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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 18, 2008 8:44 PM

Mariners at Los Angeles Angels: 4/18 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

anaheim1.jpg

8:44 p.m.: OK, scratch that last post. Things are looking decidedly better for the M's after a three-run homer to left by Richie Sexson in the seventh. The 24th two-homer game of Sexson's career has made it a 5-4 contest, with Seattle still trailing. Adrian Beltre notched a one-out double, then wisely held up at second on a bloop single to right by Jose Vidro. Beltre wasn't sure if the ball was going to be caught and held his ground rather than risk being thrown out with Sexson due up. The M's needed multiple runs in a hurry -- not just one -- and got them when Sexson crushed the 1-0 offering from Joe Saunders. Sean Green is now on for Seattle. R.A. Dickey goes six innings, allowing five runs.


In case you missed it earlier, here's today's video of our continuing road trip. I'll throw in some tips on how we save time with our car rentals and also what we try to do to save some money on hotel costs. For instance, we writers qualify for Marriott VIP rates at some of their hotels, like the one I'm staying at in Anaheim. Gives you half off their rack rate. Throw in the free parking, we save the paper over $100 per night over the other Marriott right up the road. Anyhow, not that important for you. But enjoy the video in any case.

anaheim1 010.jpg

8:07 p.m.: Still a 3-1 game, the Angels ahead, as we start the bottom of the fifth inning. Bith starting pitchers seem to have found a groove and the hitters are going down quickly. R.A. Dickey has retired 10 of the last 11 batters, the only exception being a Torii Hunter double to right center that Ichiro failed to squeeze in the fourth. Seattle just went 1-2-3 in the fifth against Joe Saunders, who has retired 11 straight since the Richie Sexson home run in the second. The M's will have to get something going quickly, because they aren't going to knock Saunders out by running up his pitch count. He's throwing early strikes, like the M's pitchers did in Oakland, and the hitters can't make solid contact.
8:36 p.m.: R.A. Dickey needed Richie Sexson to come up with that Maicer Izturis smash to the right side of the infield with two on and two out in the sixth. Sexson dove for the ball, but, as often happens, could not come up with it. Torii Hunter, who'd notched his third double of the night to ignite the two-out rally, wound up scoring on the play. Mike Napoli followed with an ensuing RBI single that made it a 5-1 game heading into the seventh. The way the M's are -- or aren't -- hitting tonight against Joe Saunders makes the rest of this one look doubtful for them.

7:38 p.m.: Richie Sexson got the M's on the board in the second, finally doing something with a full-count pitch other than walk or strike out. He cranked the Joe Saunders offering over the wall in left center to make it a 3-1 game. R.A. Dickey had a 1-2-3 second inning with three flyball outs. Ichiro made the last one look difficult. He'd been playing Erick Aybar far too shallow and had to sprint full speed back to the warning track for a lunging grab. On to the third.

7:25 p.m.: Rough start for R.A. Dickey, who trails 3-0 after an inning of play. Only one ball hit hard in the inning, but it was a three-run double by Torii Hunter. Chone Figgins and Gary Matthews Jr. opened with some seeing eye singles punched through the infield. A walk to Vlad Guererro loaded the bases before Dickey struck Garret Anderson out. But Dickey tried throwing a fastball by Hunter and got it tagged hard to the left field corner. Guerrero tried to score all the way from first and would have been nabbed with a good relay. But Raul Ibanez didn't get the greatest throw in from left and cutoff man Yuniesky Betancourt made a weak throw home that bounced away from catcher Kenji Johjima. Hunter tried to catch the M's by surprise but was thrown out easily at the plate. Tough start for Seattle. The way Joe Saunders is throwing this season, you don't want to spot the Angels any bigger of a lead.

7:13 p.m.: Ichiro grounded out against Joe Saunders to start things off, as did Jose Lopez. Red hot Raul Ibanez singled to center, but Adrian Beltre grounded into a fielder's choice to end the top of the first.


Tonight's lineups:

MARINERS (9-8)

51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
3 Jose Vidro DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
16 Willie Bloomquist RF
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

41 R.A Dickey RHP


ANGELS (10-7)

9 Chone Figgins 3B
24 Gary Matthews Jr. RF
27 Vladimir Guererro DH
16 Garret Anderson LF
48 Torii Hunter CF
35 Casey Kotchman 1B
6 Maicer Izturis 2B
44 Mike Napoli C
2 Erick Aybar SS

51 Joe Saunders LHP

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Posted by TimsHead

7:17 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Dickeyheads of the world unite!

Posted by Nat

7:26 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Lots of foul balls...as unpredictable as the knuckleball is it might take Dickey a little while to get in the groove. Hold on to your hats!

Oh my, oh my, oh my...

Posted by Adam

7:26 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Why did Kenji call a fastball there? Hunter hadn't put a good swing on the knuckler yet?

Posted by Babu

7:29 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Yikes. The white knuckles may be ours tonight, Geoff. Hope RAD can settle down.

