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July 20, 2007 at 6:45 PM

Mariners win 4-2; hear post-game audio

Make it 29 saves in 29 tries for J.J. Putz, not to mention four consecutive games in which Seattle pitching had completely dominated the Blue Jays. Putz did allow a baserunner on an Aaron Hill single to left with one out. Wow! Didn’t matter though. Made things more interesting on that Matt Stairs fly to left that ended the game.
Mariners are now just a game behind the Angels, who lost to the Twins. Oh me, oh my.
Here’s some news out of the post-game clubhouse. Looks like Chris Reitsma is going to be the set-up man after all. Mariners manager John McLaren surprised a few people by stating: “We’re kind of looking at Reitsma in the eighth right now. And (lefthander George) Sherrill in the eighth. In the sixth, seventh, we can mix and match with those other guys. (Eric) O’Flaherty, (Brandon) Morrow, (Sean) Green. It’s been working pretty good so we’ve been trying to stay consistent.”
Hear what McLaren had to say about it with your own ears.
Reitsma was glad to contribute in any inning. He allowed a leadoff single to Alex Rios in the eighth tonight, then got Vernon Wells to hit a ball to shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who stepped on second and threw on to first for the double play.
“Vernon was up. I know he’s a good fastball hitter,” Reitsma said. “I thought I threw him a pretty good slider. He kind of check swinged and it went right to Yuni.”
Troy Glaus then hit another single, but Frank Thomas popped out foul to first base to end the inning.
Hear what Reitsma had to say about the eighth inning role.
Who would have thought the M’s would hold their opponents to just two runs after Miguel Batista threw 12 straight balls to open the third inning? But that double-play grounder by Gregg Zaun — not to mention that close call on the near double by Zaun down the line previous to that pitch — was the game’s turning point. Adrian Beltre comes through with another key hit, putting Seattle ahead to stay with his fourth-inning home run.
Batista was hilarious in his post-game interviews. He related what pitching coach Rafael Chaves said to him during a mound visit after Batista had thrown the 12 straight balls.
“You definitely know you’re in trouble when your pitching coach goes out there and says ‘You’ve got to throw your change up a little harder’,” Batista said. “I said ‘My changeup? That was my fastball.'”
That may, or may not be a true story. But if it isn’t, it’s the quote of the year by a player. (Bill Bavasi has the quote of the year nailed over-all, dropping that little doozy of an insult on Marlins president David Samson last week). Hear the quote and some other stuff right here.
Batista claims a bit later on in the above clip that he was dehydrated on the mound. Say what? I asked him about it and he blamed it on the long charter flight in here and the three-hour time difference.
“A lot of people don’t know that our team goes through the worst travelling,” he said. “Especially for guys like me that aren’t used to that dramatic change of time.”
Hear the rest of what Batista has to say, especially the part about watching the X-files in his hotel room at 4 a.m., in some extra quotes you can listen to here but won’t see in the paper tomorrow.
Batista just won for the 10th time. His career high is 11. Yes, he’s getting a lot of bullpen help, but, as we mentioned, this was his seventh start out of the last eight in which he’s held opponents to two runs or less. He’s limited them to three or less in eight consecutive outings. Those kinds of numbers allow you to win games. The Blue Jays are 26-20 at home, so they are no slouches here in a park that isn’t exactly pitcher-friendly.
Seattle is now a season-high 15 games over .500 at 54-39.
The offense didn’t do much tonight. But these teams seem to play these types of games when they hook up. And I have to say, the M’s do a much better job of manufacturing runs than the Blue Jays do. One game out of first place! What’s going to happen tomorrow? The first-place M’s?

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