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May 3, 2009 at 12:58 PM

Mariners vs. Athletics game thread (5/3)

5:20 p.m.: The wheels are really coming off now, with an error, a hit batter (on a 1-2 count) and a two-out double allowed to Landon Powell, who hit .11 coming into this game. He’s 3-for-5 today.
4:51 p.m. That certainly was quick. The Mariners go 1-2-3 in the 12th, with Ichiro coming close to a winning home run. Batista will head back to try and get through one more inning. The only other reliever left is Jason Vargas, who was a starter in Tacoma and can go multiple innings.
4:46 p.m.: Tons of credit goes to Miguel Batista, going 2 innings for the second time in three days and getting through both of those innings without allowing a run. That’s now 7 2/3 innings for the bullpen without allowing a run.
4:16 p.m. As Adrian Beltre puts the go-ahead runner on base, take a look at how the bullpen has pitched today: 5 2/3 innings, three hits, no runs. That is what allowed the Mariners to get back into the game.
3:55 p.m. You might be wondering why Kenji Johjima’s huge home run came off Russ Springer, and not regular closer Brad Ziegler. The answer: Ziegler has the flu.
3:41 p.m.: Take away Sweeney’s home run, and it’s been an awful day for the middle of the Mariners’ order. Sweeney is 1-for-4, Beltre is 0-for-4 for with a strikeout and Branyan is 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. If the Mariners are going to tie it, the bottom of the order will have to do it.
3:29 p.m.: Ichiro had been just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and two outs, but he gets an important run in with a single up the middle, bringing home Wladimir Balentien (who is 3-for-3 with a run). Lopez’s shot to center was about 10 feet short of giving the Mariners the lead.
3:15 p.m. Some news here in the seventh inning: the Mariners have signed left-handed outfielder Jerry Owens to a minor-league contract. Owens played in 12 games for the White Sox this season before being designated for assignment. He went 1-for-12.
3:08 p.m. Stark came in, retired two of four batters, and now Mark Lowe is going to come in with two outs in the seventh. Lowe gave up the A’s tying run last night when Jason Giambi poked a single against the shift, but (contrary to the opinion of many commentors) Wakamatsu liked the way Lowe pitched last night.
2:36:The next four innings should be interesting, as we’ll discover the plan for the new bullpen pitchers, Denny Stark and Jason Vargas, with four innings left to pitch (or at least get some insight as to how they’ll be used). Sean White got the job down to finish the fifth, getting the outs he needed on pop-ups. No one’s active in the pen, so White will likely be going another inning.
2:10: That was Mike Sweeney’s 200th career home run.
2:07: I sat in on a high-school practice this week, and they must have worked on that first-and-third pickoff for 10 minutes. Well, the Mariners just pulled it off perfectly, getting Kurt Suzuki in a run-down between third and home.
1:54: A very quick third inning, and outside of Balentien’s double, there has been almost no life from Mariner bats through three.
1:30: It just looks like it’s going to be that kind of day, after Ichiro gets a raw deal at first on what should have been an infield single. Two quick outs follow, and Jakabauskas will head back onto the field, already at 25 pitches.
1:22: Jack Cust put an awfully good swing on Jakubauskas’ two-out curveball, and it ended up in that two-run home run that put Oakland ahead 3-0.
1:07 p.m.: Before the first pitch, home-plate umpire Derryl Cousins was recognized because today will be his 4,000th major-league game.
Chris Jakubauskas is the starter on a sunny Sunday, and he’ll be making his fourth start of the season. He’s had mixed success so far this season, with strong starts against LA (5 1/3 innings, 2 runs) and Chicago (8 innings, two runs) and one very rough one against Tampa Bay (3 1/3 innings, six runs).
It’s only his second appearance against the A’s, and his first start.

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