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April 23, 2009 at 3:24 PM

Game thread, April 23 vs. Rays

M’S WIN — Mariners win 1-0 on Ichiro’s leadoff homer and good pitching to improve to 10-6 on the season.
HANG-ON TIME — We go to the ninth with Seattle ahead 1-0. Chavez struck out with Ichiro on second to end the eighth. Morrow is coming on to face Pena, Burrell and Zobrist, 4-5-6 in the Rays’ order.
EXPLANATION FOR TV TROUBLE — Here’s the official explanation for the TV trouble today from FSN: “Today’s Mariners game on FSN Northwest has gone off the air due to a lightning strike at the network’s technical operations facility in Atlanta, GA. The strike has disabled the entire facility and service has been interrupted for multiple networks across the country. Engineers are currently working to restore the signal as soon as possible.”
MORROW WARMING FOR NINTH — Morrow is in the bullpen warming for the ninth. Betancourt flied out to start the eighth but Burke has reached on an error by 3B Longoria and the Rays are now going to the pen calling for LHP Brian Shouse.
M’S UP 1-0 GOING TO BOTTOM OF EIGHTH — Longoria popped up to second to end the inning so M’s have a 1-0 lead. Aardsma has allowed no runs and one hit in 7.2 innings this year.
AARDSMA HOT EARLY — He has struck out the first two batters of the eighth, Upton and Crawford, on seven pitches.
FELIX TOTALS — Seven innings, four hits, three walks, seven strikeouts, 104 pitches, 60 strikes and zero runs.
TV OUT AGAIN — Am told FSN is again having some troubles so I’ll provide a quick update. It’s the end of seven with the M’s ahead 1-0. Aardsma is now coming on to pitch. Balentein singled with one out in the seventh, stole second as Rob Johnson struck out, but was stranded when Gutierrez grounded out to third. Seattle has one run, four hits, three errors, the Rays 0-4-0.
HOW MUCH MORE CAN THEY GET OUT OF FELIX? — As cold as the chill here are the Rays’ bats, managing just four singles through seven innings against Felix. But he’s thrown 103 pitches, one shy of his season-high in his last outing against Detroit, when he threw 104 in six. Looks like David Aardsma warming in the BP if needed.
CRUISING THROUGH SIX — Hernandez just keeps dealing, getting a 4-6-3 double play to end the top of the sixth still ahead 1-0. The only downside is that he’s thrown 93 pitches so he may need some relief help today.
WILL ONE BE ENOUGH? — May have to be as the Mariners can’t get any offense going against James Shields. Chavez singled to lead off the inning but erased on a hit-and-run turned into a double play. 1-0 Seattle entering the fifth.
AND YET AGAIN, FELIX GETS OUT OF IT — This time, it was two Felix walks that put him in the soup. But he again got the final two outs to leave the scoreboard unmarred and Seattle ahead 1-0. The Mariners have just one hit, but so far it’s enough.
FELIX GETS OUT OF IT AGAIN — Another error in the third for the M’s, this one a throwing miscue by Betancourt — his fourth error of the season. But Hernandez again saved the day striking out Evan Longoria to end the threat leaving Seattle ahead 1-0.
FELIX GETS OUT OF IT — Hernandez escaped the jam by striking out Dioner Navarro and getting Akinori Iwamura to fly to left, so Seattle still leads 1-0 heading to the bottom of the second.
FIELDING TAKES A HIT — Well, the necessary move of Jamie Burke to first base has resulted in the first scoring threat of the day for the Rays as he mishandled a gronder from Ben Zobrist, with a Rob Johnson error then allowing Pat Burrell — who had singled — to get to third..
The two errors on one play give Seattle 12 for the season, the most in the American League.
ICHIRO GOES DEEP — Ichiro has given Seattle a 1-0 advantage with a leadoff HR to right on a 1-0 pitch off James Shields. It’s the 28th leadoff HR of Ichiro’s career.
FELIX ON FIRE — Hernandez needed just 14 pitches to retire the Rays in the first inning, including two strike outs. With the chill in the air and the afternoon sun, this has the feel of one of those two-hour games.
LINEUPS ANNOUNCED — Here’s the lineup for today’s game,
Ichiro, RF
Endy Chavez,LF
Jose Lopez, 2B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Wladimir Balentien, DH
Rob Johnson, C
Franklin Gutierrez, CF
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
Jamie Burke, 1B
B.J. Upton, CF
Carl Crawford, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Carlos Pena, 1B
Pat Burrell, DH
Benn Zobrist, RF
Dioner Navarro, C
Akinori, Iwamura, 2B
Jason Bartlett, SS



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