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April 4, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rockies, April 4

(Here’s an update on today’s Mariners’ news on the Hot Stone League blog).
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Jose Lopez 2B
Ken Griffey Jr. LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Russell Branyan 1B
Kenji Johjima C
Wladimir Balentien RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Ryan Rowland-Smith P
Dexter Fowler CF
Troy Tulowitzki SS
Ryan Spilborghs LF
Garrett Atkins 1B
Brad Hawpe RF
Jeff Baker 3B
Clint Barmes 2B
Yorvit Torrealba C
Jason Marquis P
Ryan Rowland-Smith, who is battling flu-like symptoms, puts his .667 batting average (2-for-3) on the line. Franklin Gutierrez gets a crack at leadoff. Ken Griffey Jr. probably will just stay in for one at-bat.
The big news will come after the game, when the Mariners will set their 25-man roster that will open the season Monday against the Twins.
UPDATE 12:37: Top of the third, Yuniesky Betancourt just lined a homer to left field off Jason Marquis. But the most notable part was his home run “trot,” which was more like a home-run sprint. Betancourt was running hard to first in case the fall went off the wall, and he never slowed down, racing around the bases in record time.
Rowland-Smith, by the way, was the next hitter, and whiffed on three pitches, looking very much like a feeble-hitting pitcher. But he’s pitched well so far, two scoreless innings, allowing one hit. It’s 1-0 Seattle on Betancourt’s homer.
By the way, I was wrong about Junior. He’s up for his second at-bat with runners on first and third, one out — and he lined a single to right. 2-0. Griffey has now hit in nine straight games, going 11-for-28 (.393) with 12 RBI in that span.
UPDATE 12:54 P.M.: Yuni again, this time dropping a popup in shallow left for a two-base error in the bottom of the third. Then first baseman Russ Branyan dropped a fairly easy foul popup. Exhibition ball at its finest. The Rockies wound up with an unearned run off Rowland-Smith on Troy Tulowitzki’s two-out single. 2-1 Seattle.
UPDATE 1 P.M.: “Ken” Johjima, as he’s listed on today’s lineup sheet, just blasted a homer to left (following an opposite-field single his previous at-bat). A Johjima revival would be a huge boost for the Mariners.
UPDATE 1:05 P.M. OK, now Griffey is out of the game, along with Beltre. Two at-bats for the fans,and get them to Minnesota in one piece. I have a feeling we’ll see mass defections soon.
UPDATE 1:15 P.M. The Rockies shelled Rowland-Smith in the fourth, scoring four runs on three doubles and two single. Miguel Batista is now in the game (and gave up the Rockies’ final hit, bringing in on of R-S’s runners. Final line on Rowland Smith: 3 1/3 innings, six hits, five runs, four earned, no walks, two strikeouts.
UPDATE 1:23 P.M.: Franklin Gutierrez just did a nice imitation of a leadoff man, dropping down a picture-perfect bunt single down the third base line, stealing second, and scoring on Matt Tuiasosopo’s single to center. 5-4, Rockies, top of the fifth.
UPDATE 1:36 P.M.: Uh, oh: Three at-bats, three strikeouts for Russ Branyan. In Vegas, he’s 0-for-6 with four K’s.
UPDATE 1:55 P.M. Mike Wilson just tied up the game, 5-5, in the seventh with an RBI single off the wall, scoring Tyson Gillies. Oh, and last innng, Johjima had his third hit, an opposite-field double. He’s at .500 (9-for-18) in spring training. And two more singles for Tui, making him 25-for-59 (.424) in spring. He couldn’t be the final man on the roster, could he? Hmm. Nah.
UPDATE 2:10: By the way, Chris Jakubauskas logged a scoreless inning. Nothing to hurt his chances.
UPDATE: 2:30: A very encouraging scoreless eighth inning for Brandon Morrow. His fastball reached 98 mph (along with a few 97s, 96s and 95s). Morrow struck out Christian Colonel on a 3-2 pitch, gave up a single to Brad Hawpe, struck out Jeff Baker looking, and got Clint Barmes on a popup. He looked free and easy, and was throwing strikes.
UPDATE 2:45: The Rockies just pushed across a run off Sean White in the bottom of the ninth to win it, 6-5. The game-winner was a walkoff bases-loaded single — off the left-field wall — by Seth Smith.
Now we head down to find out who made the team.



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