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April 22, 2009 at 6:30 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rays, April 22

UPDATE 10;30: Ugly, ugly game for the Mariners. Final score: 9-3 Tampa Bay.
UPDATE: 9:13 P.M. The Rays have scored in every inning so far. According to some sketchy research I’ve done — this isn’t definitive — but I believe no American League visiting team has ever scored a run in every inning of a nine-inning game. It’s been done by the home team,and it’s been done by visiting teams in the NL. We’ll see if the Rays can pull it off.
UPDATE 8:49 P.M.: Niemann lost the perfecto on a bad throw by shortstop Jason Bartlett on Beltre’s routine grounder to start the fifth. He then walked Cedeno, and Jose Lopez ended it all — no-no and shutout — with an explosive homer to left. He destroyed that ball. 7-3 Rays.
UPDATE 8:37 P.M.: Another error for Yuni here in the fifth, as he bobbles a slow roller by Iwamura and has no play.
UPDATE 8:30: Uh, the Mariners still don’t have a baserunner off Jeff Niemann — who came into the game with a 6.35 ERA — through four innings. Griffey just hit one up the middle, but the Rays were in a shift, and third baseman Evan Longoria threw him out easily.
UPDATE 8:20: Jakubauskas walks Pena, and Wakamatsu comes out with the hook. Sean White enters the game with Rays runners on first and third, one out, and 6-0 Tampa Bay. Jakubauskas works 3 1/3 innings, 10 hits, six runs (so far; the two on base are his responsibility), all earned, three walks and one strikeout. Not good.
UPDATE 8:15: Another run for the Rays in the fourth (Longoria doubles home Crawford) and Sean White is up in the bullpen for Seattle. It’s 6-0, Tampa Bay. Jaku is at 81 pitches. This will be his last inning, one way or another.
UPDATE 7:57: Disregard what I just wrote. Mike Sweeney left the game with muscle spasms in his upper back. Nothing to do with his legs. And no word on the severity of the injury.
UPDATE 7:51 P.M.: Mike Sweeney just hurt his right leg on a checked swing. He’s walked off gingerly with trainer Rick Griffin and has been replaced by Ronny Cedeno, who inherits a 2-2 count. No word on the injury, but I’m guessing hammy or knee. He stopped his swing, and his leg seemed to buckle under him. Don’t forget, Sweeney had surgery on both his knees last June.
UPDATE 7:46: Jakubauskas managed to avert disaster after starting the inning with men on first and third, no outs. Longoria hit a towering drive that Gutierrez caught in front of the warning track. Upton scored, but Crawford tried to advance to second and was gunned down by Gutierrez. Pena’s foul popup dropped among Adrian Beltre, Rob Johnson and Jakubauskas — definite miscommunication on that catchable ball — but then popped out (fair) to Beltre, who was pulled way over in a shift. 4-0 Rays.
UPDATE 7:43 P.M.: Jaku is not going to last long at this rate. He’s given hits to the first two batters in the second, runners at the corners with Longoria up. Gulp.
UPDATE 7:36: A very feeble first inning for the Mariners — 1-2-3, with Griffey going down looking on a breaking ball. Niemann threw 13 pitches in the first inning, Jakabauskas 37.
UPDATE 7:30 P.M.: That certainly wasn’t the same Chris Jakubauskas we saw last time out. He walked two, threw two wild pitches, and gave up two singles and a double, all adding up to three runs for Tampa Bay. But it could have been much worse. The last out came on a drive by Jason Bartlett with the bases loaded that drove Endy Chavez to the warning track before he hauled it in.
UPDATE 7:10 P.M.: The roof is closing – first time all season.
UPDATE 7:04 P.M. In a brief ceremony, Ken Griffey Jr. and Ichiro received framed photos commemorating their recent achievements — Griffey’s 400th homer and Ichiro’s 3,086th hit, an all-time record for a Japanese player. Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong and Jack Zduriencik made the presentation.
It’s not nearly as toasty at the ballpark as it was last night. In fact, it’s downright frigid! That could hold down the scoring tonight. So could the fact that the Mariners have a .305 on-base percentage, lowest in the American League. My favorite stat so far this year is this: Yuniesky Betancourt, .326 batting average, .326 on-base percentage.
Chris Jakubauskas makes his second start. If he matches his first outing, the Mariners will be happy. He might be ready to stretch out his pitch count to the 90-range this time.
Members of the Las Vegas-based rock band The Killers threw out the first pitch.
Tampa Bay
B.J. Upton CF
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
Pat Burrell DH
Ben Zobrist RF
Dioner Navarro C
Akinori Iwamura 2B
Jason Bartlett SS
Jeff Niemann RHP
Ichiro RF
Endy Chavez LF
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Mike Sweeney 1B
Jose Lopez 2B
Rob Johnson C
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Chris Jakubauskas P



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