Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 9, 2008 8:36 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
UPDATE -- Miguel Batista came out of the game with what the team says is a right groin strain, three pitches into the bottom of the third.
Seattle just scored five runs in the fifth to take a 6-4 lead in this see-saw game. Jose Lopez drove home three runs with a double, then Raul Ibanez doubled in the go-ahead marker. Ibanez then scored on a bizarre infield hit by Adrian Beltre off first baseman Daric Barton's glove. Ibanez was hung up between third and home, then broke for the plate. Barton bought him time by throwing to third instead of home. The throw home had Ibanez beat, with Kurt Suzuki completely blocking the plate. Ibanez tried tip-toeing around him, with Suzuki draped all over his back -- and was ruled safe. replays showed he was out. A break for the Mariners there.
I see some of you are having laughs over Jim Riggleman's explanation for using Jose Vidro. Hey, what did you expect him to say? That he thought Vidro was the second coming of Barry Bonds? I'd like to see the M's get this whole Vidro thing over with as well if he isn't going to hit. But for me, the sad thing for M's fans is, this is the solution the team feels is its best bet for now. Says a lot about where this team is right now and where it's headed.
8:17 p.m.: A lousy bottom of the fourth inning saw the A's score three runs off Ryan Rowland-Smith, all of them scoring on a double by Donnie Murphy. Three straight singles had Rowland-Smith on the ropes before Murphy laced one to the left field corner. Raul Ibanez made a strong relay throw back in and there was a play at the plate. But Jack Hannahan steamrolled over catcher Jeff Clement to score the third run of the inning. That makes it 4-1 for the A's as we head to the fifth.
8:00 p.m.: The Mariners just tied the game 1-1 in the fourth inning as -- who else? -- Jose Vidro doubled with one out, sending Jose Lopez to third. Lopez was waved home by third base coach Sam Perlozzo, but held up. Lopez wound up scoring on an ensuing single by Adrian Beltre, with Vidro taking third. But Jeremy Reed grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Prior to that, in the bottom of the third, Yuniesky Betancourt dropped the front end of a 4-6-3 double-play attempt. Betancourt appeared to have his eye more on sliding runner Daric Barton than the actual ball. But Ryan Rowland-Smith, on for the injured Miguel Batista, picked Betancourt up by notching a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.
7:36 p.m.: We're heading to the bottom of the third inning here and the Mariners trail 1-0. Oakland got on the board in the second inning when Jack Cust hit Miguel Batista's first pitch of the frame over the center field fence. Batista then got taken to the warning track in center by Wes Bankston, the very next hitter, but the ball was caught by Jeremy Reed.
Joe Blanton has retired nine in a row since a leadoff single by Ichiro to start the game.