Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 29, 2008 3:31 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Ichiro notched his fifth single of the day in the eighth inning to tie his career high. He's done it seven times, the last being on May 15 of last season. Of Seattle's 17 hits today, 16 have been singles. The lone exception was the Adrian Beltre home run.
3:13 p.m.: Seattle just blew the game open in the seventh inning, notching six consecutive singles and a walk to open things up. Five runs scored, giving the M's an 8-1 lead. That's 16 hits for the M's today. Ichiro got the inning going with his fourth single of the afternoon. That's a season high for him. It looked like the inning would never end until Yuniesky Betancourt grounded into a double play. Sean Green then struck out. But this game is pretty much done.
3:10 p.m.: I spoke too soon about Erik Bedard, who promptly walked the bases loaded in the sixth and wound up allowing a run on a sacrifice fly to center by Adrian Gonzalez. Bedard had Gonzalez down 0-2, but the power-hitting first baseman battled back to even the count and then ripped a ball to center. It looked like a grand slam off his bat, but died in the breeze and was a routine flyout. Still, manager Jim Riggleman was in no mood to see Bedard face righty Kevin Kouzmanoff. He brought in Sean Green, who got a quick groundout to end the inning.
So, Bedard goes 5 2/3 inning and gives up the one run and just three hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches.
2:37 p.m.: Erik Bedard just got spotted two more runs, on a homer to left by Adrian Beltre, for a 3-0 lead. The Padres are sending up a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth, so that's it for Jake Peavy of the Padres. Seattle stands to beat one of the game's better pitchers if Bedard can hang on here. His pitch count is still a good bit below the 100 mark, so he could go seven innings today if he has a pain-free sixth.
2:20 p.m.: Well, the M's are outhitting Jake Peavy and the San Diego Padres 7-3 as we enter the bottom of the fifth. But on the scoreboard, it's still only 1-0. Should the M's somehow blow this game, the fourth inning will likely be dissected a bit. Seattle got singles from Erik Bedard and Ichiro to start the inning, but came up empty. A big reason is that Bedard got doubled off second base on a soft lineout by Jose Lopez. It wasn't one of those "no chance" lineouts that freezes a runner in his tracks. This one was a lot softer. It still would have been tough for Bedard to make it back in time. But this one wasn't close.
Bedard is pitching a lot better than he's running. Has had some nice defense behind him today as well.
1:50 p.m.: Seattle leads 1-0 as we head to the fourth inning. Ichiro notched a one-out single in the third inning, took third base on a single to left by Jose Lopez, then scored on a single to right by Raul Ibanez. The M's had runners at the corners with one out, but the rally died when Jose Vidro grounded into a double play. Erik Bedard has given up hits in all three innings, but gotten out of trouble. He had a runner on first with one out in the third, but then, after running the count full on Edgar Gonzalez, got him to ground into a 5-4-3 double play.
1:24 p.m.: We're still scoreless heading to the bottom of the second inning. Not much to talk about so far. Quite a rundown involving Ichiro in the first inning on a double-play hit into by Jose Lopez. And Raul Ibanez made a fantastic, sliding catch down the left field line to save Erik Bedard a run in the first inning. Bedard had given up a double to Edgar Gonzalez, who was still on second when Adrian Gonzalez skied one down the line. Ibanez took quite the nasty raspberry, I'm sure, making that play.