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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 9, 2008 11:15 PM

Bullpen carries team to win

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Strange game this baseball. Two complete games tossed by Mariners starters the first two nights here both ended in losses. Tonight, Miguel Batista lasts just two innings and three pitches before going down with a right groin strain. Of course, the Mariners rally to a 6-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

Batista won't pitch again before the All-Star break. We saw Batista hopping off to the training room, his leg in an ice pack. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said the injury isn't serious, but he won't risk sending Batista back out to the mound until he knows he's right.

"I hope that we can get this behind him and he'll be in the rotation when we come out of the break,'' Riggleman said, not too convincingly. "That would be the No. 1 option. And when we work out over the break we'll test it out and see. And if it's not ready to start and give us significant innings, then we’ll use him in pieces.''

Brandon Morrow, above, gets the save for Roy Corcoran, who notches his first big league win.

"It feels good,'' Corcoran said after tossing 2 2/2 shutout innings. "It's been '03, '04, '06, three years up and down and I never got one.''

Mariners closer J.J. Putz soon crept up on the post-game interview session and treated the pitcher to a shaving cream pie to the face.

"Now, I've got to shower again,'' Corcoran moaned, his eyes stinging.

It was only the fourth time all year the M's have overcome a deficit of two or more to win a game. It was just the second time they have rallied from three down to win. They trailed 4-1 in the fifth, then put up a five-spot against Joe Blanton. Jose Lopez doubled home three of those runs.

"That's a big inning, especially when you've lost three games in a row,'' Lopez said. "We didn't play bad those first two games here.''

Lopez said he held up at third the previous inning, after being waved home on the Jose Vidro double, because the ball didn't get by the right fielder and go to the wall. He said he didn't want to make the second out of the inning at home plate when the team had two runners in scoring position with one out. He wound up scoring on an ensuing single by Adrian Beltre.

By the way, Jeff Clement said he didn't think Jack Hannahan running over him at the plate was a dirty play, though he wants to see it again on replay. Clement said the throw started carrying him back across the plate again, causing him to get drilled.

He's being political. The play was very borderline.


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