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April 19, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Tigers, April 19

UPDATE 3:41: Shawn Kelley was noticably limping as he went to the dugout after the ninth. My suspicion is that something happened on the wild pitch he threw with Inge at the plate. He came down very awkwardly on his delivery, nearly falling off the mound.
uPDATE 3:12 P.M. This one is blown wide open. Yuniesky Betancourt booted back-to-back grounders to open the door, and Ramon Santiago boomed a bases-loaded, base-clearing double off Miguel Batista to make it 8-1Tigers. Santiago, not exactly known as a run producer, has five RBIs today and 11 for the season — more than anyone on the Mariners.
UPDATE 3 P.M. As many great plays as Beltre has made today, Detroit 3B Brandon Inge just topped him — and wouldn’t you know it, Beltre was the victim. Leading off the seventh, Beltre hit a wicked liner down the line, and Inge snared it with a full-length dive. Great, great play.
UPDATE 2:30 P.M. It’s easy to see why the Tigers are so high on Porcello. He looks awfully sharp through five innings. Then again, the M’s just aren’t hitting much these days. Mark Lowe is into the game for Seattle in the top of the sixth. Silva goes five, gives up six hits, four runs, no walks, no strikeouts. Could have been worse. Correction: one walk.
UPDATE 2:15: A rough inning for Silva in the fourth. Not that the Tigers hit him any harder than they have all afternoon, but this time Beltre and friends weren’t there to gobble everything up. The Tigers played a little Wak-Ball, squeezing successfully with Ramon Santiago (Jamie Burke just missed getting the tag on Brandon Inge after Silva shuffled the ball to him). 4-1Tigers.
UPDATE 1:53 P.M.: A pretty nice turn of events for Ronny Cedeno — a sprawling defensive play to end the top of the third, and a home run to start the bottom of the third — his first as a Mariner. 1-1. Beltre is putting on a clinic at third today.
UPDATE 1:42 P.M.: That’s three double plays turned today through two innings. Jamie Burke just hit into one to end a Mariners’ threat in the second. Adrian Beltre’s single lifted his average from .196 to .213.
UPDATE 1:30 P.M.: Carlos Silva isn’t exactly fooling people today. He’s lucky to be down just 1-0 after 1 1/2 innings. In addition to the four hits he’s allowed, there’s been at least three other balls that were crushed. One was converted into an out on a backhanded play by Adrian Beltre. That double-play ball by Matt Treanor — who is married to Olympic gold medal volleyball player Misty May, FYI — was a huge boost.
UPDATE: Here’s an interesting sidelight to today’s game: There are eight players from Venezuela in the starting lineups, and seven from the United States. The Venezuelans are Magglio Ordonez, Miguel Cabrera and Carlos Guillen for Detroit, and Endy Chavez, Jose Lopez, Ronny Cedeno, Franklin Gutierrez and Carlos Silva for Seattle. The Americans: Curtis Granderson, Brandon Inge, Josh Anderson, Matt Treanor and Rick Porcello for Detroit, and Ken Griffey Jr. and Jamie Burke for Seattle.
The Mariners held their Kangaroo Court before the game, with Judge Ken Griffey Jr. presiding. What a sight it was — Griffey was wearing a black robe on which was embroidered, “Judge Mo’ Money.” He had a gaudy gold “24” medallion around his neck, and was wielding a gavel.
“I’ve been around the game a long time; I haven’t seen anyone that fancy,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “He was decked out. He had everything. It was great.”
The entire team crammed into the small interview room that Wakamatsu uses to meet the media after games. The session lasted about an hour, with Mike Sweeney helping to mete out the fines. Just another example of the team chemistry this team is trying to build.
“From day one of spring training, we’ve been trying to maake sure we stay together as a club,” Wakamatsu said. “Not that I’m a big meeting guy, but interacting even outside the games is important. Sweeney and Griffey and Adrian and Washburn and all those guys have helped bring everyone closer.”
The Mariners are facing the Tigers’ young pitching phenom, Rick Porcello, who is just 20 and was their No. 1 pick (27th overall) in 2007 out of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, N.J. He hasn’t pitched since April 9, when he made his major-league debut against Toronto in a 6-2 loss. He worked five innings, giving up nine hits and four runs, walking one with four strikeouts.
The Mariners counter with Carlos Silva, who has had ones stinker and one gem this season. As Geoff pointed out in an earlier post, this is a big start for him.
Wakamatsu said that he hopes with another day off, plus Monday’s off-day, Russ Branyan’s sore back will heal enough for him to play Tuesday when the Mariners open a series with defending AL champion Tampa Bay. Jose Lopez had no problems with sliding over to first base, the manager said. “We’ve talked about doing whatever it takes to win ballgames,” Wakamatsu said. “He’s been great.”
Lineups
Detroit
Curtis Granderson CF
Placido Polanco 2B
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Carlos Guillen DH
Brandon Inge 3B
Josh Anderson LF
Ramon Santiago SS
Matt Treanor vC
Rick Porcello RHP
Mariners
Ichiro RF
Endy Chavez LF
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jose Lopez 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jamie Burke C
Ronny Cedeno 2B
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Carlos Silva P

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