Mariners Insider Blog

Game 54: A little left-handed team history

When Jason Vargas throws his first pitch tonight, he'll be part of Seattle Mariners history - the first time the started four consecutive but different left-handed pitchers.

The streak began Sunday with Garrett Olson and now includes Jarrod Washburn, Erik Bedard and Vargas.

It's a strange piece of triva, because the Mariners used six consecutive lefties around the '98 All-Star game - but Jeff Fassero, Jamie Moyer and Randy Johnson twice each in that stretch.

Vargas is ready, Ichiro is hoping to continue The Streak - now 26 games in a row - and Mariners fans are right to wonder whether Ken Griffey Jr. can do all summer what he did 24 hours ago.

Junior doubled twice and homered Tuesday, the 22nd time in his career he had three or more extra base hits in a game.

We're off - Vargas vs. Brad Bergesen.

Let's think about this

Nick Markakis singled with two outs and Aubrey Huff hit a ball that appeared to wrap around the right field foul pole for a home run.

That brought the Orioles out of their dugout in protest, and the umpiring crew left the field to view a television replay while fans waited.

Huff then grounded out. No score.

That one counts

Designated hitter Luke Scott hit his 12th home run of the season deep into right center field, where no umpire could mistake it for a foul ball.

It could easily be 3-0, but it's not.

In the third: Orioles 1, Mariners 0

The Streak lives, the Mariners lead

One out into the third inning, Ichiro singled into right field - and his hitting streak is now a team-record 27 consecutive games.

One out later, Adrian Beltre stayed hot with his fourth home run, and the Mariners had a lead.

In the fourth: Mariners 2, Orioles 1

How many outs an inning?

Vargas just earned a little more respect in the fourth inning, getting out of the same jam - twice.

With two on and one out, he got a double play ground ball to Beltre, who bobbled it and got no one, loading the bases.

Vargas calmly got the next batter to ground into a double play.

If you're counting, that's five outs he got without allowing a run. That's pitching.

And we are tied

One out in the sixth, a one-run lead for Seattle and two Baltimore runners on base. Vargas looked weary after allowing two hits.

The team went to Chris Jakubauskas, who got a fly ball out from Melvin Mora, but Scott doubled a run home to tie.

In the sixth: Mariners 2, Orioles 2

Oh, for a hit

The old familiar issue cropped up again - can't anyone here get a hit when the situation absolutely, positively demands one?

Not in the seventh inning.

The Mariners put two runners on base for Ichiro with out. He grounded out.

Baltimore walked Branyan intentionally to load the bases for Beltre. Given the chance to blow the game open, Beltre tapped back to the mound.

In the eighth: Still tied at 2.

And in the ninth

Wakamatsu has used his bullpen to get a tie game into the bottom of the ninth, so it would behoove the team to win it here.

Jakubauskas, Mark Lowe and David Aardsma have all held the Orioles in check - and Wak would dearly love to call it a night right here.

Cedeno struck out. Gutierrez tripled off the wall in left-center field, despite a spectacular effort by Adam Jones.

Ichiro was intentionally walked. Branyan was intentionally walked - for the second time.

That brought up Beltre, who already owned the only two Mariners RBI of the evening. With the Baltimore infield in, Beltre singled on a 3-2 pitch.

It's a final: Mariners , Orioles 2