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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 18, 2008 9:12 PM

Florida Marlins at Mariners: 06/18 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

ichiro0618.jpg

9:12 p.m.: Is Richie Sexson done in Seattle? He's due up at least one more time, but you've got to wonder whether John McLaren will put him through it. Sexson came to bat with two on and one out in the sixth inning of a 7-2 game and went down swinging, as seen below. The crowd didn't like it.

ichiro0618 022.jpg

Here's another video for you. It's of some Mariners pitchers taking batting practice before tonight's game. Good for some laughs.

8:56 p.m.: Dan Uggla hit a two-run homer to left off Ryan Rowland-Smith in the sixth inning, giving the Florida Marlins a 7-2 lead. Seattle had scored in the fourth when Jeremy Reed notched his second single of the night. That came with two out. The inning had started off in much more promising fashion, with two on and nobody out. But Richie sexson grounded into a 5-4-3 double-play. Is this Sexson's final game at Safeco Field? Could be. He's due up in the bottom of the sixth.

8:27 p.m.: The Marlins added two more runs on only two hits, but three walks, to take a 5-1 lead in the fourth inning and chase starter R.A. Dickey from the game. Dickey was pulled at 97 pitches after he'd walked Jorge Cantu to put two on with one out. Ryan Rowland-Smith came on and yielded a single to center by Mike Jacobs -- who'd homered off Dickey in his previous at-bat -- to bring in the fourth Florida run of the game. Rowland-Smith then walked Dan Uggla and Luis Gonzalez back-to-back to force in another run. Wes Helms flied out to left with the bases loaded to end the inning.

But it wasn't pretty. This might be the end of Dickey's foray as a starting pitcher. He's failed to last even four innings in two straight outings. You can't do that at this level. Maybe he's better suited as a long reliever. All I know is, Miguel Batista can do better than this.

8:00 p.m.: Florida just went ahead, 3-1, in the third inning on the 17th home run of the year by Mike Jacobs, a two-run blast deep to right off R.A. Dickey. Jorge Cantu opened the inning with a double. Dickey had been fortunate to escape a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, getting Jeremy Hermida to fly out to right field, with Ichiro rfacing over to make the catch.

Dickey is already up at 73 pitches. He is a knuckleballer, so he can go deeper than some 100-pitch guys. He may have to tonight, the way he's going.

7:32 p.m.: The Mariners tied it up in the bottom of the first inning as Ichiro led off with a single up the middle and Jose Vidro notched an infield hit when shortstop Hanley Ramirez bobbled his chopper. The way Vidro runs, that could have been an error, but he gets the hit. One out later, Raul Ibanez singled to right to bring Ichiro home to tie it. Seattle once again needed three hits in the inning to score just one run. Left two on base. But it's 1-1.

7:20 p.m.: Seattle trails 1-0 after a half-inning of play. Hanley Ramirez opened the game with a double off R.A. Dickey. Ramirez advanced to third on a groundout to the right side and then scored on a single to center by Jorge Cantu. Jeff Clement is behind the plate tonight. He caught Dickey a number of times at Class AAA Tacoma, so he knows what to expect from the knuckleball. Jose Lopez, the only guy hitting for any consistent power, goes to the No. 3 spot, while Jose Vidro -- hitting for almost zero power -- is up to No. 2. More befitting a singles hitter, that second spot. Now, if only Vidro could actually hit a single. Maybe Richie Sexson should be up at No. 2? Just a thought, relax...get off my back.

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