Loosely translated - toma means "take that" in Spanish and that's what the Mariners dugout was screaming at the Oakland A's when Ken Griffey Jr hit his two-run laser of a homer in the fifth inning.
Let's go through it quickly.
Jose Lopez hits a first-inning double to left off of A's starter Vin Mizzaro. In the third, Lopez hits a solo homer off Mizzar. In the fifth, the first pitch he sees from Mizzaro hits him right in the ribs or love handle area.
Lopez was cleary not pleased he fired the bat to the ground, made a gesture to Mizzaro and yelled a few words. Mizzaro yelled a few back and both teams got to the top step of the dugout.
After it was kind of broken up, Lopez went to first and home plate umpire Marty Foster gave official warnings to each side about ejections for retaliations.
Manager Don Wakamatsu went out to discuss the situation with Foster, because his take on the situation wasn't that it was a purpose pitch.
"I don't believe they hit him on purpose," Wakamatsu said. "It's a situation where a guy hits a double and a home run and gets hit, and fingers start pointing. I was with the club last year in Oakland and I know their temperament. I don't know the kid but I'd like to think that he didn't hit him on purpose."
Lopez didn't quite see it the same way.
"I hit a home run off him and the next time up he hits me with the first pitch, that doesn't look good," Lopez said.
One person who wasn't caught up in it was Ken Griffey Jr. who was awaiting on deck. He too had been hit by Mizzaro earlier in the game.
So after watching a pair of change-ups go by - one a strike and one a ball - Griffey sat on a 1-1 fastball and hammered it to right field. It was a line drive homer and a no doubter. So much so, that Griffey did the trademark drop the back and take a few walking steps to first before beginning his trot.
The Mariners dugout exploded.
"Yeah, it got us pumped up," said Mariners starter Ian Snell. "These guys were screaming "Toma! Toma!" and started jumping up and down and giving high fives."
Toma loosely translates to "take that."
As he rounded third toward home, Griffey pointed to the suite where his mother Birdie was sitting.
"Yeah, she doesn't get to see very many games live," Griffey said. "She was here for the golf tournament. She wanted to see her oldest child. She's going to take credit for that one."
That seemed to be more important to Griffey than getting revenge.
"It was a close game," he said. "I was trying to drive the ball, and I just happened to get a pitch I could drive. I wasn't thinking about it. I'm trying to win games. Those things happen in the course of a game you may or may not like. But the objective is to win the game."
But Wakamatsu said that Griffey took some pleasure in making Mizzaro eat it.
"We heard about that in the dugout," Wakamatsu chuckled. "How dare they. He's always got a flair for the dramatic. That was beautiful."
And because of that, any thoughts Snell may have had about protecting his hitters didn't seem quite as necessary as keeping up a solid start.
He had a no-hitter threw 4 1/3 innings and had just a hiccup in the sixth inning where he gave up a run on three hits.
"That's two starts in a row where this guy keeps improving," Wakamatsu said. "The big thing for me was two walks against an awfully patient ball club. He kept his pitch count down and attacked the zone. I couldn't be happier with his outing."
Snell was pleased as well.
"I kept the ball down," Snell said. "It was just hard for me to get accustomed to this league, but now I'm starting to get used to it and starting use my other pitches besides my fastball and it's throwing hitters off and it's helping me out a lot."
Snell also said he used his slider quite a bit, more than he had in his past starts and that it seemed to help immensely.
"I changed the eye level, and changed the mentality, changed the velocity of the ball and I got my curveball in there and I started throwing my slider more than I have been in my last couple starts," he said. "I got a lot of ground balls with that and a lot of lazy fly balls."
Sean White pitched two shutout innings, while David Aardsma picked up his 29th save of the season.
&bull Vin Mazzaro made his first career start against Seattle…tossed at least 5.0 innings for the 6th straight start...7th time in 10 starts that he has allowed 3 earned runs or less...loss snaps team 3-game winning streak with him on mound ...A's have lost 6 of his last 9 starts…received 1 run of support, was the 13th time in his 16 starts to receive 3 runs or less.
&bull Daric Barton went 1x2 with a walk and recorded Oakland's first hit of the game with 2 outs in the fifth.
&bull Jack Cust went 2x4 with a double…struck out once and has now struck out in all 35 of his games since the All-Star break….leads the team and is among American League leaders in strikeouts and walks.
&bull Kurt Suzuki went 1x4 with an RBI…is batting .324 (72x222) on the road compared to .227 (50x220) at home. Is among American League leaders in hits (111) and RBI (57) by a catcher.
&bull Seattle has now won 7 of last 8 games against Oakland, including 3 of 4 games this year.
&bull Ian Snell made his 5th start with Seattle and did not allow a hit until the 4th inning, retiring 7 consecutive batters to start the game before walking Daric Barton…first hit allowed was also to Barton…in his last 2 starts, Snell has allowed only 2 runs, a span of 11 2/3 innings. Recorded his 2nd straight win.
&bull The Mariners have homered in a season-high 8 consecutive games (Aug. 16-current), hitting a total of 14 home runs…longest streak since recording a home run in 8 straight Sept. 19-26, 2006.
&bull Jose Lopez went 2x3 with a double and his 18th home run this season, a new career high (17 in 2008)…was his 3rd home run in last 5 games…Lopez leads the team with 33 doubles and 77 RBI and is 2nd in home runs and extra-base hits (51).
&bull Ken Griffey Jr. went 2x3 with a home run in his second consecutive game...first time to homer in back-to-back games this season…of his 14 home runs this season, 13 have come off first-time victims, including tonight's off rookie Vin Mazzaro…Griffey has hits in 23 of last 33 home games (.327, 33x101) and overall is batting .286 (38x133) at home.
&bull In his Safeco Field Mariner debut, Bill Hall went 1x3 with a walk, extending his hitting streak to 6 games, which began Aug. 8th while with Brewers…during the streak he is batting .348 (8x23) with a double, home run and 5 RBI.
&bull Franklin Gutierrez went 3x4, his 10th 3-hit game…has multiple hits in 20 of last 53 games (.325, 68x209)…has also hit safely in 43 of last 57 games, batting .323 (73x226) during that span…at Safeco Field he is batting .327 (66x202) with 37 runs, 7 doubles, 7 home runs and 31 RBI in 58 games…ranks in top 15 in the AL in home batting average.
&bull Ichiro Suzuki sat out tonight with tightness in his left calf…was first game Ichiro did not start in since coming off the disabled list April 15th…he is listed as day-to-day and expected to return to the lineup Wednesday against Oakland.
Once the warning was issued, it's our responsibility to keep a pitcher in the game.