Mariners Insider Blog

Cirillo Beaten ... By A Bear - Mariners Game #122

Sign That Animal ...

In pre-game festivities, the Twins had a softball-hitting home run contest, and one of the contestants was former Mariner and former Twin Jeff Cirillo.

Hitting from just behind second base, Cirillo hit two home runs in seven swings. Then the Twins mascot - a bear named 'T.C.' for the Twin Cities - stepped up and hit four out.

One of the bear's shots was massive, hitting high off a Kent Hrbek banner hanging in the upper deck.

The Mariners now want to put Jarrod Washburn back on waivers and, if the Twins claim him again, ask for the bear.

Just kidding ...

What, You Thought It Would Be Easy? ...

Sean Green came into the eighth inning to protect a lead and was gone eight pitches - and two strikes - later.

He walked tghe leadoff hitter, gave up a sacrifice bunt and was gone. With Cesar Jimenez pitching, a Carlos Gomez single tied the game.

To the ninth:

Mariners 6, Twins 6 ...

Run, Ichiro, Run ...

Ichiro Suzuki singled to open the game, then stayed put to give the next two left-handed hitters in the lineup a bigger hole on the right side of the Twins infield.

With the Twins holding Ichiro, Jeremy Reed struck out and Raul Ibanez flied out.

That brought up the right-handed hitting Adrian Beltre - and Ichiro stole second base.

It was his 38th steal of the year, but just the fourth since the All-Star game.

Beltre walked, Jose Lopez popped out.

Mariners didn't score. ...

How To Lose Close Games ...

With two outs, one on and one run in, Delmon Young popped up in foul territory and first baseman Bryan LaHair couldn't make the play.

Young then singled. So did Randy Ruiz - and the Twins pushed home a second run with two outs.

Twins 2, Mariners 0 ...

The Loveable Lunk ...

Richie Sexson was released by the New York Yankees, and - just as he did in Seattle - he left without dropping by the clubhouse one last time.

Batting .250 with six RBI - four coming on one swing last week - Sexson didn't make many friends during his stay.

What's next fot Sexson? Probably an invitation to come to spring training as a non-roster player for one team or another.

His days as a productive regular seem behind him. His playing days may be, too. ...

Let's Turn Two ...

The Mariners are making their outs two at time now, hurrying this game right along.

In the second, fourth and fifth innings, they've grounded into double plays against Scott Baker.

Rookie Wladimir Balentien grounded into two of those, and Ichiro grounded into a third to end the Mariners fifth.

Twins 5, Mariners 0 ...

Take This Shutout & Shove It ...

Baker took a shutout into the sixth, but Seattle chased him. Jeremy Reed doubled, Raul Ibanez walked and Adrian Beltre doubled home one run.

Jose Lopez popped out for the third time, but Jeff Clement's second single pushed home two more runs and that was it for Baker.

Yuniesky Betancourt's two-out double - on the first pitch he saw after Bryan LaHair walked - scored Clement.

So Ichiro came up with runners at second and third base ... and Ichiro singled both home and the Mariners have a lead for the first time since they got off the plane here.

Mariners 6, Twins 5 ...

Sunday's Starting Pitcher ...

Taking the spot R.A. Dickey had taken from Erik Bedard, lefty Ryan Feierabend will make his first big-league start of the season.

He's earned it.

With the Rainiers this season, Feierabend has gone 7-1 with a 2.04 ERA in 13 starts. Sidelined by a tender elbow, he went on the DL, but has made five starts since coming off - and gone 3-0 with a 1.81 ERA.

He's 22, and in late-season callups the past two seasons has gone 1-7 with a 6.92 ERA and had control problems.

He's been a strike-throwing machine in AAA this year.

Let the kid pitch. ...

Bottom Of The Ninth ...

Tie game, with Sean Green and then Cesar Jimerez combining to give up the tying run in the eighth.

Now comes the ninth, and Jimenez makes two good pitches that turn into opposite field singles for Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Neither hit hard, both perfectly placed.

So, first and second, no one out and Miguel Batista on the mound.

Around the Sound, fans are screaming at their television sets.

A bunt moves the runners up.

Does anyone in the hemisphere believe Batista can get out of this? Certainly not Twins fans.

Riggleman brings Ichiro in to play a fifth infielder and orders Mike Lamb intentionally walked to load the bases.

Fly ball, left field, run scores.

Twins 7, Mariners 6 - Final ...

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