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April 18, 2007 at 9:37 PM

Twins 5, Mariners 4, final

It simply took too long for the Mariners to try to get back into this thing after the staggering early blow of losing Felix Hernandez. The one bright spot in this game by the Mariners was the emergency bullpen work by Jake Woods, George Sherrill and Julio Mateo, who combined to allow just three hits after the first inning and two hits and zero runs after the second.
That gave the Mariners plenty of time and room to come back once they took a more patient approach with Carlos Silva. The Mariners were also in need of a big hit and got it from Richie Sexson in the form of a three-run homer in the sixth. Unfortunately for them, it wasn’t enough. I will say, the Mariners did show more life late in this one than they have in other losses in which they’ve just rolled over after falling behind early.
The Adrian Beltre strikeout with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh was the key at-bat of the night. That honor could have gone to Jose Vidro had he not ripped the ball right into Justin Morneau’s glove. Vidro did ground into another double-play early on, but that’s going to happen with him. He was an inch or so away from delivering the tying hit in this game and simply was out of luck.
Vidro got another chance with two on and two out in the ninth against Twins closer Joe Nathan and ripped a run-scoring single to right. But Beltre was thrown out trying to score the tying run all the way from first base and that was the ballgame.
So, that’s two losses in a row for a 5-5 Seattle team that can ill afford to lose Hernandez for any serious length of time. Seattle now must try to avoid a sweep at the hands of Johan Santana tomorrow afternoon. It’s a big gut-check for a team that heads off on the road for a difficult, week-long swing through Anaheim, Texas and Oakland after this. My oh my, things do change in a hurry in this game, don’t they?

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