It's a sunny but far from warm fall day here at Safeco Field. It's far from a capacity crowd, but a decent showing nonetheless. Let's get to it.
Top of First
I'm not sure why Gerald Laird is leading off, but hey it's September and the Mariners got Betancourt batting second and Johjima in the line-up so reasoning isn't always an issue. Cesar Jimenez looks sharp striking out Laird, coaxing a ground ball out of German Duran and then striking out Michael Young.
Bottom of first
Ichiro gets an infield "hit" to start the game. He then steals second and Taylor Teagarden's throw to second is wild allowing Ichi to advance to third. He later scores on Betancourt's grounder to short. The Ms have a 1-0 lead.
Top of second
Jimenez get himself into trouble with a lead-off walk to Josh Hamilton and a single to Marlon Byrd. But then he rallied to strike out Hank Blalock and the Rangers helped by calling for a double steal for some reason. Johjima easily threw out Hamilton at third. Jimenez then struck out Chris Davis to end the inning.
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Bottom of second
Kenji Johjima, you remember him don't you, he of the 24 million dollar three-year contract extension, comes up with a bases loaded single to center, which for him is going opposite field. Two runs scored and the Mariners are up 3-0. It could have been more but Chris Davis made a nice grab on Ichiro line drive at third and then dove and tagged the bag before Matt Tuiasosopo could dive back in time.
Top of third
Jimenez another strong inning, going 1-2-3. Hmm, Riggleman said that Jimenez was more of a pitcher than like a relief specialist, which is true since he isn't particularly dominant agianst lefties.. Perhaps a long relief role or a future in starting might be better for him. His line: 3 IP,0 runs, 1 hit, 2 BB, 4 Ks. Not bad.
Bottom of third
The Mariners play a little add on as Raul Ibanez smoked a double to left center, scoring Betancourt, who walked to lead off the inning. That's not a typo, Yuni walked. That's 13 on the season.
Top of fourth
Jared Wells with a nice little inning setting down the side. Wells might weigh 150 pounds with 10 pound weights in each shoe.
Bottom of four
The Mariners waste runners on the corners as Betancourt puts together a solid at-bat, fouling off a bunch of pitches, but can't come up with a hit.
Top of five
You know that four-run lead, well it's now gone. Jared Wells gave up two two-run bombs, one to Nelson Cruz and the other to Taylor Teagarden, before being yanked for Randy Messenger. Both home runs were hit pretty well. It's now 4-4. The Divish curse lives.
Bottom of Five
The Mariners fight back against the curse. Raul scoring two runs in the fifth. Raul leads off with a single and later scores on ground ball through the legs of Hank Blalock. Matt Tuiasosopo drives in another run with a sharp single to right-center. The M's are showing a little fight to them.
Top of six
Hmm, it's a day of two-run homers. Jake Woods comes in to face left-handed hitting Hank Blalock. Woods throws a 75-mile per hour hanger, and Blalock hits a two-run homer. Woods was pulled for Roy Corcoran who got out of the inning. One pitch, two runs.
Bottom of six
The Mariner continue to scrap. They retake the lead on Raul's RBI single to score Ichiro. But the inning ends prematurely. Betancourt gets caught in a rundown and thrown out, and then Tuiasosopo grounds out to end the inning with bases loaded.
Top of seven
Corcoran gets out of a little jam with a nice play from Yuni at short.
Bottom of seven
the M's push another run across as Raul delivers an RBI single to center.
Top of eight
Wow, Miguel Batista just served a mammoth home run to Chris Davis, who deposited it off the plexiglass of the cafe. That thing was a rocket. Ichiro's reaction was great – he didn't even move. Batista comes back to strike out Teagarden to end the inning.
FAst forward to the ninth....
JJ is in and looking to shut the door. He gets Laird, he gets his nemesis Ramon Vazquez and then strikes out Michael Young.