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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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April 16, 2008 8:38 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 4/16 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

athletics1 014.jpg

If this isn't the worst seat in the house, I'm not sure what is. His date probably took one look at the seats and split. Anyhow, I hope he didn't come expecting to see Eric Chavez play, or else it's going to be a tough night all around.

8:38 p.m.: We are already in the seventh inning stretch -- believe it or not -- as Felix Hernandez continues to protect a 4-1 lead. Seattle has 11 hits already, but has done nothing to build on its lead since the first few innings. It hasn't had to do much. This Oakland offense is absolutely pathetic. Hernandez is pitching well, don't get me wrong. But the A's look like they've never seen a pitch they couldn't swing at. This is nothing like the Moneyball A's, walking their way to victory. Lots of free-swinging tonight. I'm all for it, even if it has set me back a little as I scramble to get my newspaper stuff done.

I promised you a video of today's road trip. Here it is, down below. It starts with the packed bags and me doing my Talkin' Baseball segment on the Mitch in the Morning show on KJR AM 950. After that, it's planes, trains and automobiles, literally, to get to the McAfee Coliseum. First the plane from Seatac, then the automobile (a taxi) to my hotel in downtown Oakland, followed by a train from the hotel to the ballpark, Gives you a feel for the day and the neighborhood. Tomorrow, we'll take a closer look at the park itself. Enjoy,

athletics1 003.jpg

8:00 p.m.: Seattle added a run in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead as Raul Ibanez singled and then scored all the way from first on an Adrian Beltre double to left. Some sloppy play by the A's getting the ball back in, or Ibanez was a dead duck at home. A's have looked terrible defensively tonight. Mariners got a single from Yuniesky Betancourt in the fourth, but he was thrown out trying to steal second. So, still a three-run lead for the M's as we enter the bottom of the fourth.

7:40 p.m. Yunieksy Betancourt gave a run back to the A's in the seocnd inning. There was a runner on second with two out, when Kurt Suzuki hit one up the middle that Felix Hernandez deflected with his bare hand (he's got to stop doing that, lest he give fans and coaches heart attacks). Betancourt raced in on the ball and had little chance of nabbing the speedy Suzuki at first. The runner at third, Bobby Crosby, was holding up in any case. But for some reason, Betancourt felt he had to make a terrible, rushed, sidearmed throw to first. The ball wound up skipping past Richie Sexson, enabling the run to score. A 3-1 game, M's in front, heading to the third.

7:14 p.m.: Great start by the Mariners, scoring three in the first off Joe Blanton to take a 3-0 lead. Ichiro led off with a single, then took second on a passed ball. After a Jose Lopez groundout, moving the runner to third, Raul Ibanez cashed-in the first run on a single to right. Adrian Beltre followed with a double, putting runners at second and third.

Jose Vidro then lined a ball to center, which center fielder Ryan Sweeney dove for but let get by him for a double. Yes, a second Vidro double this season. It's a biggie, because it scored two more. Felix Hernandez has some breathing room already.

The lineups:

Mariners (7-8):

51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
25 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Jose Vidro DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
6 Brad Wilkerson RF
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

34 Felix Hernandez RHP


ATHLETICS (9-6)

6 Travis Buck RF
14 Mark Ellis 2B
10 Daric Barton 1B
5 Mike Sweeney DH
32 Jack Cust LF
7 Bobby Crosby SS
15 Ryan Sweeney CF
24 Kurt Suzuki C
22 Jack Hannahan 3B

55 Joe Blanton RHP

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