Mariners Insider Blog

Game No. 46: Can Ichiro keep it going?

Ichiro Suzuki does things mere mortals cannot, like leading the majors with 18 infield hits this season - despite starting the year on the disabled list.

At the moment, he's got an 18-game hitting streak working, one game short of the American League's longest of 2009 (Jacoby Ellsbury, 19 games).

He'll try to stretch that streak against Oakland starter Brett Anderson, a left-hander he's never faced.

If you're watching on television, don't adjust your color - players from both teams in this game and all teams today are wearing red caps in honor of Memorial Day.

It's Chris Jakubauskas vs. Anderson, and the Mariners are 5-1 against the Athletics this season.

And we're off.

The Streak lives

Make that 19 infield singles this season and, yes, a 19-game hitting streak for Ichiro.

Bunted to second base by Yuniesky Betancourt, Ichiro watched Adrian Beltre strike out, Ken Griffey Jr. walk and Mike Sweeney pop out.

That's Mariners baseball right now.

Mariners defense fails

After Adam Kennedy - yes, Adam Kennedy - walked and stole second base, then third base, Jason Giambi grounded to a drawn in second baseman Jose Lopez.

Error, Lopez. Advantage, Oakland.

Catch this!

Ok, so Joh doesn't like balls in the dirt. Who does? What he does like is fastballs in his wheelhouse.

Johjima got one in the second innning, and the game is tied - his third home run into the left field seats got Seattle even.

In the second: Mariners 1, Athletics 1

Walks and hits kill

Jakubauskas walked Travis Buck with one out, then gave up three consecutive hits - including doubles to No. 9 hitter Jack Hannahan and Adam Kennedy.

Yes, Adam Kennedy.

After two: Athletics 4, Mariners 1

Kenji's out

Johjima is out with a bruised big left toe, injured in the slide at the plate on Oakland's first run.

Now catching: Rob Johnson.

And now hitting: Travis Buck, who hit his second home run.

Now pitching: Denny Stark, in to bail Jakubauskas out of another jam.

In the fourth: Athletics 5, Mariners 1

It's not the distance ...

Go figure. Beltre hit a ball in the fifth innin that right fielder Buck pulled off the wall at the 388-foot sign in right center field for an out.

Ichiro? He's 3-for-3 and hasn't hit a ball past the infield today.

He hasn't scored a run becaus4e the four hitters behind him are a combined 0-for-10 so far.

In the fifth: Athletics 5, Mariners 1

Can the bullpen bat?

As it has most of the year, the Mariners bullpen is doing its job - 1 2/3 scoreless innings from Denny Stark, and now Brandon Morrow is pitching.

Problem is, as it has been most of the year, the Seattle offense isn't producing.

Five hits, a couple of walks, a stolen base - and only one run.

That's not nearly enough. Again.

A word on Mr. Morrow

As the Mariners try to work Morrow back into mid-season shape, he just worked a 30-pitch inning.

That's not what they had in mind.

Morrow wasn't helped by an error, but he walked one man, struck out two and let a run score on a wild pitch.

Velocity? Morrow hit 97 mph several times, occasionally for strikes. Command is the issue, and in the sixth, he took a step backward.

After six: Athletics 6, Mariners 1

Talking does no good

Franklin Gutierrez singled, as did Ichiro - hit No. 4 today - and the Athletics huddled on the mound when the count to Betancourt went to 2-0.

Third base coach Bruce Hines trotted down to talk to his shortstop, and Betancourt got back in the batters box and grounded into a double play.

No, this offense isn't hopeless. In only seems to be.

Hush now, it's over

Ichiro had four hits, the rest of the Mariners four more.

Final score: Athletics 6, Mariners 1