Mariners Insider Blog

Who's On First, Second, Third & Shortstop? Mariners Game # 155

Tug Hulllett is starting at shortstop for the first time as a Mariner, and the Seattle infield didn't look much like it's opening day counterpart.

Consider the difference between now and then:

1B Jose Lopez -- Richie Sexson

2B Luis Valbuena -- Jose Lopez

3B Miguel Cairo -- Adrian Beltre

SS Tug Hullett -- Yuniesky Betancourt

The Mariners are trying to snap a 10-game losing streak, and Brandon Morrow is starting for the fourth time in his Major League career.

He's part of a rotation that has changd, too:

Felix Hernandez -- Eik Bedard

Carlos Silva -- Felix Hernandez

Brandon Morrow -- Jarrod Washburn

Ryan Rowland-Smith -- Carlos Silva

Ryan Feierabend -- Miguel Batista

Will this team win it's 58th of the season - or lose it's 98th?

The Mariners have four hitters at the top of their lineup with which they can score runs, and after that it's diminishing returns.

Hulett drew a walk and Jose Lopez doubled him to third, but that was that.

After those first four hitters the Seattle lineup - Jeremy Reed, Miguel Cairo, Bryan LaHair, Kenji Johjima and Luis Valbuena - have a combined 88 RBI.

They won't reach 100.

Morrow now on the mound.

Morrow has thrown three dominant innings and, in the fourth, Lopez and Reed hit consecutive doubles to produce the first run of the game.

Reed then mistakenly tried to take third on a ground ball to shortstop and was thrown out.

Oops.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0

In their first five innings, Mariners have just three hits against Oakland's Sean Gallagher.

Through five innings, despite falling behind often and walking two batters, Morrow hasn't allowed a hit. Relying mostly on his fastball - he's thrown it anywhere from 92 to 97 mph - he's overpowering Athletics hitters up in the strike zone.

It's a dangerous combo, falling behind and pitching up.

So far, it's worked.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0

Carlos Gonzalez doubled, Oakland's first hit of the game, putting runners at second and third base with one out in the sixth.

Morrow, stoic as usual, struck out Ryan Sweeny, then retired Jack Cust on a foul pop fly.

That's pitching, folks.

Mariners 1, Athletics 0

Ichiro extended his hitting streak to 14 games in a row with a clutch two-out RBI single in the seventh.

Miguel Cairo singled and took second on Valbuena's two-out walk, then Ichiro singled. Pinch-hitter Yuniesky Betancourt singled home Valbuena

Raul Ibanez struck out for the fourth time.

Mariners 3, Athletics 0

Morrow's in uncharted territory at 113 pitches, and it's showed - he walked Cliff Pennington,gave up an RBI double to Bobby Crosby and walked Daric Barton.

In his last start, Morrow threw 80 pitches, and had never thrown more than the 106 of his first start - when he took a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

Miguel Batista now pitching, with one out and two runners on.

Mariners 3, Athletics 1

Tie game. Batista's first pitch was centered over the plate, and pinch-hitter Aaron Cunningham doubled to drive home two runs charged to Morrow.

Morrow won't win, won't lose.

The Mariners will have to do one or the other. It's in the rules.

Mariners 3, Athletics 3

Consecutive Loss No. 11 is staring them in the face after Batista gave up a two-run home run in the eighth inning to Jack Cust.

The Mariners have one more chance in the ninth, but the bottom of the order is due up.

During this streak, the team hasn't yet gotten a save opportunity to J.J. Putz.

Speaking of saves, the Mariners now lead the majors in blown saves (31).

Batista has three blown saves in four opportunities.

Athletics 5, Mariners 3

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