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Mariners blog

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

March 24, 2007 at 1:17 PM

ROYALS 2, MARINERS 0, TOP 2ND

Don’t look now, but Willie Bloomquist just notched another single, this one with one out in the bottom of the first. Nothing came of it though. Bloomquist went to third on an ensuing single by Jose Vidro before Raul Ibanez popped out to shallow left. Even the red-hot Bloomquist wasn’t going to be able to tag up and score from that distance. Richie Sexson came up next and hit a long drive to right center — way, way back…it could be…it could be…it could be — caught by right fielder Reggie Sanders! Sit back down folks. Home run No. 2 for Sexson this spring will have to wait.
It looked as if the specter of a surging Bloomquist, darling of the internet, had cast a pall over second baseman Jose Lopez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the top of the first inning as the normally unflappable pair got all crossed up on a potential double-play grounder by Alex Gordon. Both players missed the roller with their gloves and let it go out into center field. The crowd began booing at this point, making cracks about getting the Tacoma Raniers out on the field, but Jarrod Washburn pitched out of the inning with a 1-6-3 double-play grounder by Ryan Shealy.
Washburn had given up a pair of runs earlier in the frame on a leadoff walk, a run-scoring double by Reggie Sanders and an RBI single by Mike Sweeney.

WASHBURN ROLLING

We’re headed to the bottom of the fourth, and Washburn has recorded three consecutive three-up, three-down innings since that double-play to end the first. That’s eleven straight outs. He’s been perfect against lefties too, other than Gordon getting that fluke hit between two infielders.
The offense has stranded five baserunners the first three innings, with Sexson striking out to end the third with a man on first. Ichiro grounded out with two on to end the second. Odalis Perez finally found a way to stop Bloomquist, catching him on a called third strike to start the last inning.
ROYALS 2, MARINERS 1, TOP 5TH
Seattle finally got a runner home in the fourth as Jose Guillen led off with his second double of the day — and fourth extra-base hit in two games — off Perez, advanced to third on a groundout and chugged home on a sacrifice fly to center by Betancourt. That’s eight RBI for Betancourt this spring, by the way, only two behind Adrian Beltre and three back of Ibanez for the club lead.
Washburn has recorded 12 straight outs, getting lefty Ross Gload to start the fifth.
ROYALS 3, MARINERS 1, TOP 6TH
Spoke too soon about Washburn, who got the first two outs of the fifth, then served up back-to-back doubles to Alex Gonzalez and Estaban German — both on well-hit balls. Gonzalez’s blast soared over Ichiro’s head in center while German’s found the gap in right center. It almost became a triple, but German was thrown out at third on a nice relay by Ichiro to Lopez to Bloomquist.
Bloomquist flied out to right in the fifth. Jose Vidro and Ibanez got a pair of two-out singles and Sexson — yes, Sexson — he…he…he…oh gosh, I just can’t say it. He worked the count to 3-0. Yes, 3-0. And then he…WALKED! With two runners on. No swinging for the fences, no pop-ups to the infield. He got garbage pitches and watched them sail by. Bases loaded for Guillen. Here comes the pitch…a line shot! Right into the glove of third baseman Gordon. Sorry folks. That’s now 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and eight. Yes, eight men left on base the first five innings. On to the sixth for Washburn. Already hearing catcalls for George Sherrill, due to work next inning. That’s not nice, folks. Remember, Sherrill is one of the good guys. Regardless of his stats. The regular season hasn’t even started yet. Don’t beat a man when he’s down.

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