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April 8, 2009 at 6:52 PM

Mariners at Minnesota Twins: 04/08 game thread

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Carlos Silva barely made it through the fifth inning, giving up a pair of two-out doubles to Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel to fall behind 6-5. Silva keeps giving up hits to lefties and has allowed all of his runs tonight with two out. he made a nice defensive play on a comebacker to throw out lead runner Denard Span at third base. But then he authored some of his own misfortune by uncorking a rare wild pitch to move Michael Cuddyer into scoring position.
Looks like hius teammates will have to pick him up yet again. Chris Jakubauskas was warming up in the bullpen. He could make his major league debut next inning if Don Wakamatsu decides Silva — or maybe he — has had enough. My guess is both guys have.
By the way, on Geoff Baker Live! today, one of you asked me about Mike Sweeney and that patch of dirt he keeps on his shoulder. Here’s the answer for you: it’s pine tar. And no, he doesn’t put it there on purpose.
He keeps it on the handle of his bat, but when he swings, the upper part of the bat handle — above his hands — sometimes touches his jersey on the backswing. That’s how the patch of pine tar winds up on his jersey.
“Some people have asked me whether I put it there for my throwing,” Sweeney said. “So, I could reach back and put some on my hands when I need it so I can throw the ball better. That’s not it. It’s just the way I swing. It’s been that way for years.”
There you have it.


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6:21 p.m.: This is why it was so important for Carlos Silva to hold things together, which he did with a 1-2-3 third inning. Jose Lopez stepped up with one out in the fourth inning and ripped a pitch over the left field wall to cut Minnesota’s lead to just a run. One hit later, Yuniesky Betancourt then doubled to the gap in right center to bring Ronny Cedeno all the way home from first to tie things up. Betancourt then came racing home when Twins starter Kevin Slowey uncorked a wild pitch on an 0-2 count, putting Seattle back on top 5-4.
The M’s have sure picked Silva up tonight. I’ve said many a time that I felt this could be a real “next level” year for Lopez and he isn’t disappointing so far. Saved another hit against Silva in the third when he ranged deep in the hole to his left for a ball, spun and made a strong throw to first for the out.
5:54 p.m.: As bad as Carlos Silva has looked so far, he’s only down 4-2 as we head to the third inning. In other words, his team needs him to regain his composure and keep them in a game that is still winnable. Silva gave up another homer, clubbed deep to right field by a left handed batter, this time Denard Span. Silva’s old nemesis has been lefty hitters. That’s six hits allowed in two innings by Silva, three of them for extra bases. The M’s need better than this.
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5:39 p.m.: Russell Branyan just showed why folks in Milwaukee dubbed him “Russell the Muscle” as he hit one of those tape-measure blasts over the center field fence to tie this game 2-2 in the top of the second inning. The ball travelled over the 408-foot sign in straightaway center and hit some of those folded up stadium seats behind the wall. That was a shot. Adrian Beltre had led the inning off with a double.
Jose Lopez and Yuniesky Betancourt had singles for the M’s that inning as well, but Endy Chavez popped out to third base to end the threat.
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7:25 p.m.: Carlos Silva makes his return to the Metrodome to face his former team and attempt to win back some fans in Seattle.
And it’s not going well. Justin Morneau just gave the Twins a 2-0 lead in the first inning by slamming a Silva pitch into the upper deck in right field. Silva had notched a ground out, a pop-out type of fly ball to right and also yielded a single on a bouncing ball up the middle. Nothing too worrisome about that.
But then, Morneau connected for a rocket, Jason Kubel singled hard up the middle and Joe Crede launched a foul ball that hit some overhanging lights or wires up near the roof of this place (photo below) before Silva got out of it. Let’s see if he gets back on-track.
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This is the first time the Mariners have actually trailed during a game. They fell behind on last night’s walk-off hit, but the game was over when that last run scored. This is the first time Seattle has been behind while a game is actually still going on.

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