Carlos Triunfel and Mike Carp both drove home runs in the seventh on some hard-hit singles to cut the Arizona lead to 14-6. Before you all get too excited, the M’s still have to pitch again in the bottom of the inning.
3:39 p.m.: Four more runs for the D-Backs in the sixth inning has made it a 14-4 game. In fact, since the first out of the game was made, the M’s have been outscored 14-1. The point of that piece of trivia? This split-squad stinks. Or, at least, the pitchers they brought here do. Mostly minor-leaguers (in fact, all may be headed there if Jason Vargas doesn’t make the team), they have failed to throw strikes all day. I’ve lost count on the walk totals but another one was issued to force home a run in that sixth. We’ll tally it all up when this game mercifully ends. The M’s need the WBC to be over quickly. They are stretched thin on the pitching side and split-squad games only amplify that shortcoming. This isn’t pretty. The M’s need a mercy rule here and may be hard-pressed to get out of here without giving up 20. And that’s assuming Arizona only gets two more cracks at the plate.
3:06 p.m.: Three more runs by the D-Backs off Chris Seddon in the fifth inning have put the D-Backs ahead 10-4. Not much of a mound performance by the M’s today. So far, they’ve issued seven walks in just five innings — all but two of them coming around to score. It’s taken two hours to play those five innings — no surprise there. The M’s have also drawn a pair of walks, but also have six strikeouts so far.
Here’s an interesting sidebit: the M’s now have two No. 15s in the game, with Jamie Burke catching and Carlos Trinufel at shortstop. Triunfel wears No. 15 in the minors and no one has time to start switching up a bunch of jerseys. So, there you have it. No one is going to confuse the two from a physical standpoint, so it’s just a quirky numbers thing for now.
By the way, Chad Cordero will wear the No. 33. That was once the property of Chris Reitsma, another reliever coming off surgery when he joined the M’s. The team is no doubt hoping for some better results this time.
2:28 p.m.: Justin Thomas may have single-handedly torched his outside shot at making the team today, getting hammered left and right in a third inning that’s finally done. The M’s trail 7-4 after yielding five runs on five hits and three walks in the inning.
Thomas gave up a two-run homer to Tony Clark on the third pitch he threw, then walked two batters, yielded back-to-back singles, then walked another batter. That prompted the quote of the day, about Thomas, from MLB.com scribe Jim Street:
“He’s wearing his ERA.”
Thomas wears No. 60. Ouch!
By the way, his ERA is only 24.75.
Thomas actually escaped the inning by getting Conor Jackson to fly out to the warning track in left center with the bases loaded. Moments before, Jackson just missed a grand slam on a ball lined deep to left — but just foul.
The half-inning took 28 minutes to play.
2:21 p.m.: The D-Backs now have a 5-4 lead, scoring three in the bottom of the third.
Arizona got a run back as hitters began to tee-off on Jason Vargas, knocking him from the game. Stephen Drew led things off with a double to the right field corner. Drew advanced to third on a flyout to center by Conor Jackson, then scored on a groundout to shortstop by Justin Upton. Mark Reynolds then blasted a ball deep off the high wall in straightaway center — a home run in most parks — to knock Vargas from the game.
Justin Thomas came on to face Tony Clark — all 97 years of him, or something close to that — and saw his third pitch lined into the bullpen in left for a two-run homer that put Arizona out front.
1:59 p.m.: Some sloppy-looking defense in this game so far, most of it on the D-Backs side. Seattle added a run in the third inning when Matt Tuiasosopo laced a one out double over the head of center fielder Chris Roberson, then scored when second baseman Ryan Roberts dropped a towering infield pop up by Mike Wilson. Several D-Backs appeared to initially call for the ball, then backed off at the last second, leaving Roberts as the odd man out. So, it’s now a 4-2 lead for the M’s.
1:46 p.m.: Jason Vargas had a bit of a meltdown in the second inning and it cost him a pair of runs, cutting Seattle’s lead to 3-2. Vargas retired the first batter he faced, then walked a pair of hitters. Vargas fanned Chris Roberson for the second out, but pinch-hitter Chris Young blooped a ball to right that was trapped by a charging Mike Morse, scoring the first Arizona run. The second run scored when Vargas threw the ball away on an attempted pickoff at first, moving everyone up two bases.
13:17 p.m.: A first-inning onslaught by the Mariners saw the first five batters reach base on four hits and an error to give Seattle a 3-0 lead. Franklin Gutierrez got things started by ripping an opposite field double into the right field corner. Ronny Cedeno then bunted a ball to the right side of the mound and pitcher Juan Gutierrez slipped while trying to pick the ball up. That put runners at the corners and Bryan LaHair singled up the middle to open the scoring.
Matt Tuiasosopo followed with another single to center to make it 2-0 and then Mike Morse skied a ball to the warning track in right, where it was dropped by right fielder Justin Upton for an error. Morse still gets credited with a sacrifice fly on the play.
Jason Vargas coming on to pitch for the M’s in the bottom of the frame.
1:02 p.m.: Greetings from Tucson, Ariz., where I’m here to watch a Mariners split squad take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. We’ve got the Gutierrez Turf War to start things off, as M’s leadoff man Franklin Gutierrez faces D-Backs starter Juan Gutierrez. Managing the M’s is bench coach Ty Van Burkleo.
Here are the lineups:
Seattle Mariners (6-4-1)
21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
3 Ronny Cedeno SS
39 Bryan LaHair 1B
27 Matt Tuiasosopo 3B
12 Mike Morse RF
61 Mike Wilson LF
15 Jamie Burke C
1 Reegie Corona 2B
38 Jason Vargas LHP
Arizona Diamondbacks (4-8)
14 Ryan Roberts 2B
6 Stephen Drew SS
34 Conor Jackson LF
10 Justin Upton RF
27 Mark Reynolds 3B
31 Tony Clark 1B
38 Luke Carlin C
12 Chris Roberson CF
58 Juan Gutierrez RHP