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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 21, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Mariners 4, Rockies 4, bottom 6th

Miguel Batista showed me something here today. He didn’t have his best stuff, had sand whipping in his face all day and got blitzed by the Rockies in the third inning. And yet, through it all, Batista managed to work his way through five innings, keeping his team within a pair at 4-2.
It didn’t take long for the Mariners to tie it after that, with Ichiro leading off the sixth with a double, advancing to third on an Adrian Beltre groundout and scoring on a groundout to the left side by Jose Guillen. Raul Ibanez then came up, with two out, and drilled an 0-1 pitch over the right field wall to tie it. It was the fourth homer of the spring by Ibanez and though slightly wind-aided, plenty of the hits by both sides today have had some gusts behind them.
Batista is now off the hook. He’d retiring the side in the fifth inning after a leadoff single by Todd Helton. It was the 11th hit of the day allowed by Batista, but he quickly got a fielder’s choice groundout — on another very nice play by Yuniesky Betancourt — a caught-stealing on Ryan Spilboroughs and a groundout by Brad Hawpe to end his final frame of the day.
Boy, I think Jamie Burke got the memo that he’s still in the running for a backup catcher’s job. Burke has already thrown out two runners on base-stealing attempts today, including Spilboroughs last inning. Another runner did steal on him, though the pitch was off-target and the runner got such a good jump that Burke had no chance of nabbing the runner. The ball popped out of Burke’s glove in any event.
Burke is 0-for-2 at the plate so far, flying out to left and grounding out to the pitcher.
So, it’s tied, heading into the bottom of the sixth. Rene Rivera just replaced Burke behind the plate, with Sean Green on the mound.
The more I see of Ben Broussard in action, the more I don’t think it will be a great idea to trade him. In the right package, yes. For a quality arm, yes. But not simply for the sake of dumping his salary. I like the idea of Broussard on this team’s bench, since the bench has never impressed me all that much and I don’t think it can afford to lose him.
Broussard just came in as a pinch hitter and lined a one-out single to right that scored Yuniesky Betancourt from second base to put Seattle back on top for the first time since the third inning. The regulars are staying in far longer than earlier this spring, so these late-game lead changes do mean a little more than before.
Broussard can back up at three positions, first base, left field and right field, be the DH on days when Jose Vidro needs a rest. And he can be a good, left handed bat off the bench. This team is overloaded with righties. Nothing wrong with a lefty.
By the way, Adrian Beltre just singled up the middle to bring home Rivera, who had walked earlier on. Beltre is 2-for-4 today and his bat looks ready.



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