No one is looking for the Seattle Mariners to make the comeback of the new century and catch the Texas Rangers this season, but there's no reason the team can't gain ground on the rest of the American League West.
They'll get their first chance tonight with this game against the Angels, the second-place team 11 1/2 games up on the Mariners. Hey, that could be reduced to 10 1/2 tonight!
Nine-game winner and Seattle alumnus Joel Pineiro will start for Los Angeles, rookie Doug Fister (3-4) for Seattle.
- Erick Aybar singled and with one out scored on a double by Bobby Abreu. In the first: Los Angeles 1, Seattle 0.
- Jose Lopez doubled but the Mariners couldn't even get him to third as Milton Bradley popped out, Justin Smoak struck out and Rob Johnson grounded out. that's a lot like the offense in the first half ...
- Fister battled control and was missing up. The result was a five-hit inning in which Ichiro threw a runner out at the plate and the Mariners still appear to be on the verge of being blown out. After two: Los Angeles 4, Seattle 0.
- Michael Saunders bunted safely leading off the inning, Rob Johnson and Jack Wilson singled to load the bases and ichiro doubled home all three. Chone Figgins grounded out, getting Ichiro to third base. Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a fielders choice - with Ichiro caught at the plate. In the fifth: Los Angeles 4, Seattle 3.
- Since getting hit hard in the second inning, Fister has righted himself and stopped the Angels at four runs, giving his 'mates the chance to rally. They have, and after five innings: Los Angeles 4, Seattle 3.
- Two out double by Jeff Mathis, then an RBI single from Aybar and Fister is done. Brian Sweeney now pitching for Seattle. Jose Lopez kicked a ball that went for a double instead of an out - charitible scoring - and Abreu singled home two more runs. In the sixth: Los Angeles 7, Seattle 3.
- Jamey Wright's first appearance as a Mariner shows why the man has a career ERA of 5.03. The Angels bang out some hits and score a run. After seven: Los Angeles 8, Seattle 3.
- It's a final: Los Angeles 8, Seattle 3.