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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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August 8, 2008 9:24 PM

Tampa Bay Rays at Mariners: 08/08 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Very little going on in tonight's game. It's still 5-3, with the M's trailing as we head to the ninth. Seattle has had three baserunners since the fourth inning.

Jake Woods did a good job of tossing two scoreless frames after taking over from Carlos Silva one batter into the seventh inning.

Hmm, what else? Here's an interesting tidbit. Turns out Erik Bedard is a knockout ping-pong player. Can take just about anyone in the M's clubhouse.

He and Felix Hernandez were playing a round after the latter mowed down the Rays last night. Guess Hernandez was ready for more. Got to love the competitor in him.

Us Canadians love ping-pong. You can play it indoors, which comes in handy with all that snow.

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8:14 p.m.: Seattle got a run back in the fourth when Jeff Clement doubled off the center field wall with two out. Wladimir Balentien then notched an infield single, moving Clement to third. And Bryan LaHair capped it with an RBI single that was knocked down in the infield but no one could make a play on.

So, it's a 5-3 game, Tampa Bay still in the lead. Carlos Silva has thrown 66 pitches in the first four innings and needs to cut down.

7:54 p.m.: Carlos Silva just gave the lead right back to Tampa Bay, yielding four runs -- one of them unearned thanks to a throwing error by Yuniesky Betancourt. It's Betancourt's Bobblehead Night tonight. No, seriously, it is. Just take the word "head" out of the equation and it seems fitting.

So, it's now 5-2 for the Rays as we head to the bottom of the third.

After an Eric Hinske groundout, Silva yielded three straight singles and a run on an RBI base-hit by B.J. Upton. Both runners advanced to second and third when Ichiro tried to nab the runner at home. Then, on a Carl Crawford grounder to Betancourt, the shortstop held the runners and promptly threw the ball over first baseman Bryan LaHair's head for a two-base error and another two runs. Carlos Pena promptly singled to score the fourth marker. There was another hit as well, which explains why only one of the two runs that scored on Betancourt's error goes as unearned. Got all that?

7:35 p.m.: And a happy 08/08/08 to all of you, the last one of those dates you'll ever see in your lifetime. Think about it, it's humbling. Know what else is? That monster two-run homer Wladimir Balentien just ripped to the upper deck in left center to give Seattle a 2-1 lead in the second inning. James Shields had retired five in a row when Jose Lopez notched a one-out single. That's Lopez, below, coming at you in your living rooms.

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Up stepped Balentien (pictured pre-game, above, talking to Mike Morse) and the M's now have a lead.

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Carlos Silva has allowed only one hit through two innings, but it was a solo homer to right center by Carlos Pena. At least one carlos made out in that deal.

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