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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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July 7, 2008 8:27 PM

Mariners at Oakland Athletics: 07/07 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

oak0707 028.jpg

A shot of Jarrod Washburn warming up in the bullpen for tonight's game.

Things came apart for the M's in that fifth inning. Carlos Gonzalez led off with an infield single and made it all the way to third on a wild throw to first by Kenji Johjima. Washburn then yielded the first career home run by Wes Bankston on the very next pitch. That tied the game. Gregorio Petit then doubled to left center and scored on a single to left by Ryan Sweeney, putting the A's up 4-3.

Seattle botched a great chance to build on its 3-1 lead in the top of the frame. With two on and one out, Adrian Beltre was on second and took off, rounding third, on a flyball to deep center by Johjima. But when the ball was caught, a retreating Beltre forgot to touch third base on his way back to second. The A's threw over to third and Beltre was ruled out on the inning ending double play. Seattle has eight hits, two walks and a batter reached on an error. But only the three runs on Richie Sexson's first inning homer to show for it. Same old story.

Another thing I asked manager Jim Riggleman before the game was what his thinking was behind not trotting out R.A. Dickey in the 15th inning of yesterday's game rather than Jamie Burke. I know that Dickey threw about 100 pitches the previous day, but isn't he supposed to have a rubber arm?

Apparently, the rubber only stretches so far. Riggleman did not want to risk any injury to Dickey by using him back-to-back like that.

"If that situation was up there in September, and we were two games out of first, he would have been in there,'' Riggleman said.

In other words, this isn't a pennant race. These games only mean so much.

By the way, the team just released Anderson Garcia. Remember him? Picked up off waivers from the Philadelphia Phillies back in spring training? Had a sore arm early and was never heard from again? Well, now you've heard from him.


7:54 p.m.: Oakland scored a run off Washburn in the third to cut Seattle's lead to 3-1. Wes Bankton opened the inning with a flyball double to center that Willie Bloomquist seemed to have a read on, but then leaped a couple of feet away from where the ball landed. Looked very awkward. An ensuing flyout moved the runner to third. Washburn then fanned Gregorio Petit, but allowed a single to left by Mark Ellis that scored the run.

7:38 p.m.: Washburn has retired six in a row to start the game. Yuniesky Betancourt managed not to blow that streak when he nearly crashed into Jose Lopez going after a Carlos Gonazalez pop-up to end the second. Lopez was calling him off on his side of the diamond. Not sure what Betancourt was doing.

The M's had a shot at increasing their 3-0 lead in the top of the inning when Raul Ibanez cranked a two-out single with two on. But Willie Bloomquist was thrown out by Gonzalez trying to score from second.

7:21 p.m.: Stop the presses, Richie Sexson just hit a home run in the first inning off Dana Eveland. A three-run shot to boot, making it 3-0. His second long ball since May 24. If he keeps this up, well...he'll have about four more long balls by the end of the season.

Washburn retired the side 1-2-3 with a foul popout, a groundout to first and a strikeout in the bottom of the first inning.

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