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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 13, 2008 11:15 PM

Balentien ends monkey business

Posted by Geoff Baker

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No Rally Monkey was going to catch that Wladimir Balentien blast to center in the 12th inning. The ball clears the fence for a three-run homer, Roy Corcoran completes a third inning of shutout relief and the Mariners win 10-7. Raul Ibanez opened the 12th with a double, his fourth hit of the night.

This one is over. As things stand, the M's should arrive in Minneapolis by 8 a.m. on Thursday.

"We didn't give up, we didn't give in,'' Ibanez said. "We kept fighting back. It was a great win for us and we did it together.''

A good piece of hitting by Balentien, who'd fanned on four prior occasions on the night.

"I had a rough night,'' Balentien said. "But I stayed positive, stayed focused in the game and waited for an opportunity.''

So much to talk about, so little of it truly matters. But give the Mariners credit for staying in this game and fighting back time after time. A true team victory.

"We've been battling and today, we battled back with the intention of winning,'' Ibanez said. "And that made the difference.''

Indeed it did. It's one thing to make a final score look good by tacking on some runs in a onetime blowout. Quite another thing to keep answering the challenge, puch-for-punch. Tonight, as Ibanez said, this team finally played to win. Like a team not afraid of winning. And it was a difference. On August 13 of a season that began on March 31.

Hopefully, next year, it won't take so long.

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