Mariners a 3-2 lead with a two-run, 443-foot shot to right ... one of the real power shots I've seen here for quite a while.

2 p.m.-- Mariners just loaded the bases with no outs and ended the inning with no runs: Wladimir Balentien hit into a 1-2-3 double-play and Yuniesky Bentancourt grounded out. It's Chicago 2, Mariners 1 heading into the third.

1:25: White Sox 2, Mariners coming to bat.

By the way, players from both teams are wearing pink wrist bands, pink necklaces and pink ribbons -- and many are using pink bats -- in honor of Mother's Day and breast cancer awareness. Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure through the "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" program.

Fans also can purchase their own personalized pink bats at www.slugger.com, with $10 from each purchase going to Komen for the Cure.

And while I'm at it, happy Mothers' Day to any moms reading the blog today.

1:05 -- We've had the anthem. The roof remains closed. It is cooooold. Time to play ball.

1 p.m. -- No big news out of our meeting with John McLaren today ... unless you consider Jarrod Washburn working on a split-fingered pitch to be big news.

Otherwise, the conversation today was mostly devoted to "mood" ... how the team is dealing with losing 10 of 11 games.

McLaren admits to a tension in the clubhouse, which he believes could be showing up from players trying too hard

A few of his quotes:

"I've been in better times in my life, I can tell you."

"They're frustrated and there's some tension in the clubhouse, which I think is what it is. ... There hasn't been a whole lot to feel good about for a long time."

"We've gone through a lot here. As a positive I hope its bringing us together as a group. We're sticking together. We know we're the only ones who can get ourselves out of this. There's not an easy remedy. I can tell you the guys have probably been working too hard. With that said, that's probably a positive step because they're working at it. I think this is probably more of a mental grind than it is mechanically hitting."

Noon: Today's Mariners lineup

1. Ichiro, cf

2. Cairo, 1b

3. Beltre 3b

4. Ibanez lf

5. Lopez 2b

6. Clement dh

7. Johjima, c

8. Balentien, rf

Bentancourt, ss

Pitching: Batists (2-4, 5.66)

11:55 a.m. -- A slight drizzle has begun, and the Safeco roof has closed.

Trivia quiz -- How many games the roof is closed in a typical 81-game home season. (Closed means closed for all or part of the game.)

10:30 a.m. -- It's cool and cloudy at Safeco Field, but the roof is open.

Today's 1:10 p.m. game against the White Sox concludes what has been a dreadful homestand for the Mariners.

They play Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in Texas -- the team that got this homestand off to its nasty start -- and then return home Friday for the start of interleague play with three games against the Padres.

I'm heading down to the clubhouse -- also presumably cool and cloudy.

And if I'm reading correctly Mr. Divish will join in with the blogging as the day moves along.

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