Posted by Zach C

7:29 PM, Apr 18, 2008

this could get ugly

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:32 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Good time to go yard Richie!

Posted by NateDawgUS

7:37 PM, Apr 18, 2008

With the exception of Tori Hunter, the Angels batters look way off balance. Let's just hope RA finds his stride and keeps the ball in the park.

Posted by Nat

7:39 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I'd think Joh would let RAD call the pitches...

Posted by PRchef

7:47 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Nice positioning by Ibaņez

We need Dickey to get going here in the third

Go Ms!!!

Posted by NateDawgUS

7:50 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Looks like R.A. has settled down a bit. He makes batters look funny on the pitches that they don't put in play. Now we just need to get our bats going.

Posted by NateDawgUS

8:17 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Damn, Dickey is pretty damn good with exception to that first inning.

Posted by Nat

8:28 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I guess winning four games in a row might be asking too much. That long flight from Oakland and all :)


Posted by PRchef

8:31 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Geoff

Just watched the video. Nice stuff

Am I the only one worried that you are driving, recording and answering people's questions all at once?

Geez! Be safe buddy

Posted by Nat

8:36 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Not liking this...is anybody warming up for the Mariners?

Posted by PRchef

8:38 PM, Apr 18, 2008

We better start hitting soon

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:39 PM, Apr 18, 2008

1 run on 3 hits through 6. Give the guy some help!

Posted by PRchef

8:41 PM, Apr 18, 2008

This could be good

Go Richie!!!

Posted by mel

8:42 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Why would McClaren leave Dickey in the game when he had over 90 pitches thrown and in trouble?! I can see it with a pitcher who had had the opportunity to build his arm strength over the season but Dickey hasn't.

Posted by PRchef

8:43 PM, Apr 18, 2008

YEEESSSSSSSSSSS!

Go Sexson

Posted by Nat

8:43 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I swear it always sounds like Simms is rooting for the other team! I know he's not...I don't think.

C'mon guys, let's get a rally goin here! Richie!!!! I love it!

Posted by Basker

8:44 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Yeah Richie!


Haters???

Posted by OlyHomer

8:44 PM, Apr 18, 2008

That is the Sexson that I like to see. I had a feeling he was going to jack another one out. Just what they needed.

Posted by mel

8:44 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Why would McClaren leave Dickey in the game when he had over 90 pitches thrown and in trouble?! I can see it with a pitcher who had had the opportunity to build his arm strength over the season but Dickey hasn't.

Posted by NateDawgUS

8:45 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Way to go Richie!

Posted by smtsports

8:46 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Enjoy that great weather Geoff...nice 4 inches of snow on the ground back here in Everett

Posted by The Cops

8:49 PM, Apr 18, 2008

k IS evan! ( see the Big Weekend thread )

Posted by PRchef

8:52 PM, Apr 18, 2008

The Cops

Good stuff (and funny)

Can you arrest him for that?

Posted by mel

8:53 PM, Apr 18, 2008

fucrying outloud!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:54 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Between Dickey and Green I'd say the Angel's batters should be a little off balance.

Posted by PRchef

8:56 PM, Apr 18, 2008

We need a double play right now

Posted by Nat

9:01 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Arthur, you can do it, big guy!!!

Posted by Elliott

9:05 PM, Apr 18, 2008

amazing catch by beltre. that ball basically dissapeared when hunter hit it.

Posted by PRchef

9:06 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I heard about Beltre's hamstring when he got his double in the seventh and though "why don't they pinch run for him?"

Guess that last play answers my question

Talk about bad coaching (on my part)

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:06 PM, Apr 18, 2008

'With a little help from my friends.' AR

Nice glove AB !!!

Posted by NateDawgUS

9:21 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Here we go! Let's get our bats going.

Posted by Nat

9:24 PM, Apr 18, 2008

PRchef- also b/c Beltre always wants to play, he never wants to sit, injury or no. So it seems.

That was pretty funny, Joh thinking he had the ball!

Who's gonna pitch bottom of the 9th - Lowe or Morrow? Or Corcoran?

Posted by PRchef

9:26 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Yes Nat

Now let's see if he can do it with the bat again

Posted by PRchef

9:29 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Come on Richie!

Posted by NateDawgUS

9:30 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Wow. Tori Hunter doing what he does best right?

Posted by PRchef

9:30 PM, Apr 18, 2008

MAAANNNNN!

What can you say

Good D Tori

Posted by dougie

9:32 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Killer. What a killer. Richie had a game but what can you say about Hunter. Unbelievable...

Posted by Nat

9:32 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Just a few more feet...!

Woulda, coulda, shoulda...see you all tomorrow night.

Posted by Swung On And Belted

9:33 PM, Apr 18, 2008

Wow! Anyone but Hunter and that's a HR.

Posted by Lonso

9:35 PM, Apr 18, 2008

I feel pretty good about this game, despite the loss. Lots of positives.

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