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July 13, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Mariners vs. Tigers, Game 2

Not looking good for the M’s, down 5-2 heading into the seventh. An unearned run scored in the sixth after a throwing error by Yuni Betancourt to lead things off. Jarrod Washburn did a good job escaping further trouble, but his night is done at 108 pitches through six. Brandon Morrow is now on in the seventh. For the reader who asked about last night and whether we should read anything in to Chris Reitsma taking the hill in the eighth instead of Morrow — yes, you should. Reitsma was promoted to set-up man when he came off the DL last week in Oakland. That means he gets the eighth.
And Morrow just showed us why that happened, falling behind 2-0 in the count to his first hitter, Sean Casey, and watching the next offering get belted over the right field wall. So, it’s now 6-2. The Tigers have really confounded Seattle’s hitters this series so far. Maybe Bruce froemming can come through for the M’s again. I doubt he can get them four or five runs in the next few innings, though.
WASHBURN ESCAPES
Washburn played with fire again in the fifth inning, but just made the pitch of the night to escape, notching a 4-6-3 double-play grounder against Magglio Ordonez after intentionally walking Sheffield to load the bases. Ordonez had been only 5-for-34 lifetime off Washburn heading into the at-bat, so walking Sheffield was the no-brainer move. Though two of Ordonez’s five hits against the lefty have been home runs.
A one-out walk to leadoff hitter Ryan Raburn once again keyed the inning as an ensuing Marcus Thames double put runners at second and third.
So, it’s a 4-2 game, the M’s still trailing. Jose Vidro came through with a rare double in the third inning to drive in the second Seattle run. That’s two doubles in three games for Vidro. He’s playing for his job now and needs to hit the ball on a line like he did here tonight, raking one to right center. Washburn looks to have another inning left in him. We’ll see how that goes. But if Seattle comes back and wins, it will be because of that pitch.
SLAM FOR SHEFFIELD
You can’t do what Jarrod Washburn just did in the third inning, which is put a bunch or runners on-base ahead of the top of this Tigers order. Washburn just served up a grand slam homer to Gary Sheffield on a 2-2 pitch belted over the left field wall. That makes it a 4-1 game, erasing a 1-0 lead Jose Guillen provided in the second inning with a solo shot off Jeremy Bonderman.
As J.J. Putz could attest from last night, the Nos 2 through 5 guys in Detroit’s lineup are brutal on pitchers. The fewer guys on base ahead of them, the better your chance of winning. You have to put away the No. 8 and 9 hitters when you have the chance, or it gets real dodgy. Washburn hit No. 8 batter Brandon Inge to start the inning, then walked leadoff guy Ryan Rayburn. By the time Sheffield came up, there was no room for error. Washburn made a less-than-perfect pitch and gave up four runs.
STRONG OUTING FOR LOWE
Busy day today, since I’m here alone covering the Ichiro press conference and the game. So, I’ll briefly update you on the news. Horacio Ramirez is to rejoin the rotation on Monday. The M’s have yet to announce whose roster spot he’ll take, though it looks like Ryan Feierabend remains a strong candidate.
Mark Lowe threw a very stong inning in a rehab outing for Class AAA Tacoma last night, retiring Fresno 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. In three appearances with Tacoma, Lowe has pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings with two walks and four strikeouts. Mariners manager John McLaren said Lowe will report to Class AA West Tennessee for another rehab assignment.
“He’s coming along real well,” McLaren said. “We’re real happy with him. If he keeps this up, he’ll be coming back soon.”
Hear what McLaren had to say about Lowe, Ramirez and others in this audio clip.
Ichiro got a warm round of applause when introduced to the crowd pre-game, in honor of his new contract. Jarrod Washburn then went out and enjoyed a 1-2-3 first inning, fanning the first two hitters. A good start for the M’s.
The lineups:
DETROIT (52-35)
CF Ryan Raburn
1B Marcus Thames
DH Gary Sheffield
RF Magglio Ordonez
SS Carlos Guillen
C Ivan Rodriguez
LF Craig Monroe
3B Brandon Inge
2B Omar Infante
RHP Jeremy Bonderman
SEATTLE (50-36)
CF Ichiro
DH Jose Vidro
LF Raul Ibanez
RF Jose Guillen
1B Richie Sexson
3B Adrian Beltre
C Kenji Johjima
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
2B Jose Lopez
LHP Jarrod Washburn
UMPIRES
HP Brian Runge
1B Bruce Froemming (crew chief)
2B Brian Knight
3B Mike Winters

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