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July 11, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Mariners at Kansas City Royals: 07/11 game thread

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Felix Hernandez was indeed pulled, going five innings and allowing the three runs. Roy Corcoran got through the sixth unscathed and Cesar Jimenez is now on in the bottom of the seventh, his team trailing 3-1. The Mariners scored a run in the top of the seventh as Adrian Beltre doubled, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on an RBI groundout by Miguel Cairo. No Horacio Ramirez in this game. He’s already sat back down and others are warming up. Yes, I know. The window of opportunity is closing fast.
The Mariners have shipped Jared Wells back to Class AAA Tacoma to clear room for Felix Hernandez to start tonight’s game. They could have put Miguel Batista on the DL and kept Wells here. But manager Jim Riggleman said there’s a chance Batista could be used out out of the bullpen if the pitching situation gets dire the next few days. Oh well, at least Wells got a free night in a hotel and a ride on the team jet.
Jose Guillen has been scratched from tonight’s game with a stiff neck. He had the neck pad on while we were interviewing him earlier and it’s too sore to swing properly. Had this problem in Seattle last year as well.

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Guess who’s coming to dinner?
6:39 p.m.: Felix Hernandez just got roughed up badly in the bottom of the fifth and trails 3-0. Hernandez got the first two hitters part, then began coming undone. He yielded a single to John Buck, who stole second base and scored on a single to center by Joey Gathright. An ensuing walk to David DeJesus was followed by a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third. Mike Aviles then lined a ball over Ichiro’s head in right field to bring home two more runs. Hernandez is at 83 pitches and just threw about 30 in that one inning. I’d say he’s likely done, especially in this heat. Gametime temperature was 89 degrees. And humid.
By the way, Horacio Ramirez is warming up in the KC bullpen.
6:21 p.m.: We’re locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel here as we head to the bottom of the fifth. Felix Hernandez has a gem of a one-hitter going. He’d retired 10 in a row to start the game, gave up a double to Mark Teahen in the fourth, then set down the next two hitters on strikes to end the inning. Six strikeouts in four innings by Hernandez, but his pitch count is still in the low 50s, so he’s been efficient at other times.
Luke Hochevar hasn’t been as dominant for the Royals, but the M’s have helped him out, stranding four runners so far.
5:20 p.m.: Felix Hernandez just breezed through a 1-2-3 first inning, notching two groundouts and a strikeout on Mark Teahen.
Jose Lopez hit a one-out single to left off Luke Hochevar in the top of the first, but Raul Ibanez went down swinging after that and Jose Vidro — after Lopez stole second — flied out to left.
The lineups:
MARINERS (36-56)
51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
3 Jose Vidro DH
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
8 Jeremy Reed CF
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
9 Jeff Clement C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
34 Felix Hernandez RHP
ROYALS (41-52)
9 David DeJesus LF
30 Mike Aviles SS
24 Mark Teahen RF
16 Billy Butler DH
15 Mark Grudzielanek 2B
4 Alex Gordon 3B
7 Ross Gload 1B
14 John Buck C
2 Joey Gathright CF
44 Luke Hochevar RHP
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