Well, it's a beautiful day at Safeco. As I said before, I'm a huge proponent of day baseball.
Jason Vargas gets the start today, I would venture to guess he's on a pitch-limit of 90 pitches or so. Justin Masterson gets the start for Boston. He's a righty who throws a sinker/slider from the 3/4 to nearly sidearm slot. This as you know is not a good combo for the Mariners and their right-handed hitting heavy line-up. Such luminaries as Vicente Padilla, Nick Blackburn, Edwin Jackson, Scott Baker, Brian Bannister have shut down the M's offense.
Top of 1st
Vargas rolls 1-2-3 ...
Bottom of 1st
Ichiro extends his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the first. Gutierrez moves him to second with a sac bunt, but he's stranded. Masterson made Beltre look completely overmatched.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Top of 2nd
Vargas gets into some trouble with a few singles and a booted lead throw on a double play from Yuniesky Betancourt. But somehow he escapes with only giving up one run. Big credit to Jose Lopez who laid out and knocked down Nick Green's single up the middle. By keeping it on the dirt, it prevented a run from scoring.
Bottom of 2nd
Russell Branyan leads off with a moonshot to right for his ninth homer of the season. Yuni later doubles and scores on Ronny Cendeno's triple to left --- M's 2, Sox 1.
Top of 3rd
I know Beltre isn't hitting and I know he's made some errors, but the 5-4-3 double play off the diving stop is just ridiculous.
Bottom of 3rd
not much going for the M's as Beltre strikes out again.
Top of 4th
The often emotionless and engimatic JD Drew rips a deep homer to right off of Vargas on an 88 mph fastball that was left belt high and over the middle of the plate. Tie game at 2-2.
Bottom of 4th
Rob Johnson gets a much-needed hit - even it was a broken bat bloop, and Yuni follows with an infield hit, but not much else.
Top of 5th
Apparently, Jason Vargas is comfortable pitching with bases loaded and no outs, since he works out of the jam by getting Jason Bay to pop up and Mike Lowell to hit in a 6-4-3 DP
Bottom of 5th
Runners on first and second and no outs and the Mariners get 0 runs out of it. Griffey flies out and Beltre hits into a double play.
Top of 6th
A pair of walks sandwiching a strikeout ultimately knocks Vargas from the game, but Sean White comes in and gets Varitek to ground into a 4-6-3 DP.
Bottom of 6th
WEll that was interesting, Rob Johnson bunts the ball off his hand, and Wlad Balentien not seeing any signal from the first base as an out or Johnson run the play all the way out, thinks its a foul ball. So he gets to second starts heading back and realizes what's going on, but by then, it's too late and Jeff Bailey throws to Nick Green who tags Wlad out.
Top of 7th
Other than walk, Sean White looked strong, striking out Jason Bay looking.
Bottom of 7th
Well, it started promising with a hustling infield single from Ronny Cedeno, but Dustin Pedroia makes a nice play to barely get Ichiro and Gutierrrez strikes out.
* Just a random thought here but if Johnson's hand turns out to be bad (Johjima replaced him after the bunt), I don't know that they would call up Clement because of his knee issues. As of 3:27 p.m., he's still in the game in OKC with the Rainiers as the DH. Adam Moore is still catching. I'm guessing they would bring up Jamie Burke again.
UPDATE: 3:31 -- Well, I guess we don't have to worry about that, they just announced that Johnson suffered bruised hand and index finger, and x-rays were negative.