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August 25, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. A’s, Aug. 25

Another walk-off homer for Ryan Langerhans, his second this month, and the Mariners win 4-2 in 10. More later, but I’ve got a story to write.
Update 9:58: Marinres are 7-5 in extra innings, AS’s are 3-8. Toronto leads the AL with 16 extra-inning games, and they’ve lost 11 of them. M’s and Minnesota (5-7) are next with 12 before tonight.
Update 9:52 p.m.: Extra innings — Mark Lowe on the mound for Seattle.
Update 9:47 pm. (bottom of ninth): I really thought Branyan had a walkoff there, but Sweeney caught it up against the right-field wall.
Update 9:35 p.m. (bottom of eighth): M’s tie it with an unearned run on third baseman Adam Kennedy’s error. But they’re now 0-for-5 with RISP.
Update 9:18 p.m. (bottom of eighth): Anderson has been replaced by Michael Wuertz. Anderson’s line: 7 ip, 6 h, 1 r, 1 er, 1 BB, 8 K’s.
Update 9:10 p.m.: The Mariners are 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position tonight, continuing an alarming trend. The fact they’ve had just three at-bats with RISP is an indictment in itself. 2-1 A’s.
Update 8:48 p.m. (middle of seventh): There goes the tie, and there goes Rowland-Smith. Adam Kennedy’s one-out single brought in Mark Ellis from third. 2-1 Oakland.
Update 8:37 p.m. (end of sixth); The M’s blew a big chance after the first two men up, Franklin Gutierrez and Jack Hannahan, singled. I was a little surprised Jose Lopez didn’t bunt — not because I thought he should have, but because I thought Wakamatsu would put on the bunt to get the go-ahead run to third with one out. But Lopez swung away and grounded into a double play. Sweeney flied out to end the inning, but not before losing control of his bat and sending it careening into the stands. Luckily, no one was hurt. Sweeney immediately asked for a bat from the dugout to give to the fan that received his bat, turning boos into cheers when it was exchanged for his game. 1-1.
Update 8:28 p.m. (middle of sixth): Ten of Rowland-Smith’s first 11 outs were in the air. His last seven have been on the ground. Strange but true. 1-1.
Update 8:23 p.m. (bottom of fifth) Anderson just struck out the side, with an infield Jack Wilson single in the middle. That’s five strikeouts for Anderson,and two of Seattle’s four hits are infield. Of course, one of the ones that wasn’t went out of the ballpark. 1-1.
Update 8:14 p.m. (middle of fifth): This is developing into quite a pitchers duel between Rowland-Smith and Brett Anderson. About what you’d expect from the team that’s scored the fewest runs in the American League (Seattle) and the team that’s tied for last in batting average (Oakland). 1-1.
Update 7:45 p.m. (bottom of third): Michael Saunders now has 20 major-league hits. Six have been bunt singles, including another one here in the third. But he was eventually picked off to end the inning. 1-1.
Update 7:39 p.m. (middle of third): After Russ Branyan got the Mariners even in the second with his 31st homer, Rowland-Smith set down the A’s in order in the third. Oakland is hitting the ball hard, but Seattle’s outfielders are running down the drives. 1-1.
Update 7:27 p.m. (middle of second): Michael Saunders bailed out Rowland-Smith with two nice catches — one on the track on Ryan Sweeney, and a backhand grab of Cliff Pennington’s liner. 1-0 A’s.
Update 7:15 p.m, (middle of first).: Ryan Rowland-Smith ran into trouble after getting two quick outs — three straight hits for a run, with Scott Hairston getting the RBI single to bring in Kurt Suzuki, who had doubled. 1-0 A’s.
One funny thing tonight — before the game, Don Wakamatsu noted that the bench players were working on getting Ichiro to join “L. Ben Show” (The Bench Show), which is what Mike Sweeney dubbed the reserves. Before every game, the L. Ben Shows stand together near home plate during the National Anthem (because, the joke is, that’s as close to the plate as they’re going to get during the game).
Sure enough, during the National Anthem, there was Ichiro standing with Ryan Langerhans, Rob Johnson and Josh Wilson. Ken Griffey Jr., the other position player not in the lineup, wasn’t around, for some reason. Ichiro had the coveted position to the far left, meaning he had been named captain of the L. Ben Shows for the night. In fact, his jersey was adorned with a “C.”
(Thanks to Geoff Baker, on his off-day, for letting me know that it was L. Ben Show and not El Bencho, as I had it originally).



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