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March 8, 2009 at 1:07 PM

Game thread, 3/8, Mariners vs. Diamondbacks

MARINERS WIN 11-7: The Diamondbacks came back to tie the game 7-all with two in the fifth, two in the sixth and one in the seventh, but the Mariners pulled it out with four in the seventh. That rally was most notable for three straight bunts executed by the Mariners, two of which brought in runs. Sean White had a nice outing, working out of a seventh-inning jam and throwing two hitless innings.
CLASSIC GRIFFEY EXIT: Sorry for the delay, but I went into the clubhouse to talk to Griffey, and he held court for a long time on scuba diving and other topics. He also addressed his great departure from the game. Leading off the fourth, he singled sharply to left. As Chris Shelton trotted out to pinch-run, Griffey waved to the dugout and trotted down the first-base line, out of the stadium, and into the clubhouse.
” told Don I was going to hit a single, and I was just going to keep running right-field line if I had to beat it out,” Griffey said. “I hit a single, I turned around, looked at him, saw someone coming out, and gave him a little wave and ran on in. that’s all.”
It’s now 7-6 Mariners, by the way.
RAGGED OUTING FOR ROWLAND-SMITH: Rowland-Smith is out of the game after three innings. He threw 51 pitches (28 strikes), giving up five hits, two runs, both earned, one walk and no strikeouts. Tyler Walker is now in the game.
BIG DAY FOR BRANYON: Second inning, and Russ Branyon already has a homer, double and three RBIs. He just blasted one off the top of the blue monster in center field to knock in Griffey and Wladimir Balentien, who had reached on an error. The M’s now lead 7-1.
ANOTHER STROLL FOR GRIFFEY: In his second at-bat today, in the second inning, Griffey walked again. He did swing twice — a foul, and a swing and miss, before Etherton missed on a 3-2 pitch.
AUMONT IMPRESSIVE: Here’s one perspective on Phillippe Aumont’s outing for Canada against Team USA yesterday.
ERVIN SANTANA OUT: This could be a major setback for the Angels. News just broke from Tempe that Santana will begin the season on the disabled list with elbow problems. Santana, an All-Star last year, signed a four-year, $30-million contract on the first day of camp.
GRIFFEY WALKS IN FIRST: Ken Griffey Jr. just finished his first at-bat at Peoria Sports Complex since the end of the 1999 spring. But he still hasn’t taken his first swing since then. With Franklin Gutierrez on first and one out, Griffey took a called strike from Arizona pitcher Seth Ethereton, then four straight balls.
Maybe Etherton knew what he was doing being careful. Etherton then laid in a fat one to Wladimir Balentien, who ripped a three-run homer to center. And Russell Branyon followed on the next pitch with a homer to right. 4-0 Mariners.
It’s Junior day again!
Here’s the lineups:
Diamondbacks
Ryan Roberts 2B
Justin Upton RF
Conor Jackson LF
Mark Reynolds 3B
Tony Clark 1B
Chris Snyder DH
Miguel Montero C
Chris Roberson CF
Josh Wilson SS
Seth Etherton RHP
Mariners
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Wladimir Balentien LF
Russell Branyan 1B
Matt Tuiasosopo 3B
Mike Morse RF
Jamie Burke C
Ronny Cedeno 2B
Ryan Rowland-Smith LHP

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