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March 17, 2007 at 1:19 PM

Mariners 1, Rangers 0, bottom of 2nd

Here are the lineups for today’s game:
Texas Rangers (9-6)
5 Ian Kinsler, 2B
25 Jerry Hairston Jr., CF
22 Marlon Byrd, LF
14 Victor Diaz, DH
9 Hank Blalock, 3B
17 Nelson Cruz, RF
6 Brad Wilkerson, 1B
15 Gerald Laird, C
12 Ramon Vazquez, SS
————————————
33 Kevin Millwood, RHP
Seattle Mariners (5-12)
16 Willie Bloomquist, 2B
7 Jeremy Reed, RF
29 Adrian Beltre, 3B
23 Ben Broussard, 1B
6 Jose Guillen, DH
25 Adam Jones, CF
12 Mike Morse, LF
3 Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
30 Rene Rivera, C
————————————
26 Horacio Ramirez, LHP
Of course, they have Beltre hitting third, just hours after declaring Jose Vidro as all but a lock to be the No. 3 guy come the regular season. Is it surprising, then, that Beltre struck out his first time up with two on and none out against Millwood? Nope. Not if you’ve been paying attention since last year. The Mariners did manage to get a run across in that inning when Jose Guillen, in his first at-bat since missing a few days with bruised ribs, singled to right field.
It was an unearned run, thanks to an inning-opening error by Texas first baseman Brad Wilkerson, who dropped the throw from third on a grounder by Willie Bloomquist. Seattle’s versatile backup entered the game batting .500 with a .541 on-base percentage. He promptly stole second, then, after a walk to Jeremy Reed, was on the front-end of a successful double-steal.
Millwood’s pitches were all over the map by that point, but he escaped further trouble, after Guillen’s RBI, by striking out Jones with the bases loaded and getting Mike Morse to bounce back to the mound. So, three more LOB but at least the M’s open the scoring.
Mariners starter Ramirez had allowed just one hit over seven scoreless innings this spring. Ramirez tossed another hitless frame in a 1-2-3 first, but just gave up a leadoff single to right by Victor Diaz to start the second. Ramirez got out of the inning with no further damage, so that’s nine scoreless innings. Not too shabby.
RAMIREZ STILL UNSCATHED
We’re already in the top of the fifth and it’s still a 1-0 lead for Seattle, largely because both starters have yielded just three singles combined since the first inning. Ramirez has allowed just a single and a hit batter since Diaz’s single in the second inning.
For Ramirez, that’s now 11 consecutive scoreless innings this spring. Of his 12 outs recorded, nine have come via the ground ball, two by strikeouts and one by a weak pop-up to right. Guess what? He’s headed back out there to pitch the fifth, making him the first Seattle starter to do that so far.

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