Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 10, 2008 6:55 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Say what you want about the Mariners. They went down in quick, efficient style tonight, losing 3-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays in just two hours, two minutes. Dustin McGowan threw 125 pitches, allowed only five hits and went the distance. Carlos Silva threw seven strong innings, but it wasn't enough.
Jose Lopez had a chance to tie the game in the sixth with one out, Raul Ibanez at third and the Mariners down by a run. But McGowan struck him out on an 0-2 slider.
"His slider looks like a fastball coming in a t 91, 92,'' Lopez said. "When he's throwing a slider at 92, it's looking like a fastball and then it starts to break.''
Richie Sexson flied out to right field to end the threat and Seattle failed to register a hit the rest of the way. Brandon Morrow needed only seven pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth, his first game action since waking up with a sore shoulder last Thursday.
Silva said he was more relaxed tonight after throwing a longer pre-game bullpen to loosen up. He finished strongly against the Angels last week and was tough on the Blue Jays from the get-go tonight. The big difference was a pair of solo homers, by Vernon Wells in the second and Brad Wilkerson in the fifth.
"Carlos made just a couple of mistakes on Wells and Wilkerson,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said.
As for his own hitters, McLaren mostly tipped his cap to McGowan, who was throwing high-90s heat his final inning. But once again, the inability of Seattle to get a runner home from third with less than two out proved the team's undoing.
"We've had a tough time in this series with runners in scoring position,'' McLaren said. "It's been a tough go for us. We know we need to do a better job.''