Long balls bit the Mariners badly in the sixth inning as the Texas Rangers scored three runs to tie the game 3-3. Erik Bedard gave up a one-out walk, his fourth of the game, to Andruw Jones, then served up a two-run homer by Hank Blalock. With two out, Bedard was lifted at 93 pitches and Miguel Batista came on to face Nelson Cruz.
The first offering was golfed into the right field seats to tie the game.
Bedard did a good job of overcoming the fielding miscues behind him, but also used a few fielding gems to get as far as he did. The Mariners need to find some offense. They could use some power of their own in a key game that seems to have gotten away from them.
2:43 p.m.: Rough go of it for new third baseman Jack Hannahan these past two innings, but Erik Bedard pitched out of jams both times after a pair of errors by the former Oakland A’s gloveman. Bedard has a 3-0 lead as we head to the bottom of the fifth inning of this crucial game.
Seattle scored two in the fourth after leadoff singles by Franklin Gutierrez and Ryan Langerhans. With two out, Ronny Cedeno reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Ichiro then punched across a run with another infield hit. Russell Branyan then drew a bases-loaded walk, ending the day of starter Dustin Nippert.
1:36 p.m.: Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Jose Lopez doubled home Ichiro from first base. But it was one of those innings when it looked like the Mariners could do a lot more after Texas starter Dustin Nippert walked a pair to load the bases with two out.
But Rob Johnson could not duplicate his home run magic of last night and wound up bouncing into a fielder’s choice. Johnson getting yet another start today. Is Kenji Johjima now the unofficial backup? Sure looks that way.
1:23 p.m.: Franklin Gutierrez just saved Erik Bedard at least a run or two in the first inning, snagging an Andruw Jones line drive on his backhand while sliding to his knees. He then doubled off a stunned Michael Young, who had left second and was standing on third when the catch was made.
Bedard had walked two in a row before the lineout. but the play by Gutierrez enabled him to keep his pitch count for the inning at 22. Bedard has to be more economical than that. The one good thing is, if he pulls a “five and dive” today, the M’s can unload their entire bullpen given the break coming up.
It’s been a busy day for the Safeco Field roof already. They had to scramble to close it before gametime as rain poured down on the field. Now, they’ve opened it back up again as sun peeks through the clouds.