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April 29, 2009 at 1:36 PM

Seattle Mariners at Chicago White Sox: 04/29 game thread

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By the way, we will be doing Geoff Baker Live! after the game. A 4:30 p.m. start time. Here’s a link to today’s weekly Talkin’ Baseball segment on KJR AM 950 with host Mitch Levy.
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A lot of firsts for Shawn Kelley today, none of them good. Kelley hadn’t given up a run this season, but that just changed in the seventh as Jermaine Dyeand Carlos Quentin tagged him for back-to-back home runs that have put Chicago ahead 5-3 as we head to the eighth. Yes, all of those stranded runners have come back to haunt the M’s.
Kelley also had stranded all four of his inherited runners this season, but that vanished in the sixth when he allowed two runners on base to score. Both runs were charged to Erik Bedard.
1:20 p.m.: All those stranded runners just cost Erik Bedard a shot at victory. Bedard allowed singles to the first two hitters he faced in the sixth. Shawn Kelley then gave up a double down the right field line by Wilson Betemit that scored one run. A huge strikeout on Brian Anderson came next, but Alexi Ramirez tied the game on a sacrifice fly on a pitch Kelley left too far up and over the middle of the plate. Kelley escaped from there, but we’re tied 3-3 heading to the seventh.
1:05 p.m.; Yes, that Yuniesky Betancourt can be a maddening fellow. I know he was running on the pitch to Jose Lopez, but you also have to know when to hit the brakes and try to get back to the bag. Betancourt was halfway to home before he realized Lopez’s soft liner was easily caught in shallow left by shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Naturally, he was easily doubled off at second base — yes, second base — to end a good scoring threat, M’s are outhitting Chicago 10-4, but have stranded eight and are only up 3-1.
Shawn Kelley is warming up and I doubt Erik Bedard finishes this sixth inning.
12:33 p.m.: The middle of the order just woke up, and none too soon at that. Seattle had stranded six runners in the first three innings, then went 1-2-3 in the fourth. But some cheap hits by Ichiro — off the first base bag — and Jose Lopez — off the third baseman’s glove — to start the fifth were followed by some big-time ABs out of Ken Griffey Jr. and Adrian Beltre.
Griffey lined a double to left center that brought both runners home to score — Lopez chipping in with some excellent baserunning to get around — then took third on an error. Beltre promptly lined his third hit of the game into center field to put Seattle ahead 3-1. All of that tough pitching by Erik Bedard now seems worth it.
Griffey has two doubles his last two games, while Beltre has hits in four consecutive ABs. The M’s did strand another runner in the inning, making it seven on the day. They’re outhitting the White Sox 9-2 but are again making things tough on themselves.
11:43 p.m.: Those of you who want Ichiro to be a No. 3 hitter, that was a good three-hitter type situation for him in the second inning with two on. He made contact, but the ball went straight to the first baseman for the out. Some wasted chances here early by the M’s, stranding four in the first two innings. It would help if they could get some of their hits with fewer than two out.
And Erik Bedard just gave up a leadoff homer to A.J. Pierzynski on the second pitch of the bottom of the frame. That’s the 100th homer of Pierzynski’s career and ends a 14 at-bat hitless streak for him. A 1-0 lead for Chicago.
11:29 a.m.: Some tough pitching by Erik Bedard after he’d walked a batter and hit another with one out in the first inning. Bedard had some dangerous right handed bats to face, but notched a key strikeout on Jermaine Dye. Then, with Paul Konerko up, Bedard made a great 3-1 breaking pitch that the swinging Konerko barely got a piece of. Some foul balls later, Bedard got a flyout to left. He did throw 25 pitches, but battled and refused to give in. So, despite some command issues, he avoided any scoreboard damage. That takes focus and good pitching.
Scoreless after one.
11:13 a.m.: The Mariners have yet to lose a road series this year and will try to win another today with Erik Bedard on the mound. Seattle had a chance to score in the first inning on a two-out walk by Ken Griffey Jr., then a double to right field by Adrian Beltre. A quicker runner might have scored from first base, but Griffey held up at third, The relay throw back in wasn’t a great one, but Griffey had already made his decision and halted. A good relay back in and Griffey would have been out by a mile at the plate. Russell Branyan then grounded out.

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