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July 9, 2009 at 8:43 PM

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners: 07/09 game thread

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Texas leads 1-0 after Felix Hernandez gave up a pair of two-out singles in the sixth, a double-steal and then a wild-pitch on a walk to Josh Hamilton that brought the run home. Mariners need to get some offense going or that might be the only run of this game. Jose Lopez did a really good job on that rundown play between first and second, keeping his eye on the lead runner at third, running towards him and then making a strong throw back to that bag for the final out.
A source I know who is close to the Pirates tells me the reason special assistant Marc DelPiano is here tonight is to scout both teams. The Mariners are said to be interested in second baseman Freddy Sanchez primarily but also in veteran shortstop Jack Wilson. You may remember, we were told over a month ago that the Mariners were looking into a possible Wilson deal and one of the names bandied about was that of shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in those talks. The Pirates were said to not be interested in a one-for-one deal because of Betancourt’s long-term cost. But what if he’s a secondary component to such a deal? Interesting.
Pittsburgh is looking for young prospects, but i’m told would take Betancourt if they liked the main players in the deal. They need a righthanded thumper bat, middle infielders and pitching. All young and cheap — except, obviously, Betancourt, if the others are good.
The Pirates are also scouting the Rangers lineup because Texas is interested in some of Pittsburgh’s pitching.
So, as I told you earlier, I got hold of Jack Zdurincek, and asked him for some clarification of the “organziational decision” that was made to pull Betancourt from the Class AAA lineup at the last minute. Told him I didn’t want to create an unnecessary feeding frenzy of trade speculation if this was in regard to Betancourt’s hamstring, or even a disciplinary issue.
“I can’t comment on that,” he said. “I really can’t make any comment.”
Of course, if it was a disciplinary issue, he could. Same with an injury.
Please proceed with as much speculation as you feel comfortable with.

8:15 p.m.: By the way, we’re still scoreless in the fifth. Somebody other than Ichiro needs to figure out how to get a hit off Catfish…er Tommy Hunter.
7:46 p.m.: Just been told by a Mariners PR staffer, who checked into the Yuniesky Betancourt situation in Tacoma tonight, that an “organizational decision” was behind the move to pull him from the Class AAA lineup at the last moment. No further word yet. Let the speculating begin.
The Mariners put two on with none out in the second inning but came away empty-handed as Franklin Gutierrez lined out, Ryan Langerhans flied out and Rob Johnson grounded into a fielder’s choice.
Felix Hernandez looks good. Has given up a single through two innings.
7:08 p.m.: Russell Branyan is back in the No. 2 spot, as manager Don Wakamatsu had hinted yesterday that he might be. No time for fooling around anymore. With all the scouts out here from various teams looking in on a potential Matiners sell-off, the team has to make inroads this series or could be saying goodbye to plenty of bodies in weeks to come.
Rangers starter Tommy Hunter is a two-time Junior Olympic judo champion. So, no charging the mound on him. Unless you have a batting helmet you can throw at him. Oh, wait, that was last year. Never mind.
Yuniesky Betancourt was supposed to play seven innings at second base for Class AAA Tacoma tonight, then DH tomorrow and possibly be activated — or used as a DH — by the Mariners here this weekend.
The lineups:
Mariners (43-41)
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Franklin Gutierrez
LF Ryan Langerhans
3B Chris Woodward
C Rob Johnson
SS Ronny Cedeno
RHP Felix Hernandez
RANGERS (47-36)
2B Ian Kinsler
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Andruw Jones
1B Hank Blalock
RF Marlon Byrd
LF David Murphy
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
SS Elvis Andrus
RHP Tommy Hunter

Comments | Topics: Chris Woodward


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