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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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June 2, 2008 9:27 PM

Los Angeles Angels vs. Mariners: 06/02 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

sexson0602.jpg

9:27 p.m.: Seattle waits until a Jose Lopez home run with two out in the eighth to generate any more offense off Ervin Santana since the third inning. Oh yeah, there was that Richie Sexson single past the first base bag in the fifth. That's it folks. A 4-2 game heading to the bottom of the ninth. By the way, there's a great Stanley Cup playoff game going on in Detroit, now into its third OT period. You might want to switch channels.

By the way, what's this we have down below? Is this some last minute lineup change?

sexson0602 015.jpg

Don't worry. Kenji Johjima is indeed catching for Washburn tonight. That's a Japanese comedian in the stands behind home plate, in full catcher's gear I might add. His first name is Johjiman and his shtick apparently goes over real big in Japan. Yuk, yuk.

sexson0602 027.jpg


8:11 p.m.: Los Angeles added two more runs in the fourth inning off Jarrod Washburn, causing the Mariners to get R.A. Dickey warmed up in the bullpen. Washburn yielded three consecutive one out singles to score one run, then walked the bases full. He nearly escaped on a double-play groundout, but Maicer Izturis beat the relay throw to first base to enable a second marker to score. The Angels lead 4-1 heading to the fifth.

7:50 p.m.: Seattle gets a run back in the bottom of the third as Ichiro triples to center with two out and scores on a Jose Lopez double to left. Make it 2-1, Angels still leading, as we head to the fourth inning.

7:43 p.m.: I type that Jarrod Washburn is looking sharp and the words are barely posted when he gives up a two-run jack to left by Jeff Mathis in the third inning. Washburn is fortunate to only be down 2-0. He gave up four hits that frame, including the homer and a double after that Mathis blast, but escapes by striking out Torri Hunter with two on and the count full.

7:30 p.m.: OK, we just had our first Richie Sexson sighting of June. And he grounded into a double play with two on and one out to end the second inning. The first round of post-benching booing began seconds later. He did have a wider stance, though. Looked like it slowed him up on the way to first base. He was doubled up with ease. Jarrod Washburn has retired six in a row to start the game. Has looked very sharp.

7:17 p.m.: My how things can change in a hurry. I can remember about six weeks back, when Ryan Rowland-Smith was catching Garret Anderson looking at a slider with the bases loaded in Anaheim. That was my personal high point of the season in regards to this team. Yes, what Brandon Morrow has done lately was impressive. But it hardly matters now. Back then, Rowland-Smith and the Mariners defeating the Angels -- evening up the season series 3-3 -- actually meant something. Now, we're waiting to see whether a more open batting stance enables Richie Sexson to stick around a little longer until this team finds a first base replacment who won't be an embarrassment. Don't forget, this team still has to play another 103 games. Somebody has to provide adequate production at first base and DH, or these guys could lose 100 games.

The lineups:

ANGELS (34-24)

6 Maicer Izturis SS
47 Howie Kendrick 2B
16 Garret Anderson LF
49 Torii Hunter CF
21 Juan Rivera DH
24 Gary Matthews Jr. RF
35 Casey Kotchman 1B
39 Robb Quinlan 3B
5 Jeff Mathis C

54 Ervin Santana RHP


MARINERS (21-36)

51 Ichiro CF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
3 Jose Vidrp DH
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed RF
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

56 Jarrod Washburn LHP

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