Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 10, 2008 5:32 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Brandon Morrow coughed up a pair of solo home runs in the ninth inning, by Jack Cust and then pinch-hitter Kurt Suzuki, the latter with two out, to send this game into extra innings. Emil Brown then took Cesar Jimenez deep to left with one out in the 11th inning to give the Oakland A's a 3-2 win.
The earlier blasts off Morrow tied the game 2-2. Morrow had a 2-0 lead when he took the mound. He was pulled one batter after the Suzuki homer, pictured above, when he walked Donnie Murphy. That prompted manager Jim Riggleman to bring in Mark Lowe, who fanned Jack Hannahan to end the threat.
Tough way to lose this series. The M's got three great outings from starters, all ending in defeat.
"I was missing a lot of spots today,'' said Morrow, who hadn't been scored on in 17 2/3 innings before Cust belted a 3-1 pitch into the right field stands. "That was the main thing. I think I fell behind every single hitter.''
Despite the "bad feeling'' from the loss, Morrow hopes to shake it off quickly and "come back with the same mentality I've had.''
R.A. Dickey was obviously feeling better about his own four-hit shutout performance over seven innings. Know what caused his problems in the first, when he had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam? The bullpen mound was facing in the opposite direction of the regular game mound. So, in gauging how his knuckleball was reacting to air currents, he had it all backwards when warming up. It took an inning for him to get used to throwing in the other direction.
Dickey is sure making a case for himself to be kept in the rotation.
"I think I've certainly worked hard to be trustworthy in that role,'' Dickey said. "I think I can get better and throw a lot of innings. I think that's a good definition of a quality No. 4 and No. 5 starter.''
Mariners manager Jim Riggleman wasn't about to quibble with that.
"He's so durable, he'll probably be around at the end of the Kansas City series to pitch, too,'' said Riggleman, whose squad plays a weekend series against the Royals. "He's really persevered. He's trying to grasp it and hold on to it. No matter what profession, if everyone worked like he did, good things would happen.''