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March 15, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Strong finish by Weaver

Turned out to be a pretty good night for Jeff Weaver after the early home run and all the fly balls given up the first two innings. Weaver nearly gave up a second homer, on a Jason Ellison double that struck the top of the left field fence to open the third inning.
But Weaver retired six straight after that. In all, he put down 10 of the final 11 hitters faced and that’s good news for the Mariners. Weaver gave up fly balls to six of the first 11 hitters he faced in the game — including the Pedro Feliz homer and Ellison’s double. But seven of the final nine outs Weaver recorded came on balls that never left the infield. Obviously, some in-game adjustments took place. We’ll wait for Weaver to confirm that once we go speak to him in the clubhouse shortly. So, his final line: 4 IP, 2 ER 3 H 1K 1HR…no walks, a good sign.
Still 2-2 heading into the fifth inning. Adrian Beltre just fanned with Betancourt at second to end the fourth. Mariners have stranded a lot of runners tonight.


So much for my gut feel about a high-scoring game. This has actually turned into a well-pitched, well-played affair by both sides, with the Giants retaking the lead moments ago on a Chad Santos solo homer to left center. Santos cranked out the first pitch he saw from Mariners reliever Sean Green, who retired the first two hitters he faced after taking over from Jake Woods to start the inning.
Green then walked Justin Leone, threw a wild-pitch and hit Eliezer Alfonzo with another pitch. But catcher Rob Johnson bailed him out with a nice pickoff throw to first to nab Alfonzo and end the inning.
Woods looked particularly good tonight, setting down all six batters he faced and fanning a pair. Weaver is just about ready to talk, so I’m off to the clubhouse.
Seattle didn’t trail long as back-to-back singles by Ichiro and Adrian Beltre left runners at the corners for Jose Vidro, who continued a fine night by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field. That brought pinch-runner Adam Jones home from third to tie it 3-3.
Weaver says he really didn’t make any adjustments and explained the fly-ball, ground-ball difference in the fact that hitters were going after his off-speed stuff more early on as opposed to the sinkers they swung at later. He said this was his best start so far in terms of commanding the zone and working with his newer leg drive off the mound.
Even the Pedro Feliz homer didn’t bother him, he said, since it came on an 0-2 pitch. That blast followed a Kevin Frandsen single to right on a 1-2 offering. Weaver was simply happy to have jumped ahead in the counts so quickly.
“Today was a lot better working ahead of the hitters,” said Weaver, who’d allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings coming into this contest. “The last time, it was 2-0 a lot of the time. This outing, I wanted to focus on getting that strike one. When you do that, it puts pressure on them to swing at pitches that might not be what they’re looking for.”
Not the most memorable night for Sean Green, who gave up a run in the seventh, then two more in an eighth inning that saw him surrender a walk and four consecutive singles. The big story of the inning for the Mariners was the work of veteran Aaron Small, who came on with the bases loaded, none out, and retired the side. Small got a shallow pop fly to right, a strikeout and a fielder’s choice grounder to third.
Green allowed his last eight batters to reach base, getting out of the seventh inning only because of a pickoff by his catcher.



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