Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 13, 2008 1:10 PM
Posted by Geoff Baker
That lead didn't last long for Seattle. Ryan Rowland-Smith threw only six pitches total. But he gave up two singles and a sacrifice bunt to the three hitters he faced. Sean Green came in to pitch with runners at second and third and surrendered an RBI groundout to Mike Aviles.
So, we're tied 3-3. Guess what? I have a flight leaving the airport (40 minutes away) at 4:06 p.m. (Pacific) time. It goes to Houston, where I have 50 minutes to change planes and fly to Seattle. In other words, a tie game right now is not good. Doesn't work. Just like Oakland last Thursday.
Watch our video tour of Kauffman Stadium above.
12:57 p.m.: Jeff Clement just snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a two-run, two-out home run to right field off Kyle Davies to put Seattle ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning. Clement's last three hits have gone for home runs. He hadn't notched a hit since smacking a similar, come-from-behind homer eight days ago against the Tigers.
Carlos Silva stands to win this game. He's out after six innings and 97 pitches, the M's going with lefty Ryan-Rowland-Smith with a string of southpaw hitters due up.
12:31 p.m.: Seattle just tied it up 1-1 in the top of the fifth. Willie Bloomquist led off with a single blooped to right, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out single to right by Miguel Cairo. It's important for Carlos Silva not to give up any early hits in the bottom of the fifth. He's got the Nos. 8 and 9 hitters up first, then runs into lefty David DeJesus. You've got another lefty two batters after that in Mark Teahen. The top three hitters in the order are 5-for-6 off Silva today. Best make sure they aren't coming up with men on base.
And now, 10 minutes after I wrote that, the Royals have a 2-1 lead. Silva walked the leadoff hitter, then watched the second guy in the order, Mike Aviles, come up with his third hit of the day -- an infield single -- to push across the go-ahead run with two out. On to the sixth.
12:03 p.m.: We're heading to the bottom of the fourth inning, with the Mariners down 1-0. Kansas City notched three consecutive two-out singles off Carlos Silva in the third, the final of those, by Mark Teahen, driving home the game's only run. KC is outhitting the M's 6-2 to this point. Raul Ibanez led off the top of the fourth with a single, but went nowhere after that.
Silva has thrown only 52 pitches, so he's not in any pitch-count trouble. But he needs some offense.
10:49 a.m.: The unofficial "first half'' before the All-Star Break ends today. Mercifully. It has not been a fun ride for most of you, I'm sure. Carlos Silva goes today. Got your "sink readers" ready? Let's see whether Silva continues to find a comfort level in throwing his bread-and-butter pitch.
We asked Mariners manager Jim Riggleman before the game about what he expects once the season gets back underway in five days.
"I'm not expecting any major transition in the roster with trades and so forth,'' he said. "I don't think we're going to be moving people just to move people.''
Riggleman has made it a point to keep running a similar lineup out there day after day, especially where the top six guys in the order are concerned. He feels there is some continuity needed in order for guys to eventually produce. I asked him about finding more playing time for guys who figure to be part of the team's future, rather than guys playing out the final years of their contracts. He replied that he felt he was doing that already, adding that his priority is still to win games.
The way he's talking, it sounds like he plans of keeping Jose Vidro around for a while.
"Vidro hasn't really ever felt good,'' he said of the first baseman/DH's health. "The break's coming at a good time for Vidro because I think he'll come back better.''
Vidro isn't in the lineup today. Jose Lopez is the DH, with Willie Bloomquist at second and Miguel Cairo at first.
51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez DH
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed CF
16 Willie Bloomquist 2B
9 Jeff Clement C
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
52 RHP Carlos Silva
9 David DeJesus CF
30 Mike Aviles SS
24 Mark Teahen RF
11 Jose Guillen LF
15 Mark Grudzielanek 2B
4 Alex Gordon 3B
16 Billy Butler DH
7 Ross Gload 1B
14 John Buck C
28 Kyle Davies RHP