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August 3, 2007 at 7:28 PM

Mariners vs. Red Sox, Game 1

The Angels have lost to the Oakland A’s, 8-4, on a five-spot given up in the eighth by Scot Shields. What a turn of events! So, the Mariners will draw to within 2 1/2 games of the AL West lead if they can hang on here. It’s 7-4 in the eighth inning after that two-run blast by Kenji Johjima in the seventh. Mark Lowe did a nice job of striking out the first two batters he faced — Manny Ramirez to end the seventh and Mike Lowell to start the eighth. But Lowe just walked Jason Varitek, so in comes George Sherrill. If the M’s hang on to win, this game will belong to the bullpen. A very good night so far after Horacio Ramirez’s less-than-stellar outing.
Rarely will such a hyped rookie enjoy success as quickly as Adam Jones is having it tonight. That was some heads-up baserunning by Jones in the sixth inning, first when he swung wide at the bag as Kevin Youkilis took the offline throw from shortstop Julio Lugo. And then, dragging his fingertips across the base when it was clear he wouldn’t be able to step on it in time. Very smart.
Not so smart of Mike Timlin to throw to third base on that bunt play instead of taking the easy out at first. Jones wound up scoring on that Yuniesky Betancourt groundout, but Timlin was nearly hurt much worse than that after Seattle loaded the bases with only one out. But his boneheaded play on the bunt didn’t come back to haunt Timlin as Jose Guillen — having a rough night at the plate — lined into a double play at shortstop. So, the M’s lead 5-4 in the top of the seventh with Jones playing a key role, having scored twice already.
Great move by manager John McLaren there, bringing in Sean Green to shut down what could have been a game-altering rally by the Red Sox. With two on and none out, he got the double-play grounder by Manny Ramirez and the inning-ending groundout from Mike Lowell. Fantastic job by Green. So, it’s 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth and Green just spared Horacio Ramirez the loss.
Mike Timlin is warming in the Boston bullpen, since, at 94 pitches already, this is certainly Jon Lester’s final inning. I’ll wait to post since Richie Sexson is now up with one out in the inning. And Sexson…goes down swinging. Duck! Here come the rotten tomatoes!
Well, didn’t Yuniesky Betancourt just make everyone’s night a little better? Well, maybe not our guests from the Red Sox Nation blog, but you can’t please everyone. Now 4-3 for Seattle on the three-run homer to left by Betancourt. Although I see Horacio Ramirez doing his best to try to give the lead up right away, allowing two straight singles to start the fifth, ahead of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. Sean Green is now up in the bullpen (figure that one out).
Adam Jones is now 2-for-2 with another impressive single lined to left in that long at-bat. Maybe calling him up wasn’t such a bad idea? Could thousands of M’s fans have been right all along? Stay tuned. Close your eyes and pray for Ramirez — Horacio, not Manny. Oops, too late. Ortiz beat me to the send button and singled to left to tie the game 4-4. There goes the “quality start” (a joke, people). Jones needed a little polish on that throw. Hey, he’s not going to do it all in one night.
Looks like Ho-Ram is done. The praying didn’t work. Here comes Mr. Green in one of those early, high-leverage situations. Guess the M’s don’t want Ho-Ram giving up a three-run bomb to his namesake.
Why is it that the only thing that gets any hits when Richie Sexson comes up is this blog? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Yes, yes. I know. Don’t all stampede on to here at once. You can voice your insults one at a time so as not to trample one another. Yes, I do realize that cutter was at BP fastball speed, belt high.
I think I hear the platoon sergeant calling Sexson for latrine duty. Anyway, Adrian Beltre came through with the single before that, so the M’s are on the board — down 3-1 in the fourth. Hey, Ramirez is only three scoreless innings away from a “quality start”. Excited yet? Too bad there was no one better out there at the trade deadline. Oh well.
Seen three innings of Horacio Ramirez so far and the only thing I’m impressed with is the fact he’s only down 3-0 instead of 7-0. I mean, he only managed to get two of the first nine hitters out by himself. Of course, the latest Manny Ramirez baserunning adventure helped Ramirez escape that first inning and then Ho Ramirez did attain the double-play grounder he needed to survive the second inning. Davi Ortiz’s homer was crushed so deep in the third that none of the outfielders even moved on it.
In the good news department, Adam Jones has looked very polished in his debut so far. Played that slicing line drive to left by Ortiz very well in the first inning for a guy who’s never been in left field. Those can be tricky. And then of course, in that first at-bat in the second inning, he got the two-out single lined cleanly to left. Did not look intimidated, or overmatched.
This game isn’t over yet. The M’s have started to hit Jon Lester fairly hard. In the last inning, as well as here in the third. Runners at the corners and none out so far.



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