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September 10, 2008 at 4:27 PM

Texas Rangers at Mariners: 09/10 game thread

Raul Ibanez just collected his fourth hit of the day, a single, to drive home another run and make it an 8-6 lead for the M’s as we head to the eighth inning. Ibanez drove in Ichiro, who also has four hits today, all of them singles. A total of 15 hits for Seattle, only seven for the Rangers, but three of the visitors’ blasts were two-run homers. Miguel Batista is now on to work the eighth, the sixth Seattle pitcher today. Roy Corcoran pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings and is positioned for the win.

4:03 p.m.: We’ve got a live one going here, the Mariners leading 7-6 after a sixth inning that took about 45 minutes to play. Seattle took the lead when Raul Ibanez clubbed his third hit of the game, a single off newly-installed reliever Kameron Loe, to bring home Ichiro.
Texas had tied the game with a two-run homer in the top of the inning by Marlon Byrd on the first pitch thrown by reliever Jake Woods. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman has almost no confidence whatsoever in Woods anymore and you can tell by how quickly he yanked him from there, even with two lefties coming up among the next three hitters. Woods has struggled against lefties since his callup from Class AAA. When you’re a lefty pitcher, that’s a no-no.
The Mariners had gone ahead 6-4 in the fifth inning when Ibanez doubled and later scored on an error by first baseman Hank Blalock, who let a grounder go through his legs with the infield in. Matt Tuiasosopo later singled home another run. But Randy Messenger gave up a leadoff walk after that and — one out later — Woods came on.
This whole starter-by-committee thing is looking like somewhat of a mess right now. This is spring training baseball at its finest. I feel sorry for the 23,644 fans who paid major league prices.
baker0910 009.jpg
That whole starter-by-committee thing was working just fine until the fifth inning. The first of two Raul Ibanez doubles so far today, this one in the third, had given Seattle a 4-0 lead. But Jared Wells, into his second i nning of work, gave up a pair of two-run homers in the fifth, to Nelson Cruz and Taylor Teagarden (not really your garden variety deep threats) that have tied the game up 4-4. Just like that. “Pow!” and “Pow!”
The natives, as you can see in the photo, are getting restless. Randy Messenger came on and got the Mariners through the inning. Ibanez just led off the bottom of the fifth with a double.
2:23 p.m.: Seattle now leads 3-0 after two innings, with Kenji Johjima delivering a two-run single to center. Dick Wholestaff…er, Cesar Jimenez, is now into his third inning of work for the M’s on the mound. Jimenez got in a heap of trouble in the second when the first two batters got on, but rebounded for a strikeout and later saw lead runner Josh Hamilton thrown out at third by Johjima on a double-steal attempt. After a two-out walk, Jimenez fanned Chris Davis, looking, to end the inning.
Jared Wells is warming up and should be the next reliever in for the M’s.
1:49 p.m.: Back to real life and the Mariners, who have a 1-0 lead after an inning of play. Ichiro led off the bottom of the first with an infield single, stole second and took third on a throwing error by catcher Taylor Teagarden. Yuniesky Betancourt, batting second today against lefty Kevin Millwood, promptly grounded out to the shortstop, with Ichiro scoring on the play.
Cesar Jimenez retired the side 1-2-3 in the top of the frame, notching a pair of strikeouts around a groundout. Already a better start than what we saw last night.



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