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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 20, 2008 4:32 PM

Silva may not miss next start

Posted by Bob Condotta

A quick injury update that manager Jim Riggleman said Carlos Silva may not miss a start after coming out today in the fourth inning with back spasms.

Riggleman said the injury didn't appear serious and called it "just a little spasm.''

Silva seemed a little more upset afterward and when asked if he would make his next start responded "ask the trainer.''

He said it bothered him all game but caught up to him in the fourth when Kelly Shoppach hit what appearaed to be a low fastball into left field for a three-run homer that broke open the game.

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July 20, 2008 1:05 PM

Mariners-Indians game thread

Posted by Bob Condotta

IT'S A FINAL --- Clevelans wins 6-2 as Cliff Lee goes all the way in improving to 13-2. Mariners got two on in the ninth but the rally again ended in a Betancourt pop out. He swung at four straight pitches before finally putting one in play that was caught by the shortstop. M's are now 22 games under --- their season-worst was 23 three games into the Riggleman era before the team went on a little "tear.'' M's are now 13-13 under Riggleman.

6-2 ENTERING THE EIGHTH ---- Mariners got three loud outs in the eighth on fly balls hit well into the outfield, but ultimately tracked down by Cleveland outfielders, so they trail by four entering the final inning. Mariners are 0-52 this year when trailing after eight innings.

A LITTLE, BUT NOT ENOUGH --- Mariners got one run on three hits --- two singles and a triple --- in a frustrating attempt to get back into it. After singles by Lopez and Vidro, Johjima hit into a DP that elicited some boos. Miguel Cairo followed with a triple to right to make it 6-2. But Betancourt then popped up to short on the first pitch to end the inning with Cleveland still comfortably ahead 6-2.

GOOD FIRST INNING FOR PUTZ --- It's 1-2-3 for Putz in the top of the seventh. He hit 96 MPH in getting a ground out to second from Jhonny Peralta and then hit 96 again in eliticiting a swinging strike three from Shin-soo Choo.

PUTZ IN GAME --- J.J.Putz has entered the game to pitch the seventh inning, getting the safe landing the team hoped as he makes his first action since June 11. He has been on the DL since June 13 with a hyperextended right elbow.

BELTRE GROUNDER KILLS THREAT --- The Mariners had a chance to get back into it here with two oh and two outs in the sixth, but Beltre --- who earlied clubbed a double that led to their only one of the game --- hit a grounder back to pitcher Cliff Lee for the final out. Lee has been a strike-throwing machine --- 28 of his first 33 pitches were strikes.

LOTS OF TICKETS LEFT FOR RED SOX --- Given the draw of the Red Sox, you might think those games would be sold out already. But the Mariners report there are quite a few tickets left --- 10,000 for Monday, 11,000 for Tuesday and 6,000 for the Wednesday matinee.

WHOOPS --- I'm just realizing this hadn't been published, so none of you could read it, even though I've been writing it. Oh well, you haven't missed much, either reading this or watching the Mariners, who aren't doing much to keep the crowd into this one today. It's 6-1 Indians in the top of the sixth.

M'S STILL POPULAR --- The M's may be on their way to losing another one. But they are still a draw here in Seattle. Consider that today's attendance of 32,230 gives the Mariners a total of 112,669 for the three games against the Indians, a matchup of teams a combined 33 games under .500.

NICE DAY, BAD GAME --- It's a gorgeous day here at Safeco, which at the moment is the only saving
grace of this one as the Indians now lead 6-1, tacking on two more runs against Roy Corcoran in the fifth. So far, this is the kind of game that makes one think this team really could lose 100 games.

SILVA LEAVES WITH TIGHTNESS IN BACK ---- Carlos Silva left the game in the top of the fourth after allowing a 3-run HR to Kelly Shoppach with tightness in the back. It's 4-1 Cleveland.

M'S UP 1-0 --- Nice double by Adrian Beltre leads to a Mariner run in the bottom of the second and a 1-0 lead. The hit continues a good recent stretch for Beltre, who came into the game hitting .345 (40-11) the last 29 games.

BATISTA TO START AGAIN --- Forgot to mention that Jim Riggleman announced before the game that Miguel Batista will remain in the rotation despite his shaky outing yesterday. Riggleman noted that Batista was moved up in the rotation and that the team didn't play real well behind him. "We didn't give him much of a chance yesterday,'' Riggleman said, adding he hopes Batista will respond to regular rest and a bullpen session.

GAME ABOUT TO START --- This is Bob Condotta, the Husky (as in team, not my build necessarily), filling in for Geoff Baker. I'll try to add a few things during the game but likely won't be as exhaustive in my commentary as Mr. Baker. But glad to have any of you that stop by.

As mentioned in the earlier post, we could see the return of J.J. Putz today as he is back on the active roster. However, Jim Riggleman also pointed out that Sean Green has not pitched since before the break and needs to get in the game, as well, and with Morrow still the closer, there may not be an opportunity to get all those guys in depending on how long Carlos Silva goes.

Silva, however, has gone six innings or fewer in four of his last six starts so odds are the Mariners will need a f ew pitchers today.

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July 20, 2008 12:20 PM

Putz up, Rowland-Smith down

Posted by Bob Condotta

The Mariners announced before today's game that they have re-activated J.J. Putz and cleared space on the roster by sending left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith to Tacoma.

The plan is to have Rowland-Smith become a full-time starter in Tacoma with the thought that he will return to Seattle and join the rotation at some point this season.

Manager Jim Riggleman said Rowland-Smith was "not real happy'' about being sent down but that the team felt the best way to transform him into a starter was to have him make a few in Tacoma.

Rowland-Smith threw 75 pitches in Saturday's game and Riggleman said it won't take much to extend him out. Asked if Rowland-Smith would be back in September, Riggleman said "I doubt very much it would be all the way to September before we see him again.'' He said one option could be to simply add another starter to the rotation when Rowland-Smith is ready to return.

Putz could be used today in middle relief, Riggleman said, with the plan that Brandon Morrow will remain the closer for now.

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