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July 7, 2010 at 9:10 PM

Kansas City Royals at Mariners: July 7, 2010 game thread

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Seattle has a 3-2 lead as we head to the seventh inning stretch. The M’s took the lead in the sixth when Casey Kotchman hit his second home run of the night after a two-out walk to Franklin Gutierrez.
But the Royals just scored on a wild pitch by Brian Sweeney in the seventh that got by Rob Johnson. The Yuni Bomber came sprinting home from third as RoJo lobbed a sidearmed throw over Sweeney’s head from his position prone in the dirt.
Yuni had doubled to lead the inning off, then actually took third on a flyout. So, could be an interesting finish.
By the way, if you missed the Billy Butler out in the sixth, it was quite a treat. Butler thought he’d homered off Dou Fister, but the ball hit the scoreboard atop the left field wall. Butler had taken a sweeping turn around first, then stopped dead as the throw came back in. He was nailed rather easily at first base. Bad.

For those members of The Jose Guillen Society — meaning Gonzo Blogger and Chris From Bothell — I shot some video of the onetime Mariners right fielder yesterday. Guillen was down on the field doing his pre-game stretch with son, Jose Jr. It looks like Junior got the better of the stretching in, which is too bad, because Papa Guillen went out during the game and strained his quad/hip flexor area. He’ll be out at least a couple of days.
Oh yeah, and for those of you scoreboard watchers out there…
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8:38 p.m.: We’re through five innings and still tied up at 1-1. We’ve seen some great defensive plays in this game, including Jose Lopez diving to his right to snare a line drive by Jason Kendall in the top of the fifth. Lopez also snagged a liner from the Yuni-Bomber in the fourth.
Those are two reasons Doug Fister is still out there to start the sixth inning on 91 pitches. Remember, he was at 68 pitches through three, so he’s needed only 23 to get through the last two frames.
Mitch Maier made a great, diving catch of an Ichiro liner to left center in the bottom of the fifth as well.
Seattle nearly scored in the fourth, but Ichiro held up at third after taking a wide turn on a bloop single that loaded the bases. I thought he could have scored but did not see what sign third base coach Lee Tinsley gave him. Lopez muffed the inning from there by grounding into a first-pitch, busted bat, 1-2-3 double-play.
8:06 p.m.: We’re tied 1-1 heading to the bottom of the third after a solo homer to right center by Casey Kotchman knotted things up in the second. Doug Fister is in a heap of pitch-count trouble, already at 68 after just three innings. He gave up two singles in the third, but got out of further trouble.
Still, that’s six baserunners in three innings allowed by Fister, who is missing his spots frequently.
7:40 p.m.: Doug Fister has had trouble finding the strike zone and trails 1-0 as we head to the bottom of the second inning. Things could be worse, as he’s walked a pair of guys and is up to 47 pitches already.
The Royals scored in the first inning, with Jason Kendall drawing a one-out walk, taking third on a single to right by David DeJesus and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Billy Butler.
With two out and a runner on third in the second inning, Fister had a run saved by a great play from center fielder Franklin Gutierrez on a double to the gap in left center by Chris Getz.
Gutierrez sprinted over to cut the ball off and snared it with his backhand. That forced the runner, Wilson Betemit, to stop at third. Had the ball gotten by Guti, it was a second run. The replay doesn’t do it justice. That was a great play.
Fister escaped the inning with a groundout but will be hard-pressed to go the regulation five innings unless he begins throwing strikes with more regularity.
7:07 p.m.: Another gorgeous night at the ballyard. The fans are in their seats. All the Portuguese and Brazilian visitors have been warned not to touch balls in-play (locals too) and not a hydroplane racer in sight.
They did, however, just give me a Ken Griffey Jr. Backward Cap as a sample of the promotional giveaway they’re having here tomorrow. I usually just leave these behind for the cleaning crew here in the pressbox, or make use of it as a blog prop. Like we did with the Felix Hernandez choo-choo train.
Oh yeah, the game. Off we go!
The lineups:
ROYALS
LF Scott Podsednik
C Jason Kendall
RF David (Thanks Dude) DeJesus
1B Billy Butler
3B Alberto Callaspo
DH Wilson Betemit
CF Mitch Maier
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
2B Chris Getz
RHP Kyle Davies
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
2B Chone Figgins
DH Russell Branyan
3B Jose Lopez
CF Franklin Gutierrez
1B Casey Kotchman
LF Michael Saunders
C Rob Johnson
SS Josh Wilson
RHP Doug Fister

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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