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

May 5, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Game thread, 5-5, Mariners vs. Rangers

UPDATE 9:02 P.M.: Washburn left the game with tightness in his right calf, it was just announced. He was brilliant for six innings, as good as I’ve seen him. But in the seventh, he gave up an infield single and then two smashes before being pulled.
UPDATE 8:10 P.M.: With a 7-0 lead, this hardly looks like the same team that couldn’t buy a run in Cleveland and New York. Yes, it’s just the lowly Rangers, but Kevin Millwood is a legitimate pitcher, so the offensive splurge is still impressive. Besides, the way the Mariners have been going, they’ll take a rally any way they can get it.
Richie Sexson has a screaming homer to center and Kenji Johjima has a pair of much-needed hits, but the most encouraging performance has to be that of Wladimir Balentien. The way he’s been struggling, he needed some positive reinforcement. Balentien had a single in the second, then blasted a three-run homer to left-center in the third.
Jarrod Washburn, meanwhile, has been outstanding, giving up just one single, to No. 9 hitter German Duran, through four.
***
So here it is, the battle to get out of the cellar. To put it bluntly, if the Mariners can’t win a series against the Texas Rangers, at home, they’re in even bigger trouble than it looks. And they’re in pretty big trouble. But the Rangers come in hot, having won four of their last five, while the Mariners have dropped five in a row and eight of 10.
The Mariners do get a break tonight in that Josh Hamilton, the league leader in RBIs with 33, is getting a night off. It’s the first game he’s missed all season, and Ron Washington wanted to give him a rest. if you’re wondering about Ben Broussard, he started the year playing against lefties and righties. Now he’s not playing against anyone, which happens when you’re batting .159 — and just .083 (4-for-48) over his last 15 games. Chris Shelton is the regular first baseman, but he’s just 1-for-13, so we’ll see how that goes.
LINEUPS
TEXAS
Ian Kinsler 2B
Gerald Laird C
Michael Young SS
Milton Bradley RF
David Murphy CF
Brandon Boggs LF
Chris Shelton 1B
Jarrod Saltalamachhia DH
German Duran 3B
Kevin Millwood P
SEATTLE
Ichiro RF
Jose Lopez 2B
Raul Ibanez LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Richie Sexson 1B
Jeff Clement DH
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Kenji Johjima C
Wladimir Balentien RF
Jarrod Washburn P

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