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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 22, 2008 11:01 PM

M's finally score, still lose

Posted by Geoff Baker

manny0722.jpg

Not every night so many fans get to cheer and go home happy from Safeco Fied after another loss by the Mariners. But these are the Red Sox in town, with their fans in tow. The Mariners go down to a 4-2 defeat and the fans, thousands of them, are cheering in the aisles.

R.A. Dickey told us after the game that he challenged J.D. Drew with that first inning sinker, with the count full, because he did not want to risk walking him with a knuckleball and putting him on base for Manny Ramirez so early in the game. If he was going to get burned, so be it. He got burned. For a solo homer. The M's never caught up.

"I feel for the offense, it's tough,'' he said after giving up four runs over six innings. "Our job is to keep producing quality innings so we have a shot to win at the end of the game.''

Dickey did his part. But this offense is comatose.

Good news?

Well, the M's saw Bryan LaHair get his first major league hit, in the eighth inning off Daisuke Matsuzaka. An Ichiro double would later bring home LaHair all the way from first base with Seattle's first run after 18 consecutive scoreless frames.

"As soon as Ichiro hit it, I knew it was in the gap so I took off,'' LaHair said.

LaHair grew up watching the Red Sox in Worcester, Mass.

"Unbeleivable,'' he said of his feelings after the hit. "It felt great.''

The M's got another run, on a Jose Lopez single, but that was it.

This team is now 24 games under .500. Yes, a season-high.

"We've just got to come out and put more pressure on the opposing ballclub,'' Mariners manager Jim Riggleman said. "We've got to do more earlier in the ballgame, get something there and hopefully not be facing the Papelbons of the world every night.''

The M's did indeed see Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon, who shut them down in the ninth for a second night in a row.

Riggleman feels his players are still working hard and take pride in what they do on the field. When it doesn't worj for them, he said, it hurts.

"When you're going through something like this, you want your players to care,'' he said. "And they care. maybe too much.''

Riggleman was optimistic about the results of Erik Bedard's MRI.

"I was pretty encouraged by what I heard,'' Riggleman said. "I think Erik was encouraged. Whatever was found there, whether it was an impingement, or whatever terminology was used, my understanding is that Erik feels like he's going to get out there and start throwing again soon.

"That's the hope,'' he added. "I don't know when he'll throw again or when he'll be throwing to a catcher again or just playing catch.

"But we need him out there,'' he added. "He wants to be out there. There are some things going on there, though, that are just not allowing him to be free and easy.''

Jeff Clement won't be catching again until Friday at least. He can still swing a bat, which may get him some pinch-hit duty tomorrow. But that torn nail on his thumb is preventing him from throwing the ball.


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