UPDATE ON CARLOS SILVA: We can tell you that Carlos Silva threw one inning tonight against Class AAA Salt Lake and allowed just one hit. The bad news? Salt Lake has just one hit through the first six innings off Tacoma pitching. Could have been a no-hitter. OK, now we’re just trying to be funny. It was a positive result for Silva.
Daric Barton hit a solo homer off Mark Lowe in the eighth inning to cut the lead to 6-4. The Mariners have vanished offensively these last four innings and could really use some extra padding before the ninth.
By the way, there is nobody here tonight. No matter what they announce the attendance as, I can literally count it myself. Actually, they just announced it as 10,297, which would only be accurate if they were counting hands and feet.
8:47 p.m.: The Mariners went out of their way to let Ian Snell qualify for the win tonight. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu seemed a tad impatient with Snell during a mound visit in the fourth, then had the bullpen up in the fifth after the pitcher allowed a single and then a two-out walk.
But against what was going to be his final batter of the night, Snell got Daric Barton to fly out to right and take a 6-3 lead through five innings. He needed 107 pitches to do it. So, if the M’s hang on, he’ll get the win. But not all wins are created equally. I’d say that, aside from the first inning, Brett Tomko has outpitched him tonight.
8:17 p.m.: Seattle has some breathing room again as Kenji Johjima just went deep to left center off Brett Tomko to make it 6-3 in the fourth inning. That’s three pretty decent bombs by the M’s tonight. Bill Hall had singled ahead of the blast, his second hit of the night.
It’s important for Ian Snell to come out and shut the A’s down this half inning. He had a pretty good third but starts the fourth at 67 pitches.
7:56 p.m.: Ian Snell gave up an unearned run in the second inning and is now up to 57 pitches through two frames, clinging to a 4-3 lead. Mariners shortstop Jack Wilson snapped the team’s errorless streak at 10 games by flipping an underhanded toss over the head of Jose Lopez as he covered the bag at second. The inning should have been over, but a run wound up scoring on the two-base error — which was really quite something to see.
Though Snell doesn’t get charged with a run against, he did contribute to the problems that frame by allowing three hits. One was erased by a double play but then Snell yielded singles by Adam Kennedy and Rajai Davis (sensing a pattern here?) to put himself in a position to get burned by the error.
Snell, needless to say, is struggling out there.
7:45 p.m.; Ian Snell was fortunate to only give up two runs in the bottom half of the first inning to halve his lead to 4-2. Snell yielded hits to Adam Kennedy and Rajai Davis to start the inning, putting runners at the corners. But he caught a break when Kenndey broke for home on a chopper to Adrian Beltre at third. Beltre easily threw him out.
But a walk loaded the bases and then Kurt Suzuki singled to bring two runs in, still with only one out.
Snell rallied from there, getting a huge strikeout on Mark Ellis and then a popout to third by Eric Patterson. But Snell has to pick things up a bit. He did not look good. The Mariners have worked with him on his tempo between starts. Let’s see how quickly he delivers his pitches tonight.
7:16 p.m.: Ichiro just led the game off with a single, so it’s now six hits to 2,000 and 11 to that 200-hit season. Franklin Gutierrez then followed by crushing a home run to left off Brett Tomko to make it 2-0.
Yeah, there’s no Chris Tillman here, or George Sherrill. Or the other two dudes. But Gutierrez is sure making folks forget about Adam Jones in a hurry, isn’t he?
Now, Adrian Beltre doubled over the left fielder’s head and Bill Hall just destroyed a Tomko pitch deep into the left field seats for a 4-0 lead. Hall’s first home run as a Mariner. Gee, Hall sure made people forget Jose Vidro in a hurry, didn’t he? Not sure why I just wrote that, though Vidro was once a second baseman and Hall sort of is as well, right?
Tomko is throwing BP out there. He hasn’t got it tonight. Hasn’t had it for a while. I’d forgotten he was back in the majors. Now with his ninth team. Yes, he was part of the Mariners “glory years” in 2000 and 2001. But he’s not the “Brett” anyone remembers from that squad, is he? They’ll be remembering him here tonight for entirely different reasons if he can’t pull it together soon.