Jose Lopez is back at first tonight (lineups below) and the lineup as a whole has a Rainer-esque feel, in fact Ichiro and Raul have to be wondering if they were sent down to Triple A. ... It's also f-f-freezing up here. That won't do much to help attendance. I'm guessing maybe 17,000 at the most and that's on the high side.
Top of first
Rowland-Smith sets down the side in order. I've said it before, and I'll say it again ... "I like how he competes."
Bottom of first
Ervin Santana just cruised through the lineup needing about a handful of pitches, while making Raul Ibanez look foolish. Look for Santana to work quickly tonight because he's got Jeff Mathis catching him. Santana is 13-4 with a 2.98 ERA this season when Jeff Mathis (edited) catches him.
Top of second
Wlad leads off with a single through left side. That's hardly surprising since he's hitting about .920 against the M's. Rowland-Smith walks to Torii Hunter. After getting a fly-out from Juan Rivera, RRS almost gets out of trouble with a groundball to second that Luis Valbuena makes a nice play on starting what should be a 4-6-3 DP, but Yuni drops the ball on the transfer, leaving runners on the corners. RRS gets out with strikeout of Mathis.
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Bottom of second
The Mariners muster a hit off of Santana - a sharp single to left from DH Tug Hulett (no that's not a typo), but Santana strikes out Tuiasosopo looking to end the inning.
Top of the third
Rowland-Smith gives up another hit, but Rowland-Smith gets a nice double play to end the inning. On the turn Valbuena fired a laser to first, he has got a cannon for an arm.
Bottom of the third
With a cold wind blowing in, the M's drop in three straight singles from Valbuena, Johnson and Ichiro to load the bases for Betancourt. He strikes out. But Raul at least salvages the first run with a fielders choice to first. Lopez strikes out to end the inning.
Catching up.... now top of eight
Yes, I had a huge lapse in updates. I'm a little rusty and I had some sort of unexpected football stuff to write for tomorrow along with my game notebook, what's happened?
That's a good question. Wlad hit a homer, so he's now hitting .965 against the M's. Rowland-Smith gutted his way out of a couple jams with some nice pitches, and some moxie. Did I mention I like how he competes. He leaves the game down 2-1, having thrown seven innings, giving up two runs, only one was earned -- Raul's bobble on a single allowed the other. RRS gave up eight hits, but struck out six and walked just one.
Offensively, the Mariners haven't mustered much off of Ervin Santana. They got the one run, but have only had two hits after that.
Roy Corcoran is on in the eighth and gives up a lead-off double, but gets out by getting Wlad out -- his average dwindling to .959 -- striking out Torii Hunter and getting Kendry Morales to line out.
Still 2-1 and still Santana on the mound.
Santana (15-6, 3.33)
Rowland-Smith (4-2, 3.53